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BI3002: FIELD ECOLOGY SKILLS (2017-2018)

Last modified: 27 Feb 2018 20:26

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), bird identification and census techniques, terrestrial invertebrate sampling, surveys of mammal populations (e.g. bats, badgers, otters, red squirrels), freshwater macro-invertebrate sampling and camera trapping.

Please note this course will take place during Welcome Week.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Clare Trinder

Qualification Prerequisites


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)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • BI3001 Field Ecology Skills (Passed)

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 and a range of animal species identify a diversity of plants and animals, and animal signs 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 timetable will be finalised depending on expertise available, and may vary slightly from this breakdown of time.

It will start on Thursday 31st August, and run through to the evening of Thursday 7th September. This includes the weekend and some evening sessions.

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.

Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown


More Information about Week Numbers

Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Summative Assessments

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.

Course Learning Outcomes


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