2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue
BLGY3247 Advanced Topics in Conservation Science
20 creditsClass Size: 100
Module manager: Dr Hannah Dugdale
Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable
Year running 2019/20
Pre-requisite qualificationsSchool of Earth and Environment students are expected to have passed SOEE1180 and SOEE2690.
Students on programmes parented by other Schools are expected to have passed BLGY2144.
|BLGY2144||Population and Community Ecology|
|SOEE1180||Environment and Ecology|
Module replacesBLGY3241 Conservation Biology (10 credits)
This module is not approved as a discovery module
ObjectivesThe aims of this module are as follows:
- To develop a critical understanding of current theories and empirical examples in conservation science;
- To discuss the biological principles that underpin the observed diversity and distribution of organisms on the planet;
- To discuss the current patterns and causes of biodiversity loss and the consequences of this loss to ecosystem functioning and services, with particular emphasis on climate change related impacts;
- To show how ecological theory informs conservation theory and how this theory is put into practice;
- To illustrate how conservation practice works, or fails to work, in the real world through discussion of a diverse range of case studies;
- To introduce theory and concepts in environmental decision science and conservation planning.
By the end of the module, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of:
- current theories and empirical examples in conservation science;
- mechanisms underlying global patterns in the distribution of animals and plants, with a particular focus on species responses to climate change;
- primary mechanisms responsible for biodiversity loss in both theoretical and practical terms;
- consequences of this loss to ecosystem functioning and services;
- how ecological theory can inform conservation in theory and practice;
- how environmental management decisions are made and implemented, including a basic skill set in the world’s most widely used conservation planning software Marxan.
Within this framework students will develop skills more broadly in:
- critical thinking and analysis with respect to contemporary scientific papers/concepts, which is allied to scientific writing and synthesis of conceptual material from different sources
- experimental design, data handling and analysis
The course provides an overview of conservation science theory and key conservation issues, such as:
- Global patterns of biodiversity
- The meaning and value of biodiversity
- The principle threats to biodiversity
- Rarity, extinction processes, and the consequences of losses in biodiversity
- Metapopulation ecology
- Species-area relationships
- Island biogeography theory
- Extinction debt
- Inbreeding depression
- Inbreeding and extinction
- Genetic identification and monitoring
- Conservation breeding and restoration
- Basic concepts in environmental decision science
- Spatial conservation planning
- Quantitative methods in conservation science.
Students will develop skills in:
Research: students will gain an understanding of recent developments in conservation science theory and how this theory has been applied in practical conservation.
Conservation planning: students will conduct a practical in spatial planning, gaining skills in problem solving.
Communicating science: students will learn how to simplify conservation research, and communicate this through the production of a podcast.
Conservation management: students will learn how to translate ecological research papers into conservation management problems / approaches through the production of a report.
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Private study hours||175.00|
|Total Contact hours||25.00|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||200.00|
Private study10 hours preparing for the practical including background reading that will be included in the assessment at the end of the practical
30 hours researching and creating a ‘Conservation Evidence’ report on how an ecology research paper can be translated into conservation management problems/ approaches
30 hours researching and preparing a group presentation in the form of a podcast
105 hours independent study time around the lectures (5 hr per lecture)
Opportunities for Formative FeedbackThree pieces of course work will be used to monitor student progress: an individual assessment on the practical lab (10%), a group report on conservation management (20%), and a group presentation (20%). Students will also receive feedback on these pieces of work.
The lab session involves experimental design and the write up involves analysis and interpretation of the data as well as a formal write up. Students will receive generic feedback on their practical report via the VLE and individual comments on the script. There will be a feedback session, which the students may attend to discuss their work.
Students will receive feedback from staff on their podcast, and will also receive peer feedback.
Methods of assessment
|Assessment type||Notes||% of formal assessment|
|Oral Presentation||Group literature research and podcast||20.00|
|Group Project||Group production of a Conservation Evidence report||20.00|
|Practical||Attendance at the practical, successful completion of the practical and assessment through a multiple choice online test||10.00|
|Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)||50.00|
August resit not available for practical which uses class data or presentation which involves group work. Alternative forms of assessment will be set.
|Exam type||Exam duration||% of formal assessment|
|Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc) (S2)||2 hr||50.00|
|Total percentage (Assessment Exams)||50.00|
Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated
Reading listThe reading list is available from the Library website
Last updated: 30/07/2019
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