AB-333 Arctic Winter Limnology (10 ECTS)

AB-333/833 students performing fieldwork at Kapp Linné

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ID:
AB-333
CREDITS:
10 ECTS
START DATE:
27 February 2017
END DATE:
30 March 2017
COURSE PERIOD:
Spring semester (February–March), annually.
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION AND EXAMINATION:
English
CREDIT REDUCTION/OVERLAP:
10 ECTS with AB-833
GRADE:
Letter grade (A through F)
COURSE MATERIAL:
Curriculum; ca. 350 pages
COURSE COSTS:
None
COURSE CAPACITY MIN/MAX:
9/18 students (AB-333/833 in total)
EXAMINATION SUPPORT MATERIAL:
Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue
APPLICATION DEADLINE:
15 October 2016

Course requirements:

Enrolment in a relevant master programme.

Academic content:

Limnology is the scientific study of lakes, rivers, and wetlands. It is an interdisciplinary science, encompassing the biology, chemistry, geology, and physics of freshwater systems. This course is focusing on the biology of organisms, from microbes to fish, of Arctic lakes and ponds during winter, and how the various abiotic factors are influencing the biological diversity and ecology within these systems, the trohpic interactions, and nutrient and energy flows between the terrestrial and limnic systems.

The role of streams and rivers as corridors for fauna and particles between inland and coastal areas are evaluated. The course will also emphasize the potential effects of global climate and environmental change and increased human activity on freshwater ecosystems in Arctic regions.

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge
Upon completing the course, the students will have:
Specialized insight into physical, chemical and biological characteristic of Arctic limnic ecosystems during the entire annual cycle and especially during winter. The ability to analyze how the environmental factors in the Arctic shape the biodiversity and ecological interactions in limnic ecosystems. Advanced insight into the taxonomy, biogeography and ecology of the main autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms in ponds and lakes at Svalbard.

Skills
Upon completing the course, the students will have:
Thorough knowledge of common Arctic freshwater pelagic and benthic organisms as well as how to sample and analyse such communities. Experiences in methodological possibilities and limitations to run field sampling events and laboratory experiments. An analytic and critical approach to deal with scientific literature and other sources of information and how use these to structure and formulate hypotheses.

General competences
Upon completing the course, the students will have:
Experience in how to combine field data with empirical knowledge into a scientific context using statistical analysis and interpretation of biodiversity data. Skills to carry out an independent, limited research or development project under supervision and in accordance with scientific norms. Experience in outreach activities of scientific matters including masters language and terminology of the academic field.

Learning activities:

The course extends over 4–5 weeks including compulsory safety training, and is run in combination with AB-833.

The course is based on a combination of lectures with guest teachers from several fields of limnology, various types of weekly commitments (paper presentations, exercises, discussions and essays), and laboratory work (experiments, microscopy and analyses) based on field samples. There are also scheduled hours for preparing the course report (which is part of the assessment). One or two field trips to lakes and ponds at and around Kapp Linné will be used to demonstrate the different types of freshwater ecosystem and to collect samples for the students to work with in the laboratory.

Total lecture hours: 20 hours.
Total seminar hours: 8 hours.
Laboratory work: 5–6 days.
Excursions: Several 1-day excursions (weather dependent).

Compulsory learning activities:

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

Assessment:

Method
Percentage of final grade
 Two written reports 60%
 Oral exam 40%

All assessments must be passed in order to pass the course.
Only the final grade will be reported, based on an average of the grades from the examination parts.

Application deadline: 15 October 2016

AB-333/833 students performing fieldwork at Kapp Linné

AB-333/833 students performing fieldwork at Kapp Linné. Photo: Kirsten Christoffersen/UNIS.

Labwork at UNIS

AB-333/833 students examining plankton samples in the UNIS lab. Photo: Kirsten Christoffersen/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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