ECOL302 Ecological Research

Credits (ECTS):5

Course responsible:Louise Chavarie

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk

Limits of class size:Maximum 25.

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:Totally 125 houres. Lectures: 10 hours. Short excursions: 10 hours. Field trip: approx. 40 hours. Oral presentation assignment: 65 hours.

Teaching and exam period:The course starts in August block. The course has teaching/evaluation in August block, .

About this course

The course will focus on developing theoretical and practical skills related to key research activities that comprise basic aspects of ecology within applied topics related to nature and resource management. Teaching activities will include excursions, exercises, and lectures. Important keywords in this course are study design, fieldwork, sampling data, data preparation and analyses, presenting results, population and community ecology, climate change, predation, competition, trophic ecology, landscape ecology, diversity, invasion biology, life history, and migration.

Students will learn ecological research topics and skills through collecting data on a field excursion and processing/analysing this data for an oral presentation to be held at a mini-conference organised by the students. The course will be divided into three parts. The first week of the course will consist of 4 days/3 nights of field excursion. The second and third week will consist of lectures, exercises and shorter excursions concerning ecological research spanning ecosystems from coastal areas to mountains, including both terrestrial and aquatic habitats. At the end of the third week, students will present their results from the field excursion at a mini-conference for the course.

The course will provide training in ecological study design, sampling, analyses, presentation and other key research skills at the master level. The course will provide a broad ecological background by touching upon flora and fauna, terrestrial and aquatic environments, establishing foundations necessary to become a versatile research ecologist. The course also aims to encourage team building and a sense of belonging amongst the ECOL student group and enthusiasm for the master's program in ecology.

Learning outcome

A candidate with a completed qualification will have the following learning outcomes from the course:

Knowledge: The student will have knowledge of research in ecology and sustainable management of natural resources.

Skills: The student is able to use methods for collecting data, critically evaluate and analyze this information, and to present results in an academic oral presentation. The student is able to acquire, evaluate and refer to ecological information and subject matter. 

General competence: After completing the course, the student is well acquainted with ecological study design, conducting fieldwork, treatment of data and other knowledge that forms the basis for a master thesis. The student is able to reflect, argue, critique, and contribute to academic discussions on ecological themes and research.

  • A 4 days-long excursion with field work including hands-on study design, sampling organism and environmental parameters, briefings and discussions, lectures, shorter excursions, exercises, and an oral presentation assignment in groups of 3-4 students.
  • Group guidance will be offered in connection with all aspects of the course, analysis of data and oral presentation.
  • Acceptance in the master program in Ecology.
  • Oral exam. Given in the form of a presentation in a mini-conference at the end of the course.

  • A sensor will evaluate of the oral presentation assignment on the mini-conference.
  • All lectures, the field trip and shorter excursions. The power point presentation used in the student conference has to be approved.
  • About 10 hours of lectures/exercises at MINA, 10 hours of short excursions, as well as a 3 nights/4 days full-time program on a field excursion.
  • The course is reserved for students enrolled in the master's program in Ecology.
  • Special requirements in Science.