ENV BIOL 3221 - Research Methods in Marine Biology III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

This course demonstrates fundamental approaches and specialist techniques required of contemporary investigations in marine biology and ecology. It promotes an awareness of modern research programs of governmental and non-governmental agencies and demonstrates key analytical techniques, many of which are not taught at Australian universities at any undergraduate or postgraduate level. The course combines current thinking (theory) and practical measurement (practice) used to understand natural influences and human domination of top-down processes (e.g. Marine Protected Areas and fishing) and bottom-up processes (e.g. waste water treatment, catchment management) that maintain and disrupt ecosystem function and sustainability. Particular emphasis is placed on temperate coasts for which the Australian population is largest and most dense, coastal-ocean problems most expensive and intense, and career opportunities most diverse and numerous.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ENV BIOL 3221
    Course Research Methods in Marine Biology III
    Coordinating Unit School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week
    Assumed Knowledge Completion of Level I and II of BSc (Marine Biology)
    Restrictions Available to BSc(Marine Biology) students only
    Course Description This course demonstrates fundamental approaches and specialist techniques required of contemporary investigations in marine biology and ecology. It promotes an awareness of modern research programs of governmental and non-governmental agencies and demonstrates key analytical techniques, many of which are not taught at Australian universities at any undergraduate or postgraduate level. The course combines current thinking (theory) and practical measurement (practice) used to understand natural influences and human domination of top-down processes (e.g. Marine Protected Areas and fishing) and bottom-up processes (e.g. waste water treatment, catchment management) that maintain and disrupt ecosystem function and sustainability. Particular emphasis is placed on temperate coasts for which the Australian population is largest and most dense, coastal-ocean problems most expensive and intense, and career opportunities most diverse and numerous.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Pablo Munguia

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    A successful student in this course should be able to:

    1 Demonstrate field-based sampling and experimental skills;
    2 Define  logical observations,models and hypotheses to shape research questions;
    3 Apply statistical techniques to real dataand correctly interpreting the outcome;
    4 Demonstrate team-oriented management of projects, especiallycommunication with peers;
    5 Use conventions in technical writing, the structure of scientificpapers and graphical methods for presenting data;
    6 Recognise a range of different approaches to marine biologicalresearch;
    7 Explain the need of method(s) to eliminate unrealistic theory;
    8 Develop rigorous sampling designs and apply them to the real world;
    9 Develop anddemonstrate scientific communication skills in both written and oral form (i.e.with peers).
    University Graduate Attributes

    No information currently available.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is delivered by the following means:
    • 1 X 2-hour lectures per week
    • 1 x 4-hour workshop or field workshop per week
    • 2 X 6-hour field trips during scheduled course times.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
    Learning Activities Summary
    Students are taught the scientific method. Class activities centre on hypothesis generating and hypothesis testing exercises. During practicals, students are taught how to design experiments and collect data. Students are also taught how to process and analyse data. Finally, students are taught how to synthesize and present results. Topics include but are not limited to: experimental design, how to test for species interactions, how to test for abiotic stressors, experimental designs for categorical data, experimental designs for continuous data, pulse and press experiments.
    Specific Course Requirements
    Two of the practicals involve field trips and field work.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    This is a Small Group Discovery Experience course. The course is led by experienced academics and it is primarily centered on hands-on, active participation of students. Because the main objective is for students to experience research activities, the course focuses on a formal collaboration between students and instructors.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Type of Assessment Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes Hurdle
    Yes/No
    Outcomes being assessed/
    achieved
     Due Date
    Class Activities Formative and Summative

    40%

    No 1,2,6,7,8 Weeks 2-8
    Class Project Formative and Summative 20% No 1-9 Week 8
    Project Report Formative and Summative 20% No 1-9 Week 12
    Project Presentation Formative and Summative 20% No 1-9 Week 12
    Assessment Detail

    Class Activities (40% of total)
    Hypothesis generating exercise (10%) – students will be assessed on how to construct hypotheses. This will be conducted in written quiz format, approximately 20 minutes in class.
    Experimental design exercise (10%) – students will be assessed on experimental design. This will be conducted in quiz format, approximately 20 minutes in class.
    Literature review (10%) students will be assessed in discussion of primary scientific literature, the principles of scientific reports and, evaluation of new ideas to further scientific knowledge. approximately 20 minutes in class.
    Group project design (10%) Students will be assessed on the proposal for a group project (see below) that they will then conduct in the field. Each student will submit a proposal. Maximum of 2 pages.

    Class Project Report (20%)
    The class project is an experiment conducted by everyone in the class to demonstrate design, collection and analysis of data. The field and practical components during the first half of the course are designed to teach students how to carry out the different aspects behind research. The evaluation of these components is a report using data collected by the entire class and it is handed in individually.

    Group Project Report (20%)
    Group projects are conducted in groups of 2-3 students where each group designs and carries out an experiment, including hypothesis generating, testing, collecting and analysis of data. The project report is turned in at the end of the semester. Each group will write a report sharing the grade  amongst the group; the length of the report is 3 pages long not including figures and tables.

    Group Project Presentation (20%)
    Student oral communication and ability to synthesize projects will be assessed at the end of the semester through individual class presentations.
    Submission
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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