Module title: Habitat Assessment and GIS

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

Module code: ENV09108
Module leader: Iain Adderton
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: Animal and Plant Science

An appropriate level of skill in identifying organisms to species level

2019/0, Trimester 1, FACE-TO-FACE,
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: SIGHTHILL
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Jay Mackinnon
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Lectures, guided reading and online learning materials will introduce core concepts (LO1-3). Habitat survey will be practised in the field during visits to a range of local sites (LO1). Computer practical's and online learning packages will introduce techniques for the collation, interrogation, interpretation and presentation of spatial data (LO2&3). Interpretation and reporting of data is supported by tutorials (LO1-3). Exercises completed during classes and tutorials give regular opportunities for formative verbal feedback.

Formative Assessment:
Formative feedback will be provided on one selected class exercise (i.e. one portfolio entry) in week 6. A tutorial incorporating peer-review of written work (week 11) will help you to understand the criteria for good quality work.

Summative Assessment:
Throughout the module you will work on a series of class exercises and homework exercises. A specified set of exercises (begun in computer labs and tutorials and completed in your own time) comprise a portfolio of your habitat assessment and GIS work which will be assessed at the end of the module. Hence, you will be working on the portfolio assessment in classes and after each class throughout the module. Entries in the portfolio will include: reports of your field survey findings; maps produced by you in GIS software; written explanation of the biodiversity value of sites based on the available evidence.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 11
Face To Face Tutorial 3
Face To Face Fieldwork 16
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 9
Independent Learning Guided independent study 161
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Portfolio 100 1,2 & 3 14/15 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 2500
Component 1 subtotal: 100
Component 2 subtotal: 0
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

In this module you will develop practical skills in habitat assessment through fieldwork and develop practical skills in data manipulation using geographic information systems (GIS) software.
You will become familiar with habitat classification schemes for freshwater, marine and terrestrial habitats and practice these in the field. You will report the findings of field surveys and other data-gathering exercises for habitat assessment and interpret the reports of others. Ordnance Survey (OS) maps and global positioning systems (GPS) will help you to integrate field and desk studies, plan field surveys, navigate in the field and collect spatially-referenced data.
You will explore a range of data sources to assess the habitats and species present in the local area and more widely; understand the benefits and limitations of these datasets and contribute your own data to national databases.
Developing expertise in GIS will enable you to retrieve previously-collected datasets and overlay these on a base map; identify areas with a high frequency of features of conservation interest; examine location of habitat features in relation to dispersal distance of organisms; upload information from GPS handsets or apps to display spatial data collected in the field; create a spatially-referenced grid for systematic or random sampling and export sample coordinates to a GPS handset.
You will examine criteria for habitat suitability for selected groups of organisms, strategies for monitoring habitats in protected areas and the law protecting habitats and areas of special conservation interest.

Learning Outcomes for module:

LO1: Implement habitat surveys of terrestrial, marine and freshwater habitats and report your findings.
LO2: Collate, interrogate and summarise spatial data.
LO3: Interpret the conservation value of a site from a range of data sources.

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Contact your module leader