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2017/18 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

BLGY5153M African Field Ecology

20 creditsClass Size: 36

Module manager: Dr Steven Sait
Email: s.m.sait@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

Module replaces

BLGY5150M

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This field course aims to provide practical, first-hand experience of field research in Africa, with a focus on ecological, conservation and wildlife management challenges in a semi-arid savannah environment. The course will be based primarily around small group projects that are of ecological or conservation relevance to the region. This will reinforce and broaden knowledge and understanding of the area and build upon aspects of the ecological training that has been received at Leeds.

Objectives

Students carry out group projects that involve terrestrial ecology techniques and which illustrate a range of ecological concepts.

Familiarity with the methods used to monitor populations, habitat preferences and distributions, which are important for conservation management, will be developed. The field course will build on the skills and knowledge base acquired during the MSc teaching year.

Some of the methods discussed in lecture modules may be practiced and used in projects to address some fundamental ecological and conservation questions.

Students will become familiar with a range of ecological approaches and techniques, gain an appreciation of the major practical and biological issues of conservation and develop the skills necessary to identify the more common local species of flora and fauna.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students will be able to:
- Plan and conduct an ecological and/or conservation field study in a semi-arid savannah African habitat
- Understand the principles and practices of reserve management in a semi-arid savannah African habitat
- Identify and study a range of African plants and animals
- Collect, analyse, interpret and present research data of ecological and conservation interest.

Skills outcomes
Students will be able to develop team working skills, practical field experience, designing and carrying out field experiments, awareness of health and safety in the field.


Syllabus

This field course aims to provide practical, first-hand experience of field research in Africa, with a focus on ecological, conservation and wildlife management challenges in a semi-arid savannah environment.

Students will plan and carry out a research project that addresses an ecological or conservation question. They will carry out this project safely and effectively, collecting data in a clearly structured and well-documented form. They will analyse and interpret the data making full use of statistical software, explaining methods and choice of tests.

Students will consider the research project in light of other relevant studies and its broader ecological and conservation significance. Additionally, students will prepare and present a presentation that is of ecological or conservation relevance to the location of the field course and the broader savannah region.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Fieldwork148.00112.00
Private study hours88.00
Total Contact hours112.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students should note that the following information is for guidance only. The actual time required for the various elements will vary between students.
- Preparation for the field course: 8 hours
- Preparation of seminars before field course: 20 hours
- Preparation of project report during the field course: 20 hours
- Completion of project report after the field course: 40 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Prepare a report of your project which should be no longer than 3000 words and not exceed a combined maximum of 6 figures and tables. The structure should take the form of a scientific paper and comprise an Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion and References;
- oral presentation;
- Planned and researched a project that addresses an ecological or conservation question. Carried out this project safely and effectively, collecting data in a clearly structured and well-documented form. Analysed and interpreted your data making full use of statistical software, explaining your methods and choice of tests. Considered your research project in light of other relevant studies and its broader ecological and conservation significance.

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Presentation1 x 20 minute presentation30.00
Report3,000 word report written during and after the field course60.00
Fieldworkperformance during the course10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 04/09/2017

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