AB-329 Arctic Winter Ecology (10 ECTS)

fieldwork ion Colessletta

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ID:
AB-329
CREDITS:
10 ECTS
START DATE:
27 February 2017
END DATE:
29 March 2017
COURSE PERIOD:
Spring semester (February–March), every second year. Next course: Spring 2017
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION AND EXAMINATION:
English
CREDIT REDUCTION/OVERLAP:
10 ECTS with AB-829
GRADE:
Letter grade (A through F)
COURSE MATERIAL:
Primary scientific literature and book chapters; 300–350 pages
COURSE COSTS:
400 NOK (200 NOK x 2 days with overnight stay)
COURSE CAPACITY MIN/MAX:
9/18 students (AB-329/829 in total)
EXAMINATION SUPPORT MATERIAL:
Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue
APPLICATION DEADLINE:
15 October 2016

INSTRUCTORS:

Ingibjörg Svala Jónsdóttir. Professor, terrestrisk økologi.
Ingibjörg Svala Jónsdóttir
Adjunct Professor, Arctic Terrestrial Ecology

Course requirements:

Enrolment in a master programme in biology.

Academic content:

Introduction is given through lectures to geophysical characteristics of seasonal, northern environments, physical properties of snow and ice, basic thermodynamics, radiation and spectral topics, energy flow in ecosystems and metabolic processes during the Arctic winter. Special consideration is given to changes in winter conditions as a consequence of climate change.

Based on the course literature, seminar discussions and lab and field studies, certain topics are dealt with in depth, such as morphological, physiological and life history traits related to winter survival in terrestrial plants, invertebrates and vertebrates, trophic interactions, ecosystem carbon balance during winter, and how the long Arctic winter affects population dynamics, community structure, vertebrate social structures and overall ecosystem functioning.

Strong emphasis is on field demonstrations of relevant features of the winter in the High Arctic for better understanding the selective forces of the Arctic winter. Students get hands on training in the field and in the lab, training in research teamwork in data collection, data analysis and communication of scientific results, both oral and written.

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge
Upon completing the course, the students will have:
Knowledge of environmental conditions during the Arctic winter, adaptations and survival strategies that enable successful overwintering in terrestrial organisms. Insight into how winter conditions impact population dynamics, biological communities and terrestrial ecosystems.

Skills
Upon completing the course, the students will have:
Skills in experimental laboratory work when addressing questions related to winter survival, and in doing fieldwork under harsh conditions of the Arctic winter. Skills in data collection and analysis.

General competences
Upon completing the course, the students will have:
Competence in teamwork. Understanding of possibilities and limitations for conducting research in the field under extreme winter conditions. Ability to interpret ecological experimental data and communicate results orally and in writing.

Learning activities:

The course extends over 1+4 weeks (see below) and is run in combination with AB-829.

Prior to arrival at Svalbard students must read primary literature that has been sent to them in advance, and they must prepare for seminars (approximately one week of full time study). After arrival at UNIS, the course extends over 4 intensive weeks including compulsory safety training. See “Academic content” for an overview of the learning activities.

Total lecture/seminar hours: 35 hours.
Lab work: 20 hours.
Fieldwork: 8 days.

Compulsory learning activities:

Literature seminars, fieldwork and other course project work.
All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to sit the exam.

Assessment:

Method
Percentage of final grade
 Literature seminar presentation 20%
 Written project report 70%
 Oral presentation of report 10%

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

Filedwork in Colesdalen

AB-329/829 students on fieldwork in Colesdalen in late February when the Sun returns. Photo: Larissa Beumer/UNIS

Students in Adventdalen

AB-329/829 excursion in Adventdalen. Photo: Steve Coulson/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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