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Module

BIO2003 : Field Identification Skills

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Mark Whittingham
  • Lecturer: Professor Stephen Rushton, Dr Roy Sanderson, Dr Janet Simkin, Dr Mark Shirley
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

To provide a concentrated training in the field and laboratory skills required to identify a variety of species in the British flora and fauna.

Outline Of Syllabus

Entomology: collection, curation and identification of insects using taxonomic keys;
Ornithology: field identification of birds by sight using field guides, with demonstrations of identification in the wild, from photos and in the hand (captured for ringing);capture, inspection and ringing;
Higher plants: collection, curation and identification of flowering plants, trees and ferns using field guides, taxonomic keys and other resources.
Lower plants: collection, curation and identification of bryophytes, lichens and other non-flowering plants, using field guides, keys and other resources.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion322:3067:30Preparation revision material for birds and plants. Students need to ID birds or plants
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials11:001:00Non-synchronous introduction to on-line course
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical52:0010:00Synchronous on-line field course
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study121:3021:30Background reading and independent research
Total100:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The timing of these weeks between academic years allows for the intensity of work required to train students in taxonomic expertise, whilst the weeks are selected as the best times of year in which to find the target taxa in the field with relative ease and in diverse forms.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M1002 pieces of assessment from 6 options. Each assessment comprises a class test, specimen collection and field notebook.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Students are required to spend some time preparing for the activities each day and for the end of unit test.

Students take two units from a choice of four (Entomology, Ornithology, Higher plants, Lower plants/fungi) with each unit being assessed by a combination of the following (a subset of these are used for some units, e.g. no collections of birds) tests, collections and/or field notebooks. The exact composition of the assessment differs between units depending on the subject. The tests will assess knowledge of the identity of common species and the ability to identify others using keys and field guides.

Reading Lists

Timetable