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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 focused on marine systems in tropical (coral reef) settings. We will visit contrasting habitats to learn about the pressures on them, and you will collect and interpret data to assess the state, opportunities, and threats to these habitats and associated communities. This will include ecological surveys, environmental observations, and interviews with key stakeholders. In order to get the most out of the fieldtrip, 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. This will be covered through the 'Corals in a Changing Ocean Course' and will be explored more in the pre-trip lectures, assignments and field trip to a UK coastal location.

This course is available to all PGT students and UG students in the final year of their degree
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 locations we will be visiting, the pressures on them (socio and environmental), and how we will be assessing these. This will be complemented by a pre-trip report and a field trip to a UK coastal location.

2. On site lectures and activities: There will be daily briefings by academic staff, followed by activities such as habitat ecological surveys, data interrogation and interviews.

3. Research projects and presentations: Following lectures and exposure to a variety of topics and techniques, you will select a topic to do a short project on, including designing your research, undertaking it, and preparing a presentation on it.

4. Field notebooks and report: During the course, you will learn to keep a field notebook, a crucial part of any research expedition which will be crucial in forming your final report.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
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% due week 5
2 - Group projects and presentations 20%
3 - Individual project report 50%- due in May

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 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.

These skills and attributes are well-aligned with those developed throughout the Marine Systems and Policies MSc programme, as well as other Masters and UG programmes from which students may choose this course.
Additional Class Delivery Information Field course locations may change for a variety of reasons, including COVID, 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 secretaryMrs Lauren Blackman
Tel: (0131 6)50 2624
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