AP2AE40-Methods in Ecology and Environmental Management

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:5
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites: AP2SA2 Study Abroad
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Simon Mortimer

Email: s.r.mortimer@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This module is designed to allow the development of skills necessary to gather, interpret and present information about the natural environment. It provides students with an opportunity to design and implement an ecological field experiment, to carry out ecological survey work and to develop skills in statistical analysis.



Study Abroad students should ensure that they are able to study GIS application in their study abroad institution or take module GV2GIS Geographic Information Systems at Reading before commencing the study abroad placement.


Aims:

The module aims to develop students’ scientific skills through practical experience of methods used in ecology and environmental management. It covers the stages of the scientific method: literature review, hypothesis generation, experimental design, sampling methodologies, data collection, data presentation, statistical analysis, and report writing. It also introduces students to a range of field survey methods.


Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module students will be able to:

- Design and undertake ecological field experiments and monitoring in the natural environment

- Collate and statistically analyse a range of types of environmental data. 

- Summarise and effectively communicate the results and conclusions of research



 


Additional outcomes:

Students develop their teamwork skills as they work together on a group experimental field project spanning the autumn and spring terms. The module is designed to deliver the skills necessary to undertake independent scientific research, whether through experimentation or survey approaches, so students should be able to conduct fieldwork in a professional and safe manner.


Outline content:

- The scientific method, the nature of data, and experimental design

- Reading and interpreting scientific literature 

- Group work to design and undertake an ecological field experiment

- Biodiversity and habitat survey methodologies

- Data presentation and the principles of statistical analysis 

- Presenting scientific findings (report writing, presentations)

- Field visits to environmental organisations 


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module uses a variety of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, computer practicals, laboratory practicals and field visits. Students will work in small groups and encouraged to design and evaluate their own experiments and surveys with help from tutors.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 6
Seminars 2
Practicals classes and workshops 8
Fieldwork 8
External visits 4
Guided independent study 72
       
Total hours by term 100.00
       
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:

    A mark of 40% overall.


    Reassessment arrangements:

    By re-examination.


    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 29 September 2017

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