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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Marine Field Methods in Research and Practice (PGGE11202)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis field course will be focussed on marine science in UK and tropical (coral reef) systems. We will have trips to coastal environments within Marine Reserves in Scotland for hands on experience in ecological survey techniques, understanding how to design research projects to simplify complex ecological environments into testable questions, and for interviews with stakeholders in the Marine Reserve.

We will then virtually visit coral reef habitats to learn about the pressures on them, and to learn how to interpret existing data to assess the state, opportunities and threats to these habitats and associated communities. In order to get the most out of the fieldtrip (both physical and virtual portions), it is important to prepare ahead of time to gain general knowledge of the settings, the main issues, and some ideas about how to design experiments. This will be covered through the 'Corals in a Changing Ocean Course' and will be explored more in the pre-trip lectures and assignments.

Course description The Marine Methods in Research and Practice course has 4 main elements:

1. Pre-trip lectures and report. There will be several pre-trip lectures introducing the habitats we will visit (virtually and physically), the pressures on them (socio and environmental), and how we will be assessing these. This will be complemented by a pre-trip report.
2. On site activities: these will be trips to coastal environments around Edinburgh and St. Abbs for hands-on technique development and interviews.
3. Virtual activities on coral reefs, including video analysis and data interrogation.
4. Research project and report. Following lectures and exposure to a variety of topics and techniques, you will select a topic to do a short project on, design your question and conduct analysis to test your hypotheses. Following this, you will prepare a presentation and report.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Please contact the School directly for a breakdown of Learning and Teaching Activities
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessments:

1 - Pre-trip report ¿ 30%
2 - Group projects and presentations ¿ 20%
3 - Individual project report ¿ 50%

Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Design surveys and experiments to assess the health of marine ecosystems
  2. Recognise the signs of anthropogenic and environmenal stressors on coral reefs
  3. Have a greater understanding of the socio-cultural relationship of local communities with the marine environment
  4. Have a greater understanding of how ecotourism can impact upon local marine communities
  5. Be able to develop and demonstrate leadership and participation in group research, discussions, and team based oral presentations.
Reading List
¿ Cagua E.F., et al. (2014) Whale shark economics: a valuation of wildlife tourism in South Ari Atoll, Maldives. PeerJ 25165629
¿ Doiron S. & Weissenberger S. (2014) Sustainable dive tourism: Social and environmental impacts ¿ The case of Roatan, Honduras. Tourism Management Perspectives 10 19-26
¿ Donner, S. D., & Webber, S. (2014). Obstacles to climate change adaptation decisions: a case study of sea-level rise and coastal protection measures in Kiribati. Sustainability Science, 9(3), 331-345.
¿ Forest N. (2008) Assessment of coastal regulations and implementation: Case study of Roatán, bay islands, Honduras. Coastal Management 26 125-155
¿ Hughes et al. 2017. Global warming and recurrent mass bleaching of corals. Nature 543:373-377.
¿ Jaleel, 2013. Ocean and Coastal Management, The status of the coral reefs and the management approaches: The case of the Maldives. Vol 82, 104-118.
¿ Perry CT et al. Loss of coral reef growth capacity to track future increases in sea level. Nature volume 558, pages 396-400 (2018)
¿ Thornton, T. F., & Scheer, A. M. (2012). Collaborative engagement of local and traditional knowledge and science in marine environments: a review. Ecology and Society, 17(3), 8.
¿ Yamamoto and Esteban, 2010. Ocean and Coastal Management, Vanishing Island States and sovereignty. Vol 53, pp 1-9.
¿ Zubair et al, 2011. Tourism Management. Not quite paradise: Inadequacies of environmental impact assessment in the Maldives. Vol 32 (2011) 225-234
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will acquire and develop the following transferable skills:
1. Assessment of typical coastal marine nearshore settings at land-sea interface
2. To participate in individual and team activities toward the completion of assignments and goals.
3. Critical thinking with regard to the evaluation of sources of information, the feasibility of management options and interpretation of outcomes.
Additional Class Delivery Information Field course locations may change for a variety of reasons, including security risks, increased costs or inability to access field locations. Any changes to the main destination of the field course will be announced as soon as possible.
KeywordsCorals,marine reserve,surveys,coastal marine habitats,quantitative skills
Course organiserDr Sebastian Hennige
Tel: (0131 6)50 5410
Course secretaryMs Kathryn Will
Tel: (0131 6)50 2624
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