Life in a Changing Climate
Run by School of Natural Sciences
20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Alison Cameron
Overall aims and purpose
The purpose of this module is to allow students to develop a detailed understanding of the scientific principles underlying how a changing climate can affect aspects of zoology. This includes evolution, ethology, phenology, physiology, species distributions and patterns in biodiversity. It will provide students with an understanding of ecological concepts and how they may be affected by climate change, such as trophic cascades.
The course will cover how climate change and aspects of zoology and biodiversity are connected and how they interact. Social implications of these factors will also be covered, along with potential ecosystem conservation and management practices needed to cope with a changing climate. Some ecosystem case studies will be included, for example on the effects of climate change on wetlands.
An excellent student should have a high levels of detailed factual knowledge across all aspects of the module, and be able to detail examples where appropriate. Written answers should demonstrate an ability to think critically about the subject and to synthesise lecture material and information from extensive background reading. Practical reports should display a high level of critical understanding of data, analysis, interpretation and presentation.
A threshold student should have a basic knowledge of the essential facts and key concepts presented in the module. Written answers should demonstrate an ability to organise relevant lecture material into a coherent argument. Practical reports should demonstrate a basic ability to analyse data and interpret and present results.
A good student should have thorough factual knowledge across all aspects of the module, and be able to name examples where appropriate. Written answers should demonstrate an ability to think about the subject and to synthesise lecture material and some information from background reading. Practical reports should display a good level of understanding of data, analysis, interpretation and presentation.
Explain in detail how aspects of zoology and biodiversity are affected by the climate, and the interactions between them.
Critically evaluate any social implications current interactions between zoology and climate change are having, and could have in the future.
Have a comprehensive understanding of the conservation and management practises of natural ecosystems – in terms of aspects of zoology – to cope with a changing climate.
Demonstrate the ability to articulate complex scientific principles, theories and arguments through a variety of media.
|GIS Practical Report||35|
|Class Debate Exercise||15|
|End of Module Exam||50|
Teaching and Learning Strategy
21 hours of lectures (mainly in one or two hour sessions)
|Practical classes and workshops||
7 hours of climate change practicals (in computer rooms). Practical 1 is a 3 hour practical using Geographical Information Systems to explore arctic sea ice change and polar bear tracks. Practical 4 is a 4 hour practicical to introduce climate niche modelling in GIS.
2 hours group preparation sesssion supported by module co-ordinator and Graduate Teaching assistant, followed two weeks later by a 2 hour assessed group debate session (each group debate is no longer than 25 minutes). Module co-ordinator available for group or indivirual meetings by appointment in between the preparation session and the debates.
Approximately 10 hours writing up the niche modelling practical report Approximately 2 hours Reading and preparation for group debate Approximately 152 hours of supplimentary reading arround lectures and exam revision. The exact time allocations to each of the above will vary per student.
Revision & feedback sessions to A) prepare for assignments B) review and discuss assignments, C) prepare for exams. Interactive sessions.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
Subject specific skills
- Develop and identify research question(s) and/or hypotheses as the basis for investigation.
- Conduct fieldwork and/or laboratory work competently with awareness of appropriate risk assessment and ethical considerations
- Recognize and apply appropriate theories and concepts from a range of disciplines.
- Consider issues from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives.
- Apply subject knowledge to the understanding and addressing of problems.
- Collect, analyse and interpret primary and/or secondary data using appropriate qualitative and/or quantitative techniques.
- Engagement with current developments in the biosciences and their application.
- Appreciation of the complexity and diversity of life processes through the study of organisms.
- Engage in debate and/or discussion with specialists and non-specialists using appropriate language.
The Summary for Policy Maker sections of the IPCC 5th Assemssment Reports are compulsory reading for this module. These are available for download at https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/ Peer reviewed scientific literature relating to lecture content will be indicated with each lecture and should be available for students to download via the BU library journal subscriptions.
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- C319: BSc Zoology with Climate Change Studies year 3 (BSC/ZCC)
- C321: MZool Zoology with Climate Change year 3 (MZOOL/ZCC)
Optional in courses:
- C100: BSC Biology year 3 (BSC/B)
- C511: BSc Biology with Biotechnology year 3 (BSC/BIOT)
- C102: BSc Biology (with International Experience) year 3 (BSC/BITE)
- CC13: BSC Marine Biology/Zoology year 3 (BSC/BMZ)
- 8B76: BSc Marine Biology and Zoology (with International Exp) year 4 (BSC/BMZIE)
- C300: BSC Zoology year 3 (BSC/Z)
- C305: BSc Zoology with Animal Behaviour (with International Exp) year 3 (BSC/ZABIE)
- C3L2: BSC Zoology with Conservation year 3 (BSC/ZC)
- C3L3: BSc Zoology with Conservation with International Experience year 5 (BSC/ZCIE)
- C3L4: BSc Zoology with Conservation with Placement Year year 4 (BSC/ZCP)
- C304: BSC Zoology with Herpetology year 3 (BSC/ZH)
- C324: BSc Zoology with International Experience year 3 (BSC/ZIE)
- C3C1: BSc Zoology with Marine Zoology (with International Exp) year 3 (BSC/ZMB)
- C350: BSC Zoology with Marine Zoology year 3 (BSC/ZMZ)
- C329: BSc Zoology with Primatology year 3 (BSC/ZP)
- C330: BSc Zoology with Ornithology year 3 (BSC/ZR)
- C3D3: BSC Zoology with Animal Behaviour year 3 (BSC/ZWAB)
- C101: MBiol Master of Biology year 3 (MBIOL/BIO)
- C510: MBiol Biology with Biotechnology year 3 (MBIOL/BIOT)
- C169: MSci Marine Biology and Zoology year 3 (MSCI/MBZ)
- C302: MZool Zoology with Animal Behaviour year 3 (MZOOL/AB)
- CD34: MZool Zoology with Conservation year 3 (MZOOL/CONS)
- C303: MZool Zoology with Herpetology year 3 (MZOOL/HERP)
- C325: MZool Zoology with Animal Behaviour with International Exp year 3 (MZOOL/ZAIE)
- C326: MZool Zoology with Herpetology with International Experience year 3 (MZOOL/ZHIE)
- C353: MZool Zoology with Marine Zoology year 3 (MZOOL/ZMZ)
- C306: MZool Zoology (with International Experience) year 3 (MZOOL/ZOIE)
- C301: MZool Master of Zoology year 3 (MZOOL/ZOO)
- C333: MZool Zoology with Primatology year 3 (MZOOL/ZP)
- C334: MZool Zoology with Ornithology year 3 (MZOOL/ZR)