Habitat Ecology/Coastal Survey
Habitat Ecology/ Coastal Survey 2023-24
School of Ocean Sciences
Module - Semester 1
This module provides an opportunity to understand the principles of ecological surveys in relation to a range of temperate coastal habitats, and to put that knowledge into practical use by undertaking surveys in intertidal habitats of north Wales. The module begins with introductory lectures on the principles and background behind ecological surveys including an in depth look at the variability inherent to many marine ecological systems. This is followed by lectures on different coastal habitats and the kinds of survey techniques utilised. Following these lectures, intensive practical exercises are undertaken in groups to simulate a consultancy-style environment. Workshops are initially used to plan the practical work, followed by reconnaissance trips and finally the survey itself and subsequent lab and analysis work. A reporting workshop is used to disseminate results, and a consultancy-style report is generated to supplement the group presentations delivered in the workshop.
Threshold (Pass): Basic report with acceptable layout and presentation but missing detail. Survey design acceptable but not the most appropriate and implemented to produce the bare minimum of acceptable results. Discussion of results minimal with limited insight into the ecology of the habitat surveyed.
Good (Merit): Report with generally good layout and presentation. Survey design well suited to the habitat and well implemented with attention to detail and effective work in the field. Methodology described well in a concise scientific fashion with important relevant details. Results described clearly with good tabulated and graphical presentation of data and appropriate statistics. Pertinent discussion giving insight into the habitat surveyed with appropriate references. Good appreciation of the pros and cons of techniques utilised.
Excellent (Distinction): Outstanding report of a well-designed and thoroughly implemented survey. Report having a concise introduction covering all relevant aspects of the study and giving full references. Materials and methods fully and succinctly described, data well presented in tabular and/or graphical format, data fully analysed using the correct analytical methods for all data sets. Discussion focused, critical, and concise, covering all aspects of the study and fully referenced. Design and layout of report exceptional.
- Know how to produce a concise informative report on the results of survey work including the use of appropriate statistical analyses
- Know the principle characteristics of a range of coastal habitats. Understand a range of different survey techniques and how and why they are used in different habitats.
- Know the principles behind ecological surveys and understand how survey techniques are used to effectively describe variable systems
- Understand how to plan and undertake an effective ecological survey. Know what makes an effective survey.
- Understand the importance of health and safety during fieldwork and the logistical constraints imposed by a range of factors
Survey group presentation report - group presentation of the survey, given as if to a client in a consultancy-style setting. Involves a large amount of survey planning, data acquisition, analysis and interpretation. Assessment combines mark contributions covering all phases, and is subject to moderation by the module team after submission of optional peer-reviews by the students.
Statistical Analysis Report - 10 page summary report of the survey, presented as if to a client in a consultancy-style setting. Minimum 11 font size, 25 mm margins. Figures, tables and graphs (and citations) expected. Equivalent to 800 words of effort. Involves a large amount of survey planning, data acquisition, analysis and interpretation. Assessment combines mark contributions covering all phases, and is subject to moderation by the module team after submission of optional peer-reviews by the students.
Interview - 10 minute 'Viva'-style semi-formal discussion about the survey, taken at the mid-way stage of the module so as to determine engagement and understanding at that point. The only individual component of the module.