AB-206 Introduction to Svalbard’s terrestrial flora and fauna (5 ECTS)

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ID:
AB-206
CREDITS:
5 ECTS
START DATE:
13 July 2017
END DATE:
28 July 2017
COURSE PERIOD:
Summer/Autumn semester (July), annually
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION AND EXAMINATION:
English
CREDIT REDUCTION/OVERLAP:
None
GRADE:
Letter grade (A through F)
COURSE MATERIAL:
Systematic and species keys of about 100–120 vascular plant species, and the relevant fauna taxa. Curriculum, ca. 100 pages based on scientific papers.
COURSE COSTS:
None
COURSE CAPACITY MIN/MAX:
10/20 students
EXAMINATION SUPPORT MATERIAL:
Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue. 5 hand outs in A4 binder at each examination station: 1, 2. Rønning 1996 "Svalbard’s flora" in English and Norwegian. 3. List of plant names with synonyms. 4, 5. Additional Draba and Festuca keys. 6. Overview of mites and collembolans. 7. Diptera key.
APPLICATION DEADLINE:
15 April 2017

INSTRUCTORS:

Pernille Bronken Eidesen
Pernille Bronken Eidesen
Associate Professor, Terrestrial Arctic Biology

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.
The course is strongly recommended as a preparation for students following the autumn course AB-201 Arctic Terrestrial Biology, and students participating in AB-201 will be prioritized.

Academic content:

The intentions behind this course are to give bachelor students an introduction to the main taxonomic groups present in Svalbard, the importance of systematic research, and the difficulties related to taxonomy in many Arctic species, which often have wide distribution ranges, and show high levels of intraspecific variation.

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge
Upon completing the course, the students can:

  • List names and describe characters of common terrestrial species or taxa in Svalbard, with main focus on vascular plants, invertebrates and birds.
  • Have basic understanding of systematic research and different species concepts.

Skills
Upon completing the course, the students can:

  • Use identification keys, and be able to identify common species in the field.

General competences
Upon completing the course, the students can:

  • Structure hierarchical information.

Learning activities:

The course is a fourteen-day intensive course including compulsory safety training.

After introductory lectures, we will focus on three species groups: vascular plants, invertebrates, and birds. These three species groups will be taught through complementary lectures, fieldwork, and laboratory exercises. We will visit a range of different habitats around Longyearbyen, where we will look at various species in the field, and set out insect traps and collect plant material for further identification at the lab. Current research questions and methodology will be discussed in a seminar session. Reading material for the seminar session (8–10 journal articles) will be provided in advance, and participants are expected to have read the provided literature upon arrival.

Total lecture hours: 12 hours.
Total seminar hours: 4 hours.
Laboratory work: 23 hours.
Excursions: 6 days (one full day, five shorter days).

Compulsory learning activities:

Field excursions, seminar and laboratory exercises.
All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to sit the exam.

Assessment:

Method Duration
Percentage of final grade
Practical exam  4 hours
100%

All assessments must be passed in order to pass the course.

Application deadline: 15 April 2017

Students on fieldwork at Hiorthhamn

AB-206 students on fieldwork at Hiorthhamn. Photo: Pernille B. Eidesen/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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