Postgraduate Course: Ecology and Field Studies (EDUA11120)
|School||Moray House School of Education and Sport
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||An understanding of the ecological principles which underpin both natural and managed ecosystems is vital for a full understanding of the countryside as a recreational and teaching resource. Furthermore, direct multi-sensory experiences are an ideal way of engaging with the natural heritage and the physical environment. Awareness of the potential impact of outdoor recreational and educational activities is also important for those who work in the countryside, and increasingly an expectation of such educational programmes. In many outdoor and environmental education contexts techniques ranging from formal field studies through to experiential environmental exercises are employed. This course provides an understanding of the principles of ecology, and explores the application of a wide range of teaching techniques in a practical context. The approach taken is normally an interdisciplinary and holistic residential programme normally located in a National Nature Reserve on the West Coast of Scotland.
Ecological principles: energy flow, trophic levels, nutrient cycling etc
Populations: natural selection and speciation, population dynamics
Communities, habitats, feeding relationships, biological diversity
Biotic and abiotic influences on communities
Influence of European legislation on the landscape
Preservation and management of the natural heritage
Traditional field studies survey and sampling techniques appropriate to a range of terrestrial and aquatic habitats
Experiential environmental education techniques (their use and critical evaluation)
Design, practice and evaluation of selected outdoor sessions
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
|| It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed
Interpreting the Landscape (EDUA11119)
||Other requirements|| None
|Additional Costs|| Travel and accomodation on the Island of Rum National Nature Reserve (approx £160)
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- understand basic ecological principles as applied to global and local ecosystems and be able to apply an understanding of ecological principles to issues of environmental concern
- understand relevant aspects of natural selection, adaptation, population growth, etc. and the effect on these of climate and human activity
- have experienced and used a variety of modern, experiential, and traditional field studies techniques during practical investigations of a range of natural and managed terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Students will therefore be able to make critical evaluations of appropriate techniques and develop a teaching programme suitable for introducing others to ecology and environment
- recognise aspects of the preservation and management of natural and semi-natural habitats of conservation importance
- understand the rationale behind and the practical consequences and management of key aspects of legislation that protect the natural heritage (e.g. in National Nature Reserves, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Special Areas of Conservation, etc.)
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Walters, J., Curry, M. & Payne, S. (1998). Rým National Nature Reserve management plan 1998-2008. Perth: Scottish Natural Heritage.
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Wood, B. (2000). Room for nature? Conservation management of the Isle of Rum, UK and prospects for large protected areas in Europe. Biological Conservation, 64 (1), 93-105.
Wood, E. (2009). Peat-bogs, plague and potatoes: how climate change and geology shaped ScotlandŅs history. Edinburgh: Luath Press.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||This course is run residentially in hostel accomodation on the Island of Rum National Nature Reserve on the West Coast of Scotland. It is run primarily outdoors with additional lab-based sessions. Please reserve a place on this course with Prof P Higgins before registering for this course. Depending on demand this course may run twice.
|Course organiser||Prof Pete Higgins
Tel: (0131 6)50 9796
|Course secretary||Miss Hanna Albrecht
Tel: (0131 6)51 6012