AB-202 Marine Arctic Biology (15 ECTS)

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ID:
AB-202
CREDITS:
15 ECTS
START DATE:
9 January 2017
END DATE:
2 June 2017
COURSE PERIOD:
Spring semester (January–May/June), annually
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION AND EXAMINATION:
English
CREDIT REDUCTION/OVERLAP:
None
GRADE:
Letter grade (A through F)
COURSE MATERIAL:
Curriculum/reading list: Sakshaug et al. (2009): “Ecosystem Barents Sea”. Ca. 80 pages from articles.
COURSE COSTS:
Fieldwork/cruise: Ca. NOK 1400 (7 days x NOK 200 per day)
COURSE CAPACITY MIN/MAX:
9/18 students
EXAMINATION SUPPORT MATERIAL:
Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue
APPLICATION DEADLINE:
15 October 2016

INSTRUCTORS:

Janne Søreide
Janne Søreide
Associate Professor, Arctic Marine Biology - Ecology

Course requirements:

60 ECTS within general natural sciences, of which 30 ECTS within the field of biology. The applicant must be enrolled in a programme at Bachelor level, or document that the courses are approved into the applicant’s current study programme.

Academic content:

This course gives an introduction to the most common Arctic marine organisms, and their adaptations to the marine Arctic physical and biological environment. During the course, sea ice (= sympagic), pelagic and benthic ecosystems will be studied, from smaller protists and invertebrates to higher trophic levels such as fish, sea birds and marine
mammals.

At the start of the semester there will be a focus on theory, including writing a term paper or present a poster on  selected topics motivating the students to study the course curriculum consisting of the book: Ecosystem Barents Sea, edited by E. Sakshaug, G. Johnsen and K. Kovacs and 8-10 selected scientific papers. Later the main focus will be on practical work including laboratory and field work, to process, analyse and present own data. The students will collect physical and biological data during field excursions by snow mobiles (1 day excursion to an ice covered Svalbard fjord) and during a 1-week intensive research cruise with a larger vessel there common marine sampling techniques and analyses for studying hydrography, protists, zooplankton, hard and soft benthos and fish will be practiced.

For students interested it is possible to use AB-202 samples to do an internship over the summer or autumn (see UNIS course AB-207 Research Project in Arctic Biology for more information). In AB-202 there will be a balanced mixture of lectures, seminars, laboratory exercises and field work to give the students a broad introduction to Arctic marine ecosystems, their functions and complexity.

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge

Upon completing the course, the students will be able to:

  • Identify the most common species in the sympagic, pelagic and benthic ecosystems in the high-Arctic and their ecological roles
  • Discuss physical and biological factors and their impacts on species, to entire communities in Arctic marine ecosystems.
  • Understand how the seasonality of the Arctic ecosystem influences the timing of key biological processes.

Skills

Upon completing the course, the students will be able to:

  • Identify the most common species of the Arctic marine flora and fauna using available literature.
  • Sample, process and analyse marine ecological data.
  • Communicate their results orally and written to the scientific community.

General competences

Upon completing the course, the students will have competences in:

  • Team work, including leading and organize group work.
  • Problem solving.
  • Conduct outdoor work and activities under sometimes harsh Arctic winter conditions.

Learning activities:

The course extends over a full semester. Initially, students attend one week of compulsory Arctic survival and safety training (AS-101).

The field excursion and student research cruise will allow students to learn standard marine biological sampling techniques and analyses. Student projects will be arranged for students to learn how to analyze the marine ecological data collected during the cruise. The projects will include both group work (field report) and individual work (term paper/poster).

Total lecture hours: 30 hours.
Total seminar hours: 25 hours.
Laboratory exercises: 3–6 days.
Field cruise:  7 days
Excursion: 1 day

Compulsory learning activities:

Field excursion (1 day) and student research cruise (6–7 days), laboratory exercises.
All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to sit the exam.

Assessment:

Method Duration
Percentage of final grade
Field report (group work)
20%
Term paper
30%
Written exam 4 hours
50%

All assessments must be passed in order to pass the course. Each assessment is graded, and subsequently combined into a single grade. Partial grades for each assessment will be available.

Application deadline: 15 October 2016

Fieldwork on the sea ice.

AB-202 fieldwork on the sea ice. Photo: Frank Eggenfellner/UNIS.

Students with fish

Catch of the day! AB-202 course cruise. Photo: Frank Eggenfellner/UNIS.

CONTACT INFO

The University Centre in Svalbard
Telephone: +47 79 02 33 00
Fax: +47 79 02 33 01
E-mail: post@unis.no / webmaster@unis.no
Address: P.O. Box 156 N-9171 Longyearbyen
Org. no. 985 204 454

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