AB-829 Arctic Winter Ecology (10 ECTS)

fieldwork ion Colessletta

E-mail study@unis.no

ID:
AB-829
CREDITS:
10 ECTS
START DATE:
2 April 2019
END DATE:
15 May 2019
COURSE PERIOD:
Spring semester (April–May), annually.
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION AND EXAMINATION:
English
CREDIT REDUCTION/OVERLAP:
10 ECTS with AB-329
GRADE:
Letter grade (A through F)
COURSE MATERIAL:
Primary scientific literature and book chapters; 300–350 pages
COURSE COSTS:
None
COURSE CAPACITY MIN/MAX:
10/20 students (AB-329/829 in total)
EXAMINATION SUPPORT MATERIAL:
Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue
APPLICATION DEADLINE:
As soon as possible

INSTRUCTORS:

Simone Lang
Simone Lang
Associate professor in terrestrial biology

Course requirements:

Enrolment in a PhD programme in biology or another relevant PhD programme.

Academic content:

The students will gain insight into Arctic winter ecology by lectures. Central topics will be the geophysical characteristics of seasonal, northern environments, physical properties of snow and ice, and adaptation and survival of terrestrial organisms 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, and how the long arctic winter affects 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, on project planning and teamwork under harsh Arctic conditions. The students will lead a research project and present the results from project work in a scientific report and by oral presentation.

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge
Upon completing the course, the students will be able to:

  • Describe and explain environmental conditions during the Arctic winter
  • Describe and explain adaptations and survival strategies that enable successful overwintering in terrestrial organisms
  • Identify major winter conditions which impact on biological communities and terrestrial ecosystems
  • Apply gained knowledge to interpret and evaluate current research in the field of Arctic winter ecology

Skills
Upon completing the course, the students will be able to:

  • Apply scientific methods in project planning and data analysis
  • Measure environmental factors characterizing winter conditions in the field
  • Conduct laboratory measurements related to winter adaptation in terrestrial organisms
  • Interpret ecological data based on statistical evaluation

General competences
Upon completing the course, the students will be able to:

  • Accomplish fieldwork under harsh conditions of the Arctic winter
  • Master teamwork and leadership in research projects
  • Independently communicate research results orally and in writing

Learning activities:

The course extends over 1+6 weeks (see below) and is run in combination with AB-329.

Prior to arrival in 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 6 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: 6–8 day excursions.

Compulsory learning activities:

Literature seminars, fieldwork and other course project work.
All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to be registered for the final assessment.

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: As soon as possible

To apply, send an e-mail to study@unis.no stating which UNIS course(s) you would like to apply for, and which study programme you are enrolled in at your home university for spring 2019. We will then ask for more documentation if needed.

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

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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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