Module Identifier RD10210  
Module Title STUDYING THE DYNAMIC COUNTRYSIDE  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Mr David R Powell  
Semester Semester 2  
Pre-Requisite RD16220 , RD10120  
Course delivery Other   4 - 6 day field course  
Assessment
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Detailed scientific report  100%
Supplementary Assessment submission of an essay based on the field studies  100%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
Outcome 1
interpret, through field observation, the development of key landscapes and habitats in relation to environmental factors and historical and current management practices;
Performance Criteria:
A range of landscapes and habitats are described in terms of their field characteristics.
The geographical distribution and historical development of habitats in relation to land use, abiotic and biotic factors are accounted for.
Ranges:
Landscapes and Habitats - a selection of UK landscapes and habitats from coastal, upland, heathland, grassland, marine, woodland, agricultural, urban, wetland, freshwater.

Outcome 2
apply appropriate field techniques to describe and quantify the distribution and abundance patterns of organism in relation to environmental factors.
Performance Criteria:
A range of abiotic factors are measured in the field
Sampling methods for recording the distribution and abundance of a range of organisms are understood and performed in selected habitats.
Ranges:
Landscapes and habitats - a selection of UK habitats from coastal, upland, heathland, grassland, marine, woodland, agricultural, urban, wetland, freshwater
Abiotic Factors - to include geological, climatic, edaphic, topographic, chemical.
Sampling - random, systematic, stratified random, counts, percentage cover, frequency of occurrence.

Outcome 3
analyse and interpret field observations in an appropriate manner, producing a report using scientific terminology and style.
Performance criteria:
Field data is presented in an appropriate manner.
Field data is analysed and interpreted in relation to basic principles of environmental science.
Ranges:
Field data: Raw data and summary tables; bar charts, histograms, line graphs, pie charts; geological, soil and topography maps; field sketches.
Numerical analysis: data summation, mean, indices.
Scientific format: Introduction, methodology, results, discussion, conclusions.

Brief description

The module consists of a residential 4-6 day field course. The module is intended to develop the students? ability to interpret landscape and habitats in relation to the variety of factors that have contributed to their development. The complex interrelationships between geology, geography, history and current management practice will be explored. Practical application of field study techniques will help develop an understanding of fundamental ecological processes within a range of key habitats. Students will be required to make a financial contribution towards the maintenance component of the cost of the course.

Transferable skills

.1 Independent project work
The final field report will be produced as an individual piece of report writing.

.2 IT and information handling
Collection and analysis of field data will make use of appropriate information technology.
This skill will be assessed ? Outcome 16: Use a range of technological equipment and systems.

.3 Use and analysis of numerical information
Numerical field data will be collected, displayed and analysed.
This skill will be assessed - Outcome 15: Apply numerical skills and techniques.

.4 Writing in an academic context
The field report must be submitted in an appropriate scientific style.
This skill will be assessed - Outcome 8: Receive and respond to a variety of information,
Outcome 9: Present information in a variety of visual forms, Outcome 10: Communicate in writing.

.6 Careers need awareness
Field visits are likely to involve opportunities for discussion of current issues in management of the countryside related to careers for graduates. There may be opportunities to meet with individuals involved in the management of sites.

.7 Self-management
As the module will take the form of an intensive residential field course a high level of organisation and personal responsibility will be required of the participants.

.8 Group activity
Field data collection will take place in small groups who will be responsible for reporting back results to the whole class. The residential nature of the field course will require to students to operate in a `community? environment.

Reading Lists

Books
Fitter R, Fitter A and Blamey M (1996) Collins pocket guide: wildflowers of Britain and Northern Europe 5th edition. Harper Collins 0002200627
Rieley, J O and Page, S E (1990) Ecology of plant communities - a phytosociological account of the British vegetation Weidenfeld and Nicholson
Rose, F (1981) The wildflower key Warne
Toghill, P (2000) The geology of Britain: an introduction Swan Hill
Chapman J L and Reiss, M J (1992) Ecology: Principles and application Cambridge University Press
Rackham O (1994) The illustrated history of the countryside Weidenfeld and Nicholson

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 4