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BL4301   Polar Ecology: A field course in Antarctica

Academic year(s): 2018-2019

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 15

ECTS credits : 7

Level : SCQF level 10

Semester: Full Year

Availability restrictions: To be confirmed

Planned timetable: To be arranged.

This module will provide a theoretical and practical introduction to the marine ecology of Antarctica with emphasis on marine top predators (sea birds and marine mammals), ecosystem functionality and conservation issues. Students will participate in a two-week vessel-based expedition to Antarctica during the austral summer (northern winter). This field trip involves traveling to southern Argentina, conducting at-sea surveys of whales, seals and sea birds during transit to/from the Antarctic Peninsula, participating in shore-based activities (e.g. observations at penguin colonies, visit to active research station), and exploring Antarctic coastal waters from small boats and the ice-strengthened vessel. Through a series of lectures, workshops, on-board practicals and field excursions, students will gain appreciation of and insights into the diversity, complexity, scientific and management challenges of the Antarctic ecoregion. Participating students will need to cover all logistic expenses via payment of a substantial expedition fee.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass BL2307 or pass BL3308 or pass BL3318. You must have a medical certificate documenting fit for travel to remote Antarctic

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 2.5-week field trip involving extensive travel and 100 hours of contact time on the ship

Scheduled learning hours: 100

Guided independent study hours: 50

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Coursework = 100%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 0%
Practical examinations : 50%
Coursework: 50%

Re-assessment: Resubmission of failed item(s) of Coursework


Module teaching staff: Dr S Heinrich, Dr L Boehme