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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

  • An overseas field course delivered in northwest Florida during one week of the Easter holidays.
  •  Local experts guide you through the range of habitats and ecosystems found on the Florida coast.
  •  Visits include seagrass meadows, an estuary reserve, energy coasts, freshwater springs and sand dunes and provide an overview of what structures the ecosystems and an awareness of the impacts of human activities on coastal systems.
  •  Structured sampling activities strengthen your skills in recording data, keeping a field notebook and analyzing information to compare and contrast ecosystems.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 7.5 credits (3.75 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Tara Marshall

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


What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course will be delivered at the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory, St Teresa, Florida ( The coast of northwest Florida is considered one of six biodiversity hotspots in the United States. Florida State University Coastal & Marine Laboratory (FSUCML) has easy access to a mosaic of habitats ranging from oyster reefs to seagrass meadows, with boat access to nearshore sponge reefs and offshore drowned patch reefs. Facilities at the laboratory include a fleet of boats, residences, classrooms, and laboratories. Trips to nearby field sites will be run on the first five days. These trips will study some or all following habitats: seagrass meadow, wetlands, sandy shore or muddy/silty shore, estuary, salt marsh and dunes. Each field trip will be followed by an associated group-based activity which compares structure and functioning of the sub-tropical environment with a temperate environment local to Aberdeen. This comparison will also include an analysis of issues related to environmental sustainability and habitat use.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for courses may be subject to change. All updates for first-half session courses will be actioned no later than 1700 (GMT) on 18 September 2020. All updates for second half-session courses will be actioned in advance of second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: Course assessment will be based on two elements: a field note book (50%) and project work (50%). The field note book will be kept by individual students throughout the course to record data and relevant information. Project work will focus on one issue of particular interest, and students will work in pairs. On the final day of the course students will present oral presentations summarising their project work. Resit: Resubmission of notebook (50%) and submission of a written project report (50%).

Formative Assessment

Formative assessment will be provided during interactions between staff and students on field trips and during group activities throughout.


Each student will receive individual feedback and a mark for each task. Feedback will be provided as written comments. Groups will also be given generic feedback.

Course Learning Outcomes


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