Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.
This module provides an opportunity to develop some of the practical skills that form an integral part of applied ecology. Students will learn techniques for mapping habitats and vegetation, as well as a range of methods for surveying different faunal taxonomic groups (invertebrates, mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians). The module will also cover the fundamental principles of biological survey design, data collection, analysis and modelling.
This module will have a practical focus, with theoretical sessions supported a substantial element of fieldwork, laboratory work and workshop activities. Students will learn how to design and implement biological surveys to collect appropriate and meaningful data. This will include consideration of sample strategy, census methods and biological indices. These principles will then be applied to surveying plants, vertebrates and invertebrates to collect data on species presence and abundance using industry-standard techniques and protocols. Improving species identification will be a key focus and students will gain experience in using biological keys. Habitat classification and use of indicator species and biological proxies will also be covered. Students will also be taught how to manipulate, analyse and model field data.
A student passing this module should be able to: 1. Describe and apply a range of methods used to survey different habitats and taxonomic groups; as well as being able to critically discuss the relative advantages, disadvantages and potential biases of each 2. Demonstrate an advanced level of accuracy in identifying species in specific taxonomic groups using biological keys 3. Design a suitable survey protocol to collect appropriate ecological data to answer a specific brief 4. Manipulate, analyse and model field data to draw meaningful conclusions about ecological condition and species trends at a given site
Scheduled Contact Hours: 60 Independent Learning Hours: 240
A course map contains a list of the individual study units, called modules, that you study to complete your course. Some modules are compulsory, but you can sometimes choose modules outside your core area of study which interest you.
A module is a self-contained, individual unit of study. The module descriptor provides various details about the module including who the module tutor is, what you will be studying, how you will be assessed and what you will have learned once you have completed the module.
Course maps and module descriptors from previous years can be found in the Course Resources Archive.
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