Biogeography and Ecosystems

Module summary

Module code: GEOG1025
Level: 5
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Natural Resources Institute
Module Coordinator(s): Peter Burt

Specification

Aims

• This course will use the basic environmental science and geographical skills developed at Level 4 to look in detail at the interaction between organisms and their environment
• To show the relationship between organisms and their environment, and the factors which influence this (classical biogeography);
• To develop and apply a detailed knowledge of the theory and principles of applied ecology in relation to the management of natural environments;
• To ensure an understanding of the historical and pre-historical influences of humans on the environment, and the implications of these interrelations to present and future conservation;
• To study the way in which the conservation/environmental movement has developed and the influence this has had on policy making and implementation of policies for environmental protection.

Learning outcomes

On completing this course successfully you will be able to:

1 Apply the principles and practices of biogeography and applied ecology to particular environmental management and conservation scenarios.

2 Access the main UK and international environmental and conservation protection policies and the way in which these are implemented.

3 Illustrate the importance, distribution and exploitation of natural resources in a conservation context.

4 Relate the theoretical concepts presented in classroom material to field situations.


Indicative content

A detailed understanding of the distribution and biodiversity of species is fundamental to species conservation management. The course will cover theoretical and applied aspects of ecology and biogeography, with particular emphasis on population, community and ecosystem ecology. The relevance and application of these principles to environmental and conservation management will be stressed throughout. The role of conservation within the larger context of sustainable development, at both the national and global scales, will be examined, highlighting the sometimes conflicting needs of human welfare, nature conservation and the conservation of natural resources. Evaluation for nature conservation will be studied.

Teaching and learning activity

The course will use a combination of formal teaching and student centred activities. The formal teaching will be through lectures that will introduce natural and physical science theories and concepts, and apply them to environmental systems. Ideas presented in the course will be developed through course assessments (with the opportunity to investigate science/environmental interactions and applications in greater depth and present them in an appropriate manner) and an examinations (to test understanding of key concepts key concepts).

Assessment

Method of SUMMATIVE assessment: Essay
Outcomes assessed:1-3
Grading Mode (e.g. pass/ fail; %): %
Weighting % :50%
Passmark: 40%
Word Length:2,500
Outline Details: Topic relevant to ecological content of the course.

Method of SUMMATIVE assessment: Seminar
Outcomes assessed:1,3,4
Grading Mode (e.g. pass/ fail; %): %
Weighting % :50%
Passmark: 40%
Word Length:n/a
Outline Details: A 10 minute seminar presentation on the mini-project undertaken during the Spanish Field trip.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning:
In-class and tutorial question and answer sessions and discussions to test understanding. Feedback form previous experience of field and coursework.