Local Field Trip
Local Field Trip 2023-24
School Of Natural Sciences
Module - Semester 1 & 2
The programme of local field courses is intended to give students an experience of a breadth of habitats, flora & fauna around North Wales. The diversity of environments in which you will work is mirrored in the expertise of the staff, the diversity of activities. Expect to get wet, dirty, work late and (hopefully) have fun. Activities (and timing) varies a little from year to year depending on the input and availability of key staff but in general, the Local Field Courses are comprised of a series of small (1-2 day) courses that run throughout both Semesters: examples of previous activities have included: exploring changing land use in Anglesey, the behavioural ecology of ravens, small mammal trapping, recording mammal behaviour with the wild ponies in the National Park, exploring island biogeography concepts using rock pools as a model; invertebrate sampling and ID skills. The module will be taught entirely through field trips. Several activities involve preparatory lectures, labs and follow-up work at home or in the laboratory at Treborth. Students are also expected to carry out independent study in support of the taught parts of the course.
What you should prepare for: the field work will include going out in all weather and walking, possibly for several miles, certainly over uneven, slippery and unpredictable terrain (rocky shores, sand dunes, forested hillsides and upland peat bogs). We also have at least one nocturnal trip. You will need to carry lunch, and equipment on several occasions (though this can be redistributed according to physical capability, if COVID guidelines permit). Activities are intended to focus on practical skills used by conservationists, park rangers and reserve managers, so students should expect to use a variety of scientific equipment and hand tools – microscopes, computers, nets, peat corers, bow saws, rakes, picks & wheelbarrows are all possible – all while documenting your activities, data and reflections in your notebooks. Obviously, you are not assessed on your ability to use any of these (computers and notebooks an exception), so participation can be altered according to need and availability.
The course is currently set up to mimic the intensity of a residential field course by arranging trips/activities every day for a week, expecting students to turn up early and work into the evenings.
-threshold --D (40%>) Threshold: Can record observations in a reasonably clear and systematic fashion and have some grasp of the practical issues relating to collection and presentation of data/observations. Considerable inconsistencies in notetaking remain. Exhibits some knowledge of habitats and biota visited and the relevant conservation/management issues, although this may be very incomplete and contain significant errors. Present findings and questions via oral presentation and written work largely accurately and clearly. Able to identify most organisms at least to the level of major group.
-good --B (50%>) Good: Can record observations clearly and systematically, with a grasp of the practical issues relating to collection and presentation of data/observations, and few major omissions. Exhibits strong knowledge of habitats and biota visited. Shows awareness their ecological, biogeographical and environmental context. Able to identify a majority of organisms to the appropriate level (usually species). Presents findings accurately and with flair, clarity and originality
-excellent --A (70%>)Can record observations thoroughly, systematically and clearly, without significant omissions, taking trouble to find out details of identification to fine taxonomic level or to uncover theories of the function and evolution of the behaviour observed. Clear evidence of original, unguided observations. Exhibits clear awareness of the ecologica, biogeographical or environmental context of observations. Presents findings accurately and succinctly with clarity, imagination, originality and strongly-developed aesthetic sense. Able to identify most organisms to species level, with evidence of thoroughness and awareness of potential pitfalls.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the flora, fauna and environmental/conservation issues relating to a particular habitat.
- Demonstrate the ability to make detailed, thorough and original field observations both in timetabled trips and in student's own time and to record and present them systematically.
- Demonstrate the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning: undertaking directed reading; maintaining a professional attitude towards field work; time management; working to a deadline
- Demonstrating skills in communicating about science and natural history
Logbook Or Portfolio