BIOEB505-23X (BLK)

Coastal and Estuarine Ecology

15 Points

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Division of Health Engineering Computing & Science
School of Science
Ecology, Biodiversity and Animal Behaviour


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What this paper is about

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This paper emphasizes multi-disciplinary science to better understand the functioning of coastal and estuarine soft-sediment ecosystems. The course will cover fundamental ecological principles of soft-sediment ecosystems through to the impacts associated with human activities and how to manage them. Student participation in practical exercises in experimental field ecology during a week long field trip will be at the core of the learning process.
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How this paper will be taught

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This course will be taught using a combination of online learning (via Moodle) and during an intensive, compulsory one-week course (Jul 2-7) at Leigh Marine Laboratory by staff from the University of Auckland, University of Waikato & Otago University. To develop understanding of important concepts, students will be expected to complete reading lists and accompanying questions in preparation for the block course. The block course will consist of interactive seminars based on the readings, and feature a strong practical field component.

The course will start online with assigned readings posted to moodle by Monday May 15 and finish with submission of the field trip report on Friday September 24. There will be a compulsory block course during which seminars will be given and assignments started/completed.

Compulsory block course: Sunday Jul 02-07 Leigh Marine Laboratory

The block course will run from Sunday Jul 02- Friday Jul 08 inclusive. Students will be expected to arrive at Leigh Sunday (Jul 02) evening so we can begin the course promptly Monday morning after breakfast. The accommodation and travel are all subsided but you will be expected to contribute to the costs of food and someone who will help prepare it which will be approximately $150 for the week (depending on numbers). The course will finish early Friday afternoon allowing time to travel home. A detailed program for Leigh will provided closer to the time but during the week we will be running seminars based on the assigned reading (see seminar topics below), listening to student presentations and designing and conducting a field study that will provide the data for the field trip report.

Seminar readings posted to moodle are expected to be completed prior to the week-long block course so students can engage in meaningful discussion.

Summary of key dates:

Week 20 Mon 15 May: Moodle page goes live: course introduction, seminar topics and readings posted. "Marine science in the news" assignment and Course essay assignment posted

Week 20-26: Complete seminar readings, work on "Marine science in the news" presentation and essay

Week 27: Compulsory one week block course at Leigh Marine Laboratory. "Marine science in the news" presentation due and Field trip report assignment set

Week 28 Fri 14 Jul: Marine science in the news assignment due

Week 32 Fri 11 Aug: Course essay due

Week 40 Fri 06 Oct: Field trip report due

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Required Readings

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All reading lists will be provided via Moodle
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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Critically evaluate relevant scientific literature and demonstrate this ability through a written essay and discussions in seminars
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  • Design, collect and analyze field data using appropriate techniques
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  • Engage in informed discussions related to: complexity and functioning of soft sediment ecosystems, how science is conducted in these systems, the science behind management/conservation and possible solutions to the challenges caused by human activities
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  • Write a scientific report that is integrated with the relevant literature.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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How you will be assessed

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Participation
7 Jul 2023
No set time
  • Other: In Class
2. Presentation
14 Jul 2023
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Essay
11 Aug 2023
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Field trip report
6 Oct 2023
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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