BI2BDFC-Biodiversity Field course

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:5
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites: The field trip must be undertaken during the September preceding the year in which the module is to count. We would recommend that students choosing this module had taken at least one module from the list below BI1EG1 (Recommended) BI1EAB1 (Recommended) BI1EC2 (Recommended)
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Alejandra Perotti

Email: M.A.Perotti@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Introduce the students to the diversity and identification of living organisms, to understand that diversity as a living puzzle: how so many different forms can interact with each other, or with the environment, and how humans impact on their habitat and environment. This is a course for those interested in whole organism biology, where plants, animals and fungi are all a functional part of the same system of study.


Aims:

Introduce the students to the diversity and identification of living organisms, to understand that diversity as a living puzzle: how so many different forms can interact with each other, or with the environment, and how humans impact on their habitat and environment. This is a course for those interested in whole organism biology, where plants, animals and fungi are all a functional part of the same system of study.


Assessable learning outcomes:

Fieldwork:




  • Find, collect and rear/preserve organisms.

  • Identify plants and animals to the Family level; particularly (not exclusive) within angiosperms and invertebrates. Use of catalogues and identification keys.

  • Observe and analyse inter-kingdom and within-kingdom biological interactions; for example, which pollinator visits a particular plant, why?; or which the particular prey of a dominant predator is; etc.

  • Observe and analyse the behaviour of a particular species/population in situ (in its own environment); basics on experimental design

  • Be up to date with conservation matters on the biodiversity of varied/disparate regions.


Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

This is a field course that will take place in Spain, in the coastal area of Andalusia, close to Trafalgar, in the town of Zahara de los Atunes. The course is planned for September, before Autumn term.

The first few days of the course will involve morning and early afternoon walks to find and sample organisms, principally on the local beach and hills surrounding the town, most of which are local natural reserves. During the afternoons and evenings further identification and analysis of the material will be performed in the lab with guidance from staff.

The following days will involve visits to other environments, such as protected parks, reached by coach trips and walks. The diversity found in these parks is different to that in Zahara. Therefore, other fauna and flora will be identified and observed.

The final part of the course will be dedicated to research projects. The projects will be performed by pairs of students, and each group will give a short presentation of the outcomes of their research during the final seminar.

The students will also learn details on the local customs as well as ancient traditions in relation to conservation of flora and fauna and the use of natural resources.


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

This course involves intense fieldwork activity receiving lectures during fieldwork and in the lab. Everyday fieldwork is an active, intense practical activity.

The initial learning outcomes on practical skills on ecology and taxonomy will be assessed by a test around the middle of the course period. The research project fieldwork will be performed in the surroundings of Zahara and will be supervised by the instructors/demonstrators through occasional field visits and through evening lab sessions. Each pair of students will write a report on the results and analyses of their work. The report will be presented in a 10-15 min PPT during the final seminar.

Recommended literature will be available for the students during the coursework.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Project Supervision 20
Practicals classes and workshops 40
Fieldwork 80
Guided independent study: 50
       
Total hours by term 200
       
Total hours for module

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 30
Oral assessment and presentation 20
Practical skills assessment 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

The practical report and powerpoint slides will be submitted electronically to Blackboard and their submission time recorded automatically there.  The seminars are presented live and must be presented in the designated time slot.



Other information on summative assessment:

In course test 50%

Project report (including PPT presentation) 50%


Formative assessment methods:

Formative assessment occurs during the field work where students might be asked to comment on the identity or ecology of a species, through feedback in lab workshops, seminars, practicals,  and during project supervision.  Students receive their formative feedback and learn while performing the various field and lab activities.


Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    An overall mark of 40%.


    Reassessment arrangements:

    Re-examination in Autumn


    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Aproximately £800.00.


    Last updated: 8 April 2019

    THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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