AB-321 Ecology of Arctic Marine Benthos (10 ECTS)

Students on deck

How to apply

ID:
AB-321
CREDITS:
10 ECTS
START DATE:
July 2019
END DATE:
September 2019
COURSE PERIOD:
Autumn semester, every second year. Next course: 2019
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION AND EXAMINATION:
English
CREDIT REDUCTION/OVERLAP:
10 ECTS with AB-821
GRADE:
Letter grade (A through F)
COURSE MATERIAL:
Primary scientific literature, 300–350 pages
COURSE COSTS:
Fieldwork, ca. NOK 2400 (12 days x NOK 200 per overnight stay)
COURSE CAPACITY MIN/MAX:
9/18 students (AB-321/821 in total)
EXAMINATION SUPPORT MATERIAL:
Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue
APPLICATION DEADLINE:
15 April 2019

INSTRUCTORS:

Paul Renaud
Paul Renaud
Adjunct Professor, Benthic Ecology

Course requirements:

Enrolment in a master programme in biology or other relevant field, and knowledge similar to AB-202 Arctic Marine Biology.

Academic content:

The students will gain insight into the taxonomy, biogeography and ecology of the main benthic species in Svalbard waters and the polar basin North of Svalbard. The course has a special emphasis on hands-on identification of benthos as well as processes important for understanding the Arctic ecosystem.

Lectures deal with identification of benthic species, life history and functional traits, trophic interactions and physical forcing. The practical fieldwork will be designed by the teachers and implemented into the course. Work during cruises will focus on several research projects that integrate acquired knowledge and skills, and will vary from year to year, targeting specific habitats or ecological processes.

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge
Upon completing the course, the students will:
Understand biodiversity patterns and ecological interactions in high Arctic ecosystems. They will have command over the taxonomy, biogeography and ecology of the main benthic species in Svalbard waters and the polar basin north of Svalbard.

Skills
Upon completing the course, the students will:
Be able to identify common Arctic marine benthic species, understand strengths and weaknesses of common benthic sampling techniques, and be able to design sampling plans, present research projects and syntesize results.

General competences
Upon completing the course, the students will:
Have acquired practical experience relating field data into scientific contexts, apply basic statistical analyses to data they have collected, and interpret field data to evaluate scientific questions and theory.

Learning activities:

The course extends over 4–5 weeks including compulsory safety training, and is run in combination with AB-821.

One-week theoretical introduction and preparation of field activities will be followed by a 10–12 day research cruise. During this cruise, sampling will be conducted in different localities around Svalbard (fjord and off-shelf). The last part of the course (around 2 weeks) will contain lab exercises focused on species identification and other relevant analysis of the collected material on which an approved lab report will be submitted.

Total lecture hours: 30 hours.
Laboratory/exercises/seminars: 30 hours.
Scientific cruise: 10–12 days.

Compulsory learning activities:

Field excursions, laboratory activities, cruise report writing, and oral presentation.
All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to sit the exam.

Assessment:

Method Duration
Percentage of final grade
 Written exam  5 hours  60%
 Practical exam  3 hours  40%

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 April 2019

Ghost shrimp on kelp on the ocean floor.

Ghost shrimp on kelp on the ocean floor. Photo: Geir Johnsen/UNIS.

Sorting fish onboard

AB-321/821 students sorting the day’s catch during their course cruise. Photo: Fredrik Broms/Akvaplan-niva

An Atlantic cod hiding in a cove at 35 m depth by the Kvadehuken. Photo: Bjørn Gulliksen/UNIS.

An Atlantic cod hiding in a cove at 35 m depth by the Kvadehuken. Photo: Bjørn Gulliksen/UNIS.

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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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