2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue
BLGY3247 Advanced Topics in Conservation Science
20 creditsClass Size: 100
Module manager: Dr Steve Sait
Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable
Year running 2022/23
Pre-requisite qualificationsSchool of Earth and Environment students are expected to have passed SOEE1181 and SOEE2690.
Students on programmes parented by other Schools are expected to have passed BLGY2155.
|BLGY2155||Population, Community and Conservation Ecology|
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 Marxan, which is the world’s most widely used conservation planning software;
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;
- team working.
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.
- Conservation management: students will learn how to translate ecological research papers into conservation management problems and approaches through the production of a report.
The course provides an overview of conservation science theory and applications to key conservation issues, and includes topics such as:
- The principle threats to biodiversity
- Rarity, extinction processes and extinction debt, and the consequences of losses in biodiversity
- Species-area relationships and Island Biogeography theory
- Concepts in environmental decision science
- Spatial conservation planning
- Quantitative methods in conservation science.
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Private study hours||177.50|
|Total Contact hours||22.50|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||200.00|
Private study20 hours preparing for the practical, including background reading that will be included in the assessment at the end of the practical
50 hours researching and creating a ‘Conservation Evidence’ report on how an ecology research paper can be translated into conservation management problems/ approaches
107.5 hours independent study time around the lectures (approx. 5 hr per lecture)
Opportunities for Formative FeedbackTwo pieces of course work will be used to monitor student progress in the module; an individual assessment on the practical conservation planning lab (20%), which involves decision science analytical design, and a group report on conservation management (30%). Students will have a timetabled clinic for the group report to discuss progress, and they will receive feedback on the assessed pieces of work.
Methods of assessment
|Assessment type||Notes||% of formal assessment|
|Group Project||Group production of a Conservation Evidence report||30.00|
|Practical||Attendance at the practical, successful completion of the practical and assessment through an online multiple choice test and report.||20.00|
|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|
|Online Time-Limited assessment||24 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: 22/07/2022 13:33:29
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