GVMQAD-Quantitative Analysis of Environmental Data

Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Joanna Clark

Email: j.m.clark@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
Quantitative data analysis is essential for Environmental Science. These practical skills increase our understanding of natural environmental processes and the impact of human activity on the environment (e.g. pollution and land management) through the analysis of data collected during practical investigations. This module will provide an overview of commonly used statistical and graphical techniques for environmental data analysis. Students will have the opportunity to design simple experiments, collect and analyse their own data, as well as analyse real data sets provided from different environmental research studies.

Aims:
To learn how to analyse environmental data by applying and interpreting the outputs from a range of classic and modern statistical methods using Minitab and ArcGIS

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module students should be able to:
• Formulate a range of hypotheses and identify the appropriate statistical methods to test these
• Use graphical tools for preliminary data analysis
• Apply a range of statistical tests, demonstrating that the assumptions of each test are satisfied
• Interpret the outputs from statistical tests
• Explain the importance of sound research design and sample collection to ensure data are reliable and suitable for the statistical test required

Additional outcomes:
The course will develop general computing skills, particularly the use of Excel, Minitab and ArcGIS.

Outline content:
Content covered includes:
Data entry and basic data handling
Descriptive statistics
Graphs
Tests for differences between two groups (e.g. t-test)
Tests for differences between more than two groups (ANOVA)
Regression
Experimental Design
Sampling

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching will be through a combination of workshops and computer practicals (6 x 4 hours including break), lab class (1 x 4 hour) and field classes (2 x 5 hours). Split between lectures, practicals and field will vary between weeks depending on the topic. Total contact hours will be 3-4 hours per week. Methods will be introduced and discussed in lectures and practiced during practicals where students will collect and analyse their own data. Students will have the chance to test their understanding and gain instant feedback through a series of on-line multiple choice tests. A single piece of coursework will provide an additional opportunity to put the methods learnt into practice using a case-study of real environmental data analysis.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Practicals classes and workshops 28
Fieldwork 10
Guided independent study 62
       
Total hours by term 100.00
       
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 100

Other information on summative assessment:
3000 word (max) report presenting analysis of real environmental data provided by a national monitoring network. The report will be presented in the style of a piece of consultancy work for an external client.

Formative assessment methods:
On-line multiple choice tests and peer evaluations

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
An overall mark of 50%

Reassessment arrangements:
Resubmission of the report in August

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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