Module title: Applied Terrestrial Ecology

SCQF level: 09:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: ENV09101
Module leader: Mark Huxham
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: Animal and Plant Science
Prerequisites


2018/9, Trimester 2, Face-to-Face, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Face-to-Face
Location of delivery: SIGHTHILL
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Mark Huxham
Module Organiser:


Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Learning & teaching methods including their alignment to LOs
This is a 'hands-on' applied module, taught mostly during a 7 day residential field course in Portugal, with supplementary field trips and lectures in Scotland. Before departure students discuss and evaluate different options for offsetting the carbon damage of their travel, and are expected to commit to the option they conclude is best (LO4). This confronts participants with the key environmental dilemma involved in international travel and research. Students work individually and in small groups during field work, choosing and designing their own ecological study, analysing and orally presenting their results during the field course (LO1,2,5). Students keep a reflective diary on the development of their scientific and transferable skills, including their experience of group work, oral presentation and time management, which is designed to help in understanding what key scientific, research and employability skills are being developed (LO5). After returning to Scotland, further data analysis is supported by practical sessions, and students are required to undergo an interview OR a written test based on their personal performance and report (students are given a choice about the mode of assessment) (LO5).


Formative Assessment:
There is formative assessment of initial research analyses and reflective diaries, the latter focusing on how students can build on strengths and correct weaknesses and involving a formative one to one interview.

Summative Assessment:
A class test examines taxonomy (LO4). Oral communication skills are assessed during a group presentation. An individual written project report assesses scientific writing and analysis and research ethics. Material in the report, along with reflection on personal skills, is further examined in an individual oral interview.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 58
Face To Face Lecture 4
Online Guided independent study 4
Independent Learning Guided independent study 134
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200


Assessment
Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Discussion/Participation 30 2,3,4,5 11 HOURS= 0.15, WORDS= 0
Oral Presentation 20 1,2,5 7 HOURS= 0.20, WORDS= 0
Class Test 20 3 8 HOURS= 0.30, WORDS= 0
Report 30 2,5 10 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 1800
Component 1 subtotal: 50
Component 2 subtotal: 50
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

Field surveying of invertebrates and birds, including basic taxonomy and field recognition. Design of field studies, and analysis and presentation of data, including the use of appropriate statistical tests. Evaluation of ethics of field work - particularly of flying - and of methods of carbon offsetting. Self reflection on development of scientific and transferable skills, and practice at oral presentations and one to one interviews.

Learning Outcomes for module:

LO1: Apply a range of simple practical methods to study animal & plant biology in the field.
LO2: Formulate ecological hypotheses, design and implement simple field surveys, and analyse field data using appropriate statistical techniques.
LO3: Demonstrate basic taxonomic knowledge of key terrestrial groups, particularly insects and birds.
LO4: Evaluate different approaches to carbon offsetting.
LO5: Effectively communicate scientific findings and personal development orally and in writing.

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:

Core - CHALMERS N. AND PARKER, P. (1989) THE OU PROJECT GUIDE. FIELDWORK AND STATISTICS FOR ECOLOGICAL PROJECTS. 2ND EDITION.: FIELD STUDIES COUNCIL, HENRY LING, DORCHESTER, 2nd ed.
Recommended - FOWLER, J., COHEN, L. AND JARVIS, P. (1998) PRACTICAL STATISTICS FOR FIELD BIOLOGY: WILEY, 2nd ed.
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