Module title: Habitat Assessment and GIS

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

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

An appropriate level of skill in identifying organisms to species level

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:

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