Core Module Information
Module title: Terrestrial Field Ecology

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

Module code: ENV09110
Module leader: Mark Huxham
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: LIFE SCIENCES

Collection and presentation of data, showing differences and relationships. Writing of scientific reports using standard format and supported with app

Description of module content:

This module will introduce you to terrestrial fieldwork, where you will apply standard ecological sampling techniques in a variety of habitats and with different terrestrial groups, particularly insects and birds. Most of the work that you will do is practical and occurs during a residential field course. You will learn the basic taxonomy and field recognition of insects and birds, and you will apply principles of survey design and hypothesis testing to solving simple ecological questions, using appropriate statistical tests.
In addition to developing your field and identification skills, the module supports you in scientific communication – written and oral – and in personal reflection on your professional development. We discuss the ethics of fieldwork and sampling and look at our carbon footprint in the context of fieldwork abroad.

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 experiments, 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.

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, 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:
This is a ‘hands-on’ applied module, taught mostly during a 7 day residential field course in Portugal, with supplementary lectures and workshops in Scotland. Before departure you will discuss and evaluate different options for offsetting the carbon damage of our travel, and I expect the class to commit to the option we conclude is best (LO 4). This confronts us with the key environmental dilemma involved in international travel and research – the carbon pollution that is generally caused. During field work you will work individually and in small groups, choosing and designing your own ecological study, analysing and orally presenting your results during the field course (Los 1, 2, 5). You keep a reflective diary on the development of your scientific and transferable skills, including your experiences of group work, oral presentation and time management. This is designed to help you 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 you have a one to one interview based on your personal performance and report (LO 5).

Formative Assessment:
There are two formative assessments in the module – you should complete them, but they do not carry marks; rather they are opportunities for you to receive feedback and feedforward to help with the summative assessments.
The Ethical Analysis involves scientific writing and the presentation of data – after submitting this in week 5 you will receive feedback on that to help with the project report.
Following submission of your reflective diaries (week 7), and the formative group presentation during the field week (week 7), you will have a one-to-one interview that will provide feedback on your performance and feedforward for the final assessed interview.

Summative Assessment:
A short class test examines taxonomy (LO3). An individual written project report assesses scientific writing and analysis. Material in the report, along with reflection on personal skills, is further examined in a short 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

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Discussion/Participation 35 1 & 5 11 HOURS= 0.25
Class Test 15 3 7 HOURS= 0.30
Project - Written 50 2 & 4 9 , WORDS= 2000
Component 1 subtotal: 50
Component 2 subtotal: 50
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Terrestrial Field Ecology