The fieldwork skills module is a non-residential field course, it will develop your practical skills through trips out through the year.
Fieldwork Skills - sampling and surveying techniques
This module, run as a non-residential field course, will introduce you to a range of skills for environmental monitoring and ecological assessment. You will develop key practical skills and gain valuable experience in planning and conducting fieldwork.There will be a strong focus on developing practical skills and enhancing employability in the environmental job sector. You'll choose from a range of 1 or 2 day activities running through the year.
You will learn about the forces determining the distribution and abundance of species and be able to use models to predict the dynamics of populations under a range of conditions. You will recognise how interactions between species can drive co-evolutionary processes leading to an understanding of the organisation of natural systems working systematically from populations through to communities, ecosystems and biogeographical scales.
Environmental Science in Practice
This module will help you prepare for your third year project and start thinking about possible future careers. The module will focus on developing your communication and project management skills, and you will undertake a variety of tasks working as a group to solve problems, design experiments, collect, analyse, interpret and present information.
Soils are the most complex biomaterial on earth. An understanding of the basic concepts concerning the form and function of soils is important for future management strategies such as mitigating the effects of climate change and providing safe and sustainable food. This module focuses on the important soil properties from physical, chemical and biological perspectives including soil organic matter, soil chemical reactions, soil fauna and flora, and soil-water relations.
Tropical Environmental Science Field Course
This one-week residential field course is based on Tioman Island, off the coast of peninsular Malaysia. You'll explore coral reefs and rainforests to introduce you to the enormous diversity of life found in tropical environments.You'll gain skills in different environments, sampling and identifying animals and plants, and looking at the relationship between diversity and the physical environment. Looking at recent anthropogenic change such as climate change and ocean acidification.
The course will focus on the processes that govern terrestrial ecosystem function. We will identify key ecosystem drivers and processes and explore how these have shaped the biosphere. Students will gain an understanding of the mechanisms that control changes in the physiochemical environment and their impact upon communities. Particular topics will include primary productivity, decomposition, herbivory, biodiversity and human impact on ecosystems. Classes comprise a mix of lectures, laboratory practicals, a computer practical, a seminar and fieldwork
Climate Change Science
A broad overview of the science behind climate change and its effects is studied on this module. Topics include: historical climate change; the principles of climate forcing; the role of modelling; responses of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, including impacts on humans; the political environment; and options for climate stabilisation. You will have a two-hour lecture once a week with complementary practical and computing classes.
The Green Planet
This module explores the evolution of key plant systems through deep time, and the significance of this process for understanding modern ecology and food security. You will learn about the challenges that plants faced when moving onto land and evolutionary innovations within the early spermatophytes. You will also gain an understanding of the power of natural selection in producing plant diversity over deep time.
Forest Ecology and Management
This module will introduce you to some key ecological processes in forest ecosystems and provides an overview of forest biodiversity and its assessment. You will develop practical skills in tree species identification and survey techniques during fieldwork and site visits. We will look at the scale, rates, distribution and causes of deforestation and forest degradation and the implications of this for global and local ecosystem services. We will examine different management objectives including timber production, environmental services, amenity and conservation.
Evolutionary Biology of Animals
Introduces key evolutionary concepts and their application in the animal kingdom. Areas you will study include the history of evolutionary thinking, natural selection versus the neutral theory, sexual selection and human evolution.
Animal Behaviour and Physiology
A comprehensive introduction to the study of animal behaviour, from the physiological and genetic bases of behaviour to its development through learning and its adaptive significance in the natural environment. Through practical classes, you will learn about the physiological basis of fundamental behaviours. Using examples from across the animal kingdom, you will learn how predictive modelling, experimental and observational approaches integrate to explain how and why animals behave as they do.
Biological Photography and Imaging I
Through practical sessions, you will learn the techniques of biological image production and manipulation, including the ability to generate biological images of the highest technical quality and scientific value. You will build an understanding of the principles behind photography and how to get the most out of state of the art photographic and imaging equipment.
This module will develop your understanding of the important chemical and physical processes that operate in the terrestrial environment. It will principally look at soils and fresh water systems.
You will study the hydrological cycle and surface and sub-surface water chemistry. This includes rainfall, rivers and lakes, and the processes that govern the movement of solutes and colloidal materials, adsorption, redox, solubility, diffusion and kinetics.