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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE5090M Advanced Environmental Science Field and Research Skills

15 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Dr Ruza Ivanovic

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is mutually exclusive with

SOEE3291Atmospheric Sci Field Skills
SOEE3801Fieldwork and tutorials 3

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module will train students in advanced practical environmental field skills and their expert application in research and industry. It involves both a field course and a component of independent research that allows the students to examine the observations made in the field in further depth, integrate their findings with current state of the art knowledge, and produce verbal and written reports on their work. The field course will take place over several days and will conclude with a capstone team research project. Out of the field, students will attend a series of tutorials to support the design of their independent research projects on a topic of their choice, combining their primary data (collected during the field trip) with published literature in order to test scientific hypothesis and draw original conclusions.This programme accepts MResCAS, CCEP and Natural Science students.


On completion of this module, students will be familiar with research techniques used in meteorology, atmospheric physics, chemistry, biodiversity and ecology. Measurement techniques will have been practiced extensively in the field. A wide variety of in situ and remote sensing approaches will have been used to gather physical, chemical and ecological data . Data collected in the field will have been analysed using a variety of computer-based and analogue methods. Data will have been interpreted in order to draw conclusions concerning the natural structure of the atmosphere, both chemically and physically, and ecological diversity. The expert, in-field training will culminate in one group and one independent research project. Existing literature will be interrogated to integrate project findings with current state of the art knowledge.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will be able to:
-Independently research, synthesise and critically analyse existing literature
-Apply expert practical skills and knowledge to measure environmental variables using research- and industry-standard instrumentation, and evaluate implicit error/uncertainty within those measurements
-Interrogate primary data to draw robust conclusions and integrate findings with existing state of the art knowledge
-Create clear oral and written presentations, including bespoke graphics, to communicate research findings


This module involves a residential fieldcourse (with a further 2 days travelling). Students will study a selection of atmospheric and ecological science topics taken from :

1. Practical weather forecasting using synoptic charts and other data.
2. Investigation of atmospheric stability, flow profiles, energy profiles, energy balance and turbulence in the surface layer.
3. Profiling of the atmosphere using radiosondes and surface measurements.
4. Examining energy balance processes and the carbon cycle
5. Profiling local ecology and links to environmental stressors

Interpretation and inter-connection of the above activities will be achieved through collection of synoptic meteorological and ecological data from the internet.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours85.00
Total Contact hours65.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

85 hours of self-directed study, background reading, data analysis, preparing individual oral presentation and individual written report.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

From working with tutor in the field, presentations in the field and in tutorials.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportFinal written report on individual project100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 30/06/2021 16:25:49


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