AP2A59-Nature Conservation

Module Provider: Agriculture
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:5
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
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:

Aims:
This module aims to provide an understanding of the principles and practice of nature conservation, from the underlying ecological principles, through to the setting of priorities and the identification of appropriate management strategies. The module will develop awareness and understanding of factors and influences that need to be taken into account in management for conservation and develop the ability to write management plans. In addition, the students will gain practical experience of habitat protection and restoration.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:
- Describe the reasons for biodiversity loss and the principle motivations for nature conservation
- Describe the process of conservation planning, including assessment of biodiversity, setting priorities, monitoring and diagnosis
- Describe the process of management planning
- Write a management plan for specific features on a nature reserve
- Describe at least one major habitat and its management and restoration
- Understand the approaches to species conservation and the importance of conservation genetic diversity
- Explain theories of succession and competitive exclusion and their relevance to habitat management
- Understand the concepts of island biogeography and metapopulation dynamics and their relevance to landscape-level approaches to conservation
- Explain how habitats are protected, and describe the principal sources of legal and fiscal support for habitat protection in the UK
- Understand the roles of the various organisations involved in nature conservation in the UK

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:
This module is designed to develop an understanding of the principles and practice of habitat conservation.
The Lecture Content covers:
- Motivations and rationale for nature conservation
- Assessment of biodiversity and setting priorities for conservation
- Monitoring and diagnosis of factors affecting species of conservation concern
- Management planning for sites of conservation importance
- Species-focussed approaches to conservation and role of genetic diversity
- Ecological science and its application to habitat management
- Landscape-level considerations, habitat restoration and creation
- Habitat protection in the UK, and its legal and fiscal support
- Role of organisations involved in nature conservation

The Practical Content covers:
- Group exercise on applying criteria for conservation site selection using ecological data
- Study visit to a local nature reserve, followed by preparation and presentation of a management plan

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module will include lectures, guest speakers, an exercise on setting conservation priorities, a project on developing a management plan for a conservation site / nature reserve, and a study visit to a restoration project.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 16
Practicals classes and workshops 2
External visits 4
Guided independent study 78
       
Total hours by term 100.00
       
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 40
Oral assessment and presentation 10

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:
    One hour

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August/September only.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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