Module Catalogues

Introductory Field Skills for Environmental Scientists

Module Title Introductory Field Skills for Environmental Scientists
Module Level Level 1
Module Credits 5.00
Academic Year 2024/25
Semester SEM1

Aims and Fit of Module

The module develops key skills for environmental scientists. These are mainly to formally observe, describe and report regularity and heterogeneity of field sites. You will focus on two main basic aspects. Firstly, physical characteristics of field sites (topography, slope, climate). Secondly, on the identification of biological specimens (main taxonomic groups at the Order and Family levels). You are also expected to identify field work risks, propose appropriate mitigation measures and reflect on ethical aspects of doing field work. This is accomplished through a hands-on approach using field work around the University Campus. Observations/descriptions have to be reported in basic written and oral forms. Rather than an all-inclusive approach, the module intends to develop the skills for you to be able to deepen in the subjects.

Learning outcomes

A.Recognize the importance of the systematic observation and description of the main physical aspects of the environment B.Recognize main aspects of specimens’ collection and identification (at high taxonomic levels, Order and Family) of selected groups of plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates C.Identify risks and mitigations in the field; as well as develop good field work ethics and habits D.Solve a basic problem by applying a subset of techniques in the field

Method of teaching and learning

The module will be delivered in a mixture of lectures where background of the topics will be introduced. Then, for each topic there will be a hands-on field aspect around the University Campus or locally in Suzhou. After the field work, each topic will be further developed and discussed in Lab/workshops. There will be a guided problem-solving component as well. *Should the University decide to cancel or postpone the field trip due to unforeseen environmental and/or political circumstances, the Department will either plan an appropriate substitute activity to meet the intended learning outcomes of the trip or make necessary arrangements to organize the trip at a later time, as appropriate.