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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Ecological Science

Undergraduate Course: Ecological and Environmental Science field course (including management) (ECSC10033)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe field course builds upon the skills and competences acquired by Ecological and Environmental Sciences students during previous field courses and lecture classes. The core elements of the field course are the acquisition of skills in designing and conducting field projects and the acquisition of skills using field equipment.

In 2020, if the Covid-19 situation permits, the course will be based at the Kings Buildings and local field sites will be used for group projects. All activities will comply with current Covid-19 Government requirements.
Course description Course dates:
Saturday 5th to Wednesday 16th September 2020. The 11th, 12th and 13th are days off.

Students are, if at all possible, expected to be present in Edinburgh.

All days will begin at 9am and finish at 5pm. Evening talk/lecture sessions from 7 9pm will occur every day for the first six days of the course. These will be held online and are compulsory.

Project titles
Project 1. Plant and invertebrate richness across a disturbance gradient.
Project 2. Mitigating the leaching of nutrients and trace metals in coniferous forest soils.
Project 3. Relationship between invasive plant species and the environment.
Project 4. The effect of stream water quality on aquatic invertebrate abundance and diversity.
Project 5. How does the abundance and diversity of terrestrial invertebrates differ with light interception calculated via hemispherical photography?
Project 6. How does habitat affect small mammal populations?
Project 7. How does soil type influence earthworm abundance and diversity?

Students choose one group project and carry out it out over the course of the week. Group size will be five (or six) students and advice will be provided by staff and PhD student Demonstrators.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 6, Dissertation/Project Supervision Hours 6, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 12, Fieldwork Hours 32, External Visit Hours 14, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 120 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework 100%
Poster Conference: 20%, Field Project write-up: 40%, Essay: 40%

Assessment deadlines
- Poster of field project (worth 20%) due Tuesday at 5pm of Week 0.
- Write up of the field project (worth 40%) by 12 noon on Friday of Week 3.
- A second written assessment (worth 40%) on a second topic by 12 noon on Friday of Week 10.

Feedback Examples of feedback can be found here:
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Be able to define hypotheses and design a sampling strategy and methodology to complete a field research project.
  2. Have a comprehensive knowledge of the principles and some of the specialised skills of enquiry employed in ecological field work.
  3. Have gained competence in the use of ecological and environmental field techniques and know how to apply these skills in field investigations.
  4. Be able to execute a defined project of research and identify the relevant outcomes by appropriate statistical data analysis and interpretation. This will enable students to plan and practise in a context similar to those found at a professional level, which includes an element of unpredictability.
  5. Have an ability to communicate with professional level peers and senior colleagues and specialists through peer-to-peer presentations and subject specific lectures from practitioners. This will enable students to gain an appreciation of the contexts and challenges associated with ecological and environmental management.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information In 2020, if the Covid-19 situation permits, the course will be based at the Kings Buildings and local field sites will be used for group projects. All activities will comply with current Covid-19 Government requirements.
KeywordsField techniques,ecology and environment,populations,biodiversity,trace gases,micrometeorology
Course organiserDr Gail Jackson
Tel: (0131 6)50 5436
Course secretaryMrs Nicola Clark
Tel: (0131 6)50 4842
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