Undergraduate Course: Professional Skills in Ecological and Environmental Sciences (ECSC10032)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||Professional Skills in Ecological and Environmental Sciences is an honours course which aims to equip students with a set of transferable skills needed to become a successful ecologist or environmental scientist.
This course will help to prepare students to be practicing ecologists and environmental scientists capable of executing good scientific practice and effectively communicating science to a range of academic, professional and lay audiences. It will cover diverse topics from scientific writing and presentation to critical thinking and data analysis. In addition, the course covers topics that should help you to deliver an outstanding honours project. The continuous assessment for the course will take the form of a critical appraisal of an ecological/environmental science paper in the form of a briefing for policy makers, a presentation of your planned dissertation research, and demonstrated skill in conducting data analysis.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
|Additional Costs|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 18,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 3,
Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 9,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Written Exam: 0%, Course Work: 100%, Practical Exam: 0%.
Critical thinking assignment (40%)
At the session in Week 2 you will be provided with a choice of two recent ecological/environmental science papers. You will be asked to read one of the papers, critically assess its scientific merits, and write a clear and concise account of your findings as a briefing statement for the Scottish Government. Your report should be submitted online to Learn by 12 noon on Thursday, Week 5.
Presentation of dissertation plan (20%)
During the session in Week 7 you will be asked to present a short summary of your dissertation plan to the class. Your slides should be submitted online to Learn by 12 noon on Thursday, Week 7.
Statistical analysis assignment (40%)
At the session in Week 8 students will receive a statistical analysis exercise to be conducted using the R Statistical Software and to apply the scientific method to investigate ecological questions. This should be submitted online to Learn by 12 noon on Thursday, Week 11.
||Assessment and Feedback information
http://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/taughtassessmentregulations.pdf. All details related to extensions procedures and late penalties can be found in the School of GeoSciences General Information Handbook.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Effectively plan and design ecological and environmental science research.
- Execute cutting edge statistical analyses and visualise data and results.
- Give a formal presentation on a specialised topic to informed audiences.
- Communicate with your peers, senior colleagues and specialists through the effective use of scientific, professional level writing and oratory.
|R Core Team (2014) An Introduction to R. Available at http://www.r-project.org/ under manuals (documentation).|
Gardener M (2011) Statistics for Ecologists Using R and Excel: Data Collection, Exploration, Analysis and Presentation, Pelagic Publishing. UK. [ebook and hard copy from the university library]
Emden J Van (2001) Effective communication for science and technology. Palgrave, New York.
Ford ED (2000) Scientific method for ecological research. CUP Cambridge
Gotelli NJ & Ellison AM (2013) A primer of ecological statistics. Sinauer Associates Inc, Sunderland, USA.
O'Connor M (1991) Writing successfully in Science. Chapman & Hall, London.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Keywords||ECSC10017 Prof Skills in EES
|Course organiser||Dr Aidan Keane
Tel: (01316)50 5094
|Course secretary||Mrs Nicola Clark
Tel: (0131 6)50 4842