Module OSX-3013:
Intertidal Field Project

Module Facts

Run by School of Ocean Sciences

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Prof Stuart Jenkins

Overall aims and purpose

This module aims to provide a practical, hands on experience of conducting a small scale field project in small groups (3-4 students) on intertidal rocky shores to test a specific hypothesis. It builds on previous practical work in Yrs 1 and 2, both specifically (2 rocky shore practicals) and generally (by allowing students freedom to design their own practical work). Emphasis is placed in using critical thinking to design a project with a specific hypothesis and to use appropriate graphical and statistical output to present results. From a wider perspective students will use their knowledge gained in marine ecology in general in years 1 and 2, to place their practical work into context in the introduction and discussion of their report, using appropriate and relevant literature.

Course content

This module aims to provide a practical, hands-on experience of conducting a small scale field project in small groups (3-4 students) on intertidal rocky shores to test a specific hypothesis. Students will be given the basic tools to conduct the project, including the concept of hypothesis testing, and skills in conducting appropriate graphical, statistical analysis and report writing. Workshops will be used to develop initial ideas followed by a reconnaissance field trip to refine these ideas. A specific workshop with support from staff and demonstrators will refine hypotheses to be tested and establish a detailed methodology. This methodology will then be implemented in a field trip where data will be collected. A final workshop will provide an opportunity to begin organising and analysing data under supervision. Students will then write up project reports individually.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Threshold (40-49%): produce a structured project report giving a summary of the project (Abstract), the rationale, justification, aims and hypotheses to be tested (Introduction), the methodology adopted including site description, survey design, survey implementation, and statistical approach (Methods), a concise description of the output of the work with appropriate graphical and statistical analysis (Results), an interpretation of the results in relation to appropriate literature (Discussion) and a list of references referred to (Reference list).

good

Good (50-69%): Produce a report as specified above using a good range of relevant literature, and with good to very good use of graphical and statistical analysis. Writing will be concise and clear, presentation will be well thought out and analyses conducted (and described) in the main correctly. The hypothesis will have been unambiguously tested and a conclusion/ conclusions reached which are well discussed in relation to relevant literature.

excellent

Excellent (>70%): Produce a report as specified above using a wide range of relevant literature, and with excellent use of graphical and statistical analysis. Writing will be concise and clear, presentation will be well thought out and of a very high standard. Analyses will have been conducted correctly and reported in a concise fashion, combining graphical and statistical output. The hypothesis will have been unambiguously tested and a conclusion/ conclusions reached. The output of the work will have been thoroughly (but concisely) discussed using a wide range of literature, predominantly from primary sources.

Learning outcomes

  1. Know how to articulate a testable hypothesis/hypotheses

  2. Understand how data can be collected and used to test the stated hypothesis

  3. Know the fundamentals of designing a field survey in the marine intertidal

  4. Know how to survey the abundance and distribution of macrobenthic species on intertidal shores

  5. Know how to collate, analyse and present results of intertidal shore surveys based on testable hypotheses

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Intertidal project report 100

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Study group

Help session 2, 1 hr

2
Practical classes and workshops

Practical 1 Computer practical 3 hrs

3
Workshop

Workshop 1 Explore options for practical work 2 hrs Workshop 2 (define hypothesis and plan detailed methods/ equipment) 3 hrs Workshop 3 (work up data under supervison) 2 hrs

7
Fieldwork

Workshop/Field trip 1 (Initial workshop to develop ideas followed by field trip to instruct on species ID, observe site and refine ideas, collect background data, practice techniques) 6 hrs

Field trip 2 (collect data) 5 hrs

11
Lecture

Lecture 1 Introduction (at start of term- start reading) 1 hr Lecture 2 Hypothesis testing and experimental design 1 hr Lecture 3 Basic statistics 1 (graphical output) 1 hr Lecture 4 Basic statistics 2 (Regression and ANOVA) 1 hr Lecture 5 Writing a report (concentration on results section) 1 hr Practical 1 Computer practical 3 hrs Workshop/Field trip 1 (Initial workshop to develop ideas followed by field trip to instruct on species ID, observe site and refine ideas, collect background data, practice techniques) 6 hrs Workshop (define hypothesis and plan detailed methods/ equipment) 3 hrs Field trip 2 (collect data) 5 hrs Workshop (work up data under supervison) 2 hrs Help session 1 1 hr Help session 2 1 hr

5
Private study

private study

72

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.
  • 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
  • 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

Resources

Resource implications for students

Adequate clothing for working in inclement weather

Courses including this module