Module DXX-2003:
Principles of Conservation

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Paul Cross

Overall aims and purpose

  1. To ensure students understand the theories and concepts underlying conservation science.

  2. To enable students to understand the complex nature of many conservation problems and solutions, which often involve ecological, social, economic and political dimensions..

  3. To equip students with the ability to engage in the general debate about conservation need and practice.

Course content

  1. Patterns of global biodiversity and global threats to species and habitats (including acknowledgement of ultimate drivers)
  2. Ecosystem services, relationship of ecosystem services to biodiversity, externalities, under-supply of public goods, what kind of values does biodiversity/ecosystems have
  3. Evidence of extinction crisis and trends in habitat etc
  4. Major threats to biodiversity globally (invasive species, habitat loss and fragmentation, overexploitation and pollution/climate change)
  5. Tragedy of the open access resources, causes and solutions to over-harvesting
  6. Small population biology (including demographic/environmental stochasticity/allee effects/conservation genetics)
  7. Island biogeography and applying theory of island biogeography to protected area design.
  8. Selection of protected areas
  9. Ex-situ conservation (reintroduction/metapopulation management)

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Grade D- to D+ Assessments Describe the objectives of the exercise and detail methods used to achieve the objectives. Present the results. Discuss the results using material provided in class. Examination answers Summarise information given during the module and present it in a way that is relevant to the question.

good

Grade C- to B+ Assessments Describe the objectives of the exercise and detail methods used to achieve the objectives in a clear and concise manner. Present results in a clear and organised manner demonstrating understanding of relevant statistical results. Discuss the results largely using material provided in class. Examination answers Summarise information given during the module and present it in a way that directly answers the question with elements of interpretation and discussion.

excellent

Grade A- and above Assessments Describe the objectives of the exercise and detail methods used to achieve the Objectives in a clear and concise manner. Present results in a clear and organised manner demonstrating understanding of relevant statistical results and being critical of their limitations as appropriate. Discuss the results largely using material in excess of that provided in class. Examination answers Summarise information given during the module, and acquired through background reading/study, and present it in a way that directly answers the question with elements of clear interpretation and discussion.

Learning outcomes

  1. Explain the principles of species and habitat conservation.

  2. Explain the need for conservation.

  3. Understand the importance of understanding genetics in conservation decisions

  4. Critically evaluate the viability of populations of conservation concern.

  5. Critically evaluate the process by which certain areas are selected for protection.

  6. Appreciate the need for mulitdisciplinary approaches to conservation.

  7. Engage in informed debate with peers about conservation issues.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ORAL Assessed Interview 50
Written assignment, including essay Open-book essay

Open book 48 hour assignement

50

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

24*1 hour lectures

24
Private study

Private and guided self-study. Reading around each lecture.

160
Fieldwork

4 * 4 hours field visits

16

Transferable skills

  • 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.
  • 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

Resources

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: