Florida 1 Field Course
The ecology of Florida's marine, freshwater and terrestrial biodiversity 2023-24
School Of Natural Sciences
Module - Semester 2
10 day field course in Florida, focused on biodiversity and ecology of flora and fauna across marine, brackish and terrestrial biomes. The students are expected to prepare for the field course by performing background reading and preparing presentation material. We carry out field excursions to different habitats and biomes and students experience combinations of self-guided, seminar based and guided explorations of different subtropical habitats. Students learn about the different habitats and biodiversity by a combination of personal observations, talks by BU, guides, mentors and local staff. Students observe and record flora and fauna and their context in different habitats using different media, including field notebooks, photography, video and drawings. Under staff supervision, students undertake marine sampling of shallow (below chest height) habitats using seine nets and active hand searching, with the appropriate safety equipment, while observing ethical and safety protocols governed by the hosting institution one Florida Gulf Coast University. Students carry out species identification using field guides, online searching and keys. Students deliver oral presentations while on the field course and undertake numerical exercises during their field sampling, in addition to preparing and finishing a mentored Project Proposal, that is handed in approximately four weeks after returning to Bangor.
- Demonstrate identification skills and knowledge relating to flora and fauna of visited study sites.
- Demonstrate skills necessary for self managed and lifelong learning (undertaking directed reading, time management, teamwork, presentation skills, working to a deadline).
- Demonstrate the ability to make detailed, thorough and original field observations and to record and present them systematically.
- Demonstrate understanding and the ability to address research questions regarding the environmental and ecological factors governing the distribution of biodiversity in subtropical habitats and prevailing conservation challenges.