Conservation and the Environment

Module summary

Module code: ENVI1133
Level: 6
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Natural Resources Institute
Module Coordinator(s): Peter Burt

Specification

Aims

• to apply biogeographical principles in conservation management to the practice of designing nature reserves, management of endemic species and to recognise the implications of introductions of exotic species to island biota.
• to develop an appreciation of specific species and habitat management techniques, in particular studying the difficulties of putting theory into practice and the importance of monitoring the effects of management.
• to assess the threats to natural biota posed by climate change and means to mitigate them;
• to consider the rationale for and practice of restoration ecology.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1. Critically examine the application of ecological and biogeographical theory and climate change scenarios to environmental and conservation management, for example island biogeography theory, metapopulations, migration systems and population modelling.
2. Critically assess the application of species and habitat management techniques.
3. Reflect on the practical issues concerned with implementing habitat management plans.
4. Critically evaluate the impacts of different climate change scenarios on wildlife, in relation to the needs of human communities.

Indicative content

1. Global conservation and environmental management will be considered on a case study basis. In particular the impact of forestry and agriculture on species and habitats will form the basis of studying conservation and regeneration measures, with examples from the UK, Europe and worldwide.
2. Habitat types, habitat conservation and management will be studied through a combination of theory and practice. The structure and design of management plans and their implementation will form a focus for particular aspects of habitat management.
3. Likely effects on different biota of a range of climate change scenarios will be studied in relation to phenological incongruences, connectivity amongst migrating populations and carry-over effects.

Teaching and learning activity

Learning and teaching activities will enable the students to critically assess recent developments in the subject area, as well as appreciate the holistic nature of the subject. Lectures, discussion seminars and assessed module work will comprise more formal aspects of teaching and learning strategies. Details of practical conservation will also enhance an understanding of the practicalities of implementing management plans in specific habitats, especially in the context of the interests of local stakeholders.

Assessment

Essay: 50% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning Outcome:3.
Word Length: 2000 words
Outline Details: Critical review of a species or habitat conservation project based on an article from a high standard journal.

Exam: 50% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes:1, 2,& 4.
Outline Details: 1.5 hour exam.

Formative Assessment: In-class discussion and feedback based on lecture material and case studies.