AB-330 Ecosystems in Ice Covered Waters (10 ECTS)

Ice core sample

How to apply

ID:
AB-330
CREDITS:
10 ECTS
START DATE:
4 April 2016
END DATE:
3 May 2016
COURSE PERIOD:
Spring semester (April–May), every second year. Next course: Spring 2016
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION AND EXAMINATION:
English
CREDIT REDUCTION/OVERLAP:
10 ECTS with AB-830
GRADE:
Letter grade (A through F)
COURSE MATERIAL:
Articles and book chapters
COURSE COSTS:
Fieldwork, NOK 1600 (8 days x NOK 200 per overnight stay)
COURSE CAPACITY MIN/MAX:
9/18 students (AB-330/830 in total)
EXAMINATION SUPPORT MATERIAL:
Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue
APPLICATION DEADLINE:
15 October 2015

INSTRUCTORS:

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

Course requirements:

Enrolment in a master programme in biology.

Academic content:

The course gives students both theoretical and hands-on knowledge on sea ice ecosystem biodiversity, ecological function and coupling with the pelagic and benthic systems. The lectures aim to give an overview of current knowledge and methodology within sea ice ecology and biology, to give the students the necessary background to conduct, analyse and discuss their own field data. Introduction to physical properties of light, snow, sea ice and sea water (hydrography) will also be given, to better understand the physical constraints and drivers for structuring Arctic sea ice ecosystems. Mechanisms regulating the timing of key biological processes such as the ice algal and phytoplankton blooms and secondary production will be emphasized as well as trophic interactions and energy flow. Further, the students will learn various laboratory techniques to obtain data on abundance, biomass (chlorophyll a, carbon content), and organisms’ nutritious status (e.g. lipids).

The course may have a different geographical focus and research platforms depending on the selection of research projects by the lecturers, e.g. landfast sea ice in fjords (reached by snow mobile excursions) or the marginal ice zone (using larger research vessels).

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge
Upon completing the course, the students will have:
Knowledge on species diversity and key functional groups in sea ice dominated ecosystems in the Arctic. In depth understanding of which physical and biological drivers that structure these unique ecosystems, and the linkages between the sea ice (sympagic), pelagic and benthic compartments. Extensive knowledge on important ecological processes in sea ice ecosystems (colonization, timing of algal blooms, succession, and trophic interactions), and general knowledge on physical properties of light, snow, sea ice (formation, age, structure etc.) and sea water (hydrograpy).

Skills
Upon completing the course, the students will have:
Taxonomic knowledge on common protists, meiofauna and meso- and macrofauna living within and in close association with sea ice. Practical training in operating various state-of-the art field-devices for collecting physical and biological data in sea ice covered environments. Competence to plan and carry out field studies under sometimes challenging Arctic conditions. Students will also improve their writing and oral skills based on assignments given during the course (see below).

General competences
Upon completing the course, the students will have:
Organisational skills for effective and successful recording of field observations. Competence in design and implementation of research tasks as part of a team, and to communicate their research results to the scientific community.

Learning activities:

The course extends 4-5 weeks including compulsory safety training, and is run in combination with AB-830.

The course will start with a theoretical introduction (5-9 days) followed by extensive sampling activities on sea ice during the field excursion. The students will get extensive training in the main physical and biological field techniques, and sample processing in sea ice ecosystem studies. The samples will be analysed partly in field and partly at UNIS. The data produced will provide the basis for the written project report and poster presentation

Total lecture hours: 30 hours
Laboratory exercises / seminars: 30 hours
Excursion: Ca. 8 days
Data analysis and presentations: 14 hours.

Compulsory learning activities:

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

Assessment:

Method Duration
Percentage of final grade
Written technical report 20%
Poster presentation 30%
Written exam  3 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 2015

Kapp Amsterdam, Van Mijenfjorden

AB-330/830 fieldwork in Svea, Van Mijenfjorden. Photo: Ane Cecilie Kvernvik/UNIS.

Fieldwork in Van Mijenfjorden

AB-330/830 fieldwork in Svea, Van Mijenfjorden. Photo: Ane Cecilie Kvernvik/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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