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BI3001: FIELD ECOLOGY SKILLS (2016-2017)

Last modified: 16 Nov 2016 17:21

Course Overview

The field course will be non-residential, based around Aberdeen and involved day trips to local sites. Students will learn about and practice a range of approaches and techniques used by ecological consultants and those working for conservation organisations to assess vegetation quality, presence/absence of various animal species and estimates of population size. Techniques will include: Phase 1 Habitat Survey (plants), National Vegetation Classification (plants), habitat monitoring (plants), bird census techniques, terrestrial invertebrate sampling, surveys of mammal populations (eg bats, badgers, otters, red squirrels), freshwater macro-invertebrate sampling and camera trapping.

Please note this course will take place during Freshers’ Week

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 7.5 credits (3.75 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Clare Trinder

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • One of Biology (BI) or Environmental Sciences (EV) or Forestry (FY) or Plant Science (PL) or Zoology (ZO)
  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • PL3005 Field Ecology Skills (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Course Aims

  • To provide hands-on experience of identifying and surveying plants and animals;
  • To develop experience with health and safety requirements for field work;
  • To enhance observation, recording and reporting skills.


Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:


  • carry out an efficient and effective basic survey of vascular plants, reptiles, birds and mammals;

  • identify a diversity of plants and animals, and animal sign typical of important Scottish ecosystems;

  • keep a field notebook;

  • write a report in the style of an ecological consultancy report.


Course Content


The field course will comprise six days in the field. The programme is likely to include 2 days on bird and reptile surveys, 2 days on mammal surveys, 2 days on plant surveys. However, the finalised timetable may vary slightly from this breakdown of time.

Associated Costs

There are no associated costs

Further Information & Notes

This course is available only to students on programmes run through the School of Biological Sciences.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed


Contact Teaching Time

Sorry, we don't have that information available.

Teaching Breakdown


1st Attempt: Field notebook (50%) and 1000-word report (50%).

Resit: Similar to 1st Attempt, with pass marks carried forward and an opportunity to resit either the field notebook or the report or both, depending on what was failed in the first attempt.

Formative Assessment

No specific formative assessments will be included, however, feedback will be provided on the quality of the entries in the field notebooks during the first couple of days to ensure students are on track.


Informal verbal feedback will be provided throughout the learning activities in relation to technique and performance.

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