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Department of Biology & Biochemistry, Unit Catalogue 2011/12

BB30168: International field course: experimental field ecology

Click here for further information Credits: 6
Click here for further information Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Click here for further information Period: Semester 1
Click here for further information Assessment: CW 100%
Click here for further information Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Click here for further information Requisites: Before taking this unit you must take BB20041
Click here for further information Description: (This unit will take place shortly before the start of the academic year)
To offer students direct experience of species-rich biological systems beyond the UK, thereby providing a broad real-world context to their studies and improve their employability. Although the emphasis will be on designing and executing experiments in the field, the students will also have the opportunity to work in diverse ecosystems such as tropical rain forests, deserts, bushveld, etc. Specifically, they design and perform hypothesis-driven science: a field-based experimental test of evolution, behaviour and ecology.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this course the student should be able to:
* explain how evolutionary/ecological theory is developed and supported by data collected from natural systems;
* explain the need for (and benefits of) detailed planning and group cooperation in relation to undertaking biological fieldwork outside the UK;
* describe the wider world contexts in which their biological knowledge is founded;
* design and implement a short field-based investigation that will contribute to their understanding conservation biology;
* use statistical methods to analyse their data and produce a detailed Investigative Report.

Learning and studying T/F/A, Written communication T/F/A, Oral communication T/F/A, Numeracy & computation T/F/A, Problem solving T/F, Information handling & retrieval T/F/A, Working independently T/F, Career preparation T/F.

Individually and as part of the group, students will:
* Plan, fund-raise and implement travel to study site.
* Establish the demesne of the study site and use GPS to plot a basic map of the key areas.
* Undertake a general descriptive investigation of the biome and use source material to produce preliminary report on its key structural and biological features.
* Experience a broad range of field methods for obtaining different classes of information from the biome.
* Design, plan and discuss a field-based experiment within the biome.
* Archive, manage, manipulate and analyse field data.
* Make a presentation of the results of the field study during the Course.
* Produce a report of the field study in a form suitable for scientific publication.
Click here for further informationProgramme availability:

BB30168 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Biology & Biochemistry
  • USBB-AFB03 : BSc (hons) Biology (Full-time) - Year 3
  • USBB-AKB07 : BSc (hons) Biology with Professional Placement (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4

NB. Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.