Freshwater ecosystems (20 credits)
Run by School of Natural Sciences
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Nathalie Fenner
Overall aims and purpose
This module is designed to provide graduates with some of the theory and practical skills required for research and employment in the field of freshwater ecosystems, for which there is a particular demand in the region.
Drawing heavily on the expertise of professionals from not only within the University but from outside agencies (e.g. Natural Resources Wales(NRW) local consultancies), and taking advantage of the spectacular abundance and diversity of freshwater habitats in North Wales, this module will introduce students to streams and rivers to ponds, lakes and wetlands.
Through field work, students will gain an appreciation of the types of approaches, techniques and analytical tools employed by researchers and managers of lakes, rivers and wetlands.
Students will consider the formation of freshwater systems, the chemical and physical factors of importance and how these affect the biological communities within and beyond them. Relationships between the different components of freshwater ecosystems will be explored. Different methods of classifying water bodies will be examined.
We will explore the consequences of human impacts on fresh waters for biodiversity, the environment and the future. We will consider some of the conflicts between exploitation of resources by humans and conservation. We will look at fisheries and fish stock assessment in fresh waters, at pollution, habitat disturbance and destruction, and also consider the creation of fresh water bodies.
We will examine different approaches to conservation in freshwater systems, and consider the context in which decisions must be made. Students will also be encouraged to consider how results can be tailored for different purposes, ecosystem goods and services (EG&S) or different target audiences.
Introduction to freshwater ecosystems. Habitat type: Plants & algae, physical & chemical characteristics, geomorphology/hydrology & structure of freshwater ecosystems. Classification of lakes, rivers & wetlands. Freshwater communities & relationships Human impacts on freshwaters & approaches to conservation & restoration. Fish ecology, life assessment and management & fisheries economics. Ecosystem services and their management.
Awareness of the fundamentals underlying the science as outlined in learning outcomes 1-7, based on lecture material and practical sessions, but with limited or absent analytical ability. Equivalent category CNS general marking criteria: D- (42%) to D+ (48%)
A good grasp of the fundamentals and demonstration of critical thought with evidence of additional reading. An ability to present a coherent argument with clarity. A good appreciation of the main approaches which might be employed in studying fresh water ecosystems and the ability to critically assess their suitability in a given situation.
Equivalent category CNS general marking criteria: B- (62%) to B+ (68%)
An excellent grasp of the fundamentals of the science (as in learning outcomes 1-7) and demonstration of the ability to analyse, critically assess and clearly construct a reasoned argument based on information from a variety of sources.
Equivalent category CNS general marking criteria: A- (74%) to A* (95%)
Understand the relationships between chemical, physical and biological components of these systems.
Describe the techniques which might be involved in the study of aquatic ecosystems, and demonstrate an appreciation of the complexities of conducting field and laboratory work, with due consideration to logistical planning, time management, team work, interpersonal skills, and safety considerations.
Demonstrate knowledge of actual and potential human impacts on freshwaters and their Ecosystem Goods & Services (EG&S), but understand the available options for conservation and management of fresh water ecosystems and the context in which any decisions must be made.
Demonstrate the ability to think critically and apply a problem-solving approach (identifying hypotheses, considering options, drawing conclusions from data and considering implications of these conclusions) when presented with a hypothetical or real scenario based on a freshwater ecosystem.
Demonstrate the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning (undertaking directed reading, time management, working to a deadline)
Describe the main processes and mechanisms which lead to the formation of fresh water ecosystems.
Distinguish between different freshwater systems and describe their main features.
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Open book exam where students write an essay (1000 words excluding references and figures) answering a question from a list of choices. The topics from which the questions will be formulated will be know in advance, but not the actual essay question. The questions will be released on line and available for 24h.
Students will present a 10 minute talk on a pre-determined topic relating to contempory issues in Freshwater science. Talks will be recorded and provide a revision resource for exam assessment.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Freshwaters Conference. Presentation in a conference setting (in situ or virtual) where possible, and/or recorded, collaborative learning and a revision resource
1) Approx. 18hr of lectures (dependent on availability of guest lecturers etc.), indicative content includes case studies & guest lectures relating to current research and management in freshwater ecosystems, plus interactive sessions where students participate in full class discussion, allowing feedback on their understanding of the material covered to date. Example content includes: a. Case studies relating to current research and management in freshwater ecosystems, integrating theory (including that learnt in lectures & practicals) and practice (examples in the field). b. practical briefing/preparation. c. debrief/interactive sessions to deal with queries on practicals & completion of the assessment. d. external guest lectures (e.g. from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) &/ or APEM Ltd (consultants) e. 1 x 2 h revision & feedback session to prepare for exams.
Approx. 2 case studies or field trips (day or half day run virtually or in situ) where students will experience, for example, conservation measures on the ground and/or contemporary management methodology. Dependent on availability of sites/weather etc.
All taught elements should be supported with private study. Online support for the module will be provided via Blackboard, which will supply reference material, links to online resources, guidelines for completing assessments etc. Students will have access to external resources from, for example NRW and consultancy firms (e.g. APEM Ltd) linking content to employability.
- 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.
- Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
- 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
- Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
- Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
- Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
- Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in
Subject specific skills
- Demonstrate awareness of the importance of risk assessment and relevant legislation
- Recognize the moral, ethical and social issues relating to the subject.
- 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
- Consider issues from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives.
- Collect, analyse and interpret primary and/or secondary data using appropriate qualitative and/or quantitative techniques.
- Apply appropriate techniques for presenting spatial and/or temporal trends in data.
- Prepare effective maps, diagrams and visualizations.
- Undertake field and/or laboratory studies to ensure competence in basic experimental and/or fieldwork skills.
- Demonstrate awareness of the importance of risk assessment and relevant legislation
- Engagement with current subject developments and their application.
- Engage in debate and/or discussion with specialists and non-specialists using appropriate language.
- Demonstrate the independence and skills required for continuing professional development
Resource implications for students
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/bns-3003.html
Extensive suggestions for useful reading material etc. will be provided on the Blackboard site (e.g. as PDFs) for the module because research papers rather than text books are required. The following general textbook however would be useful to consult: Stream Ecology. Structure and function of running waters. Authors: Allan, J. David, Castillo, María M.
Courses including this module
Optional in courses:
- C183: BSC Appl.Terrestrial & Marine Ec 4 year 4 (BSC/APTME)
- C180: BSc Appl. Terrestrial &Marine Ec year 3 (BSC/ATME)
- C184: BSc App Terrestrial & Marine Ecology with Intl Experience year 4 (BSC/ATMEIE)
- C100: BSC Biology year 3 (BSC/B)
- C10F: BSc Biology year 3 (BSC/BF)
- C511: BSc Biology with Biotechnology year 3 (BSC/BIOT)
- C102: BSc Biology (with International Experience) year 4 (BSC/BITE)
- CC13: BSC Marine Biology/Zoology year 3 (BSC/BMZ)
- 8B76: BSc Marine Biology and Zoology (with International Exp) year 4 (BSC/BMZIE)
- CC1P: BSc Marine Biology with Zoology with Placement Year year 4 (BSC/BMZP)
- D447: BSC Environmental Conservation year 3 (BSC/ECON)
- D448: BSC Environmental Conservation year 4 (BSC/ECON4)
- D451: BSc Environmental Conservation (International Experience) year 4 (BSC/ENIE)
- F710: BSC Marine Environmental Studies year 3 (BSC/MES)
- F713: BSc Marine Environmental Stud with International Experience year 4 (BSC/MESIE)
- F79P: BSc Marine Environmental Studies year 4 (BSC/MESP)
- C328: BSc Wildlife Conservation year 3 (BSC/WLC)
- C332: BSc Wildlife Conservation with Place Yr year 4 (BSC/WLCP)
- C300: BSC Zoology year 3 (BSC/Z)
- C305: BSc Zoology with Animal Behaviour (with International Exp) year 4 (BSC/ZABIE)
- C3L2: BSC Zoology with Conservation year 3 (BSC/ZC)
- C319: BSc Zoology with Climate Change Studies year 3 (BSC/ZCC)
- C327: BSc Zoology with Climate Change Studies w International Exp year 3 (BSC/ZCCIE)
- C3L3: BSc Zoology with Conservation with International Experience year 4 (BSC/ZCIE)
- C3L4: BSc Zoology with Conservation with Placement Year year 4 (BSC/ZCP)
- C30F: BSc Zoology year 3 (BSC/ZF)
- C304: BSC Zoology with Herpetology year 3 (BSC/ZH)
- C307: BSc Zoology with Herpetology (with International Experience) year 3 (BSC/ZHIE)
- C324: BSc Zoology with International Experience year 4 (BSC/ZIE)
- C3C1: BSc Zoology with Marine Zoology (with International Exp) year 4 (BSC/ZMB)
- C350: BSC Zoology with Marine Zoology year 3 (BSC/ZMZ)
- C329: BSc Zoology with Primatology year 3 (BSC/ZP)
- C32P: Zoology with Primatology with Placement Year year 4 (BSC/ZPP)
- C330: BSc Zoology with Ornithology year 3 (BSC/ZR)
- C3D3: BSC Zoology with Animal Behaviour year 3 (BSC/ZWAB)
- C3DP: BSc Zoology with Animal Behaviour with Placement Year year 3 (BSC/ZWABP)
- 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)
- C30P: MZool Zoology with Animal Behaviour with Placement Year year 3 (MZOOL/ABP)
- CD34: MZool Zoology with Conservation year 3 (MZOOL/CONS)
- CD3P: MZool Zoology with Conservation with Placement Year year 4 (MZOOL/CONSP)
- C303: MZool Zoology with Herpetology year 3 (MZOOL/HERP)
- C325: MZool Zoology with Animal Behaviour with International Exp year 4 (MZOOL/ZAIE)
- C321: MZool Zoology with Climate Change year 3 (MZOOL/ZCC)
- C326: MZool Zoology with Herpetology with International Experience year 4 (MZOOL/ZHIE)
- C353: MZool Zoology with Marine Zoology year 3 (MZOOL/ZMZ)
- C37P: MZool Zoology with Marine Zoology with Placement Year year 3 (MZOOL/ZMZP)
- C306: MZool Zoology (with International Experience) year 4 (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)