Skip to main content

Module

MST1205 : Marine Practical Skills 1

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Guenther Uher
  • Lecturer: Dr Heather Sugden, Professor Pip Moore, Dr Gary Caldwell, Dr Benjamin Wigham, Dr Jane Delany, Professor Per Berggren, Dr Sara Marsham, Dr William Reid, Professor Grant Burgess
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

To introduce students to fundamental principles of field sampling methods, field observations and recording, whilst using shore-based exercises and research vessel work to measure environmental and biological characteristics of estuarine and coastal environments.

To introduce standard laboratory procedures applicable to a wide range of biological and environmental analyses

To acquire the practical skills underpinning these laboratory procedures, and develop awareness of good laboratory practice regarding health and safety

To give a first introduction to experimental design via field and laboratory sessions

To provide opportunities to apply numeracy & data analysis skills from NES1204 Study Skills to solve a diverse range of problems from contrasting field and laboratory settings

To acquire skills in recording and presenting scientific information

Outline Of Syllabus

This module provides a sound basis for the understanding of fundamental field and laboratory methods in marine science and equips our students with the practical skills required for biological and environmental surveys and laboratory analyses.

All students will:

- experience virtual boat work on our research vessel, which will introduce them to the full range of sampling equipment and provide opportunities for practical exercises

- experience field work, which will give practical introductions into survey design and techniques, design and application of keys, qualitative and quantitative analysis of survey data, and taxonomy and anatomy of coastal marine organisms in a diverse range of local environments

- experience laboratory sessions designed to teach the practical skills required to: Identify bacteria, phyto- & zoo-plankton; examine the internal anatomy of key marine organisms; culture marine bacteria and phytoplankton and studying their growth physiology; and carry out a diverse range of seawater analyses

- complete one small group laboratory exercise on experimental design and blind sample analysis

The module will include lectures, practical briefings and a range of field, boat and laboratory activities with small group teaching elements. All field, boat and laboratory activities will practise observational, note taking and reporting skills using a practical notebook

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 completion415:0060:00Completing four summative practical assessments
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion201:0020:00Completing formative practical notebook
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion91:009:00Completing formative practical assessments
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials21:002:00Online via Canvas - Laboratory Induction session; Millport field course briefing. Semester 1
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical12:002:00Synchronous online practical
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical52:0010:00PiP - Laboratory practicals
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities12:002:00Online - Boat practical - a combination of short recordings of material and short online tasks
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities102:0020:00Online - Lab practicals - a combination of short recordings of material and short online tasks
Guided Independent StudySkills practice201:0020:00Preparing for practical sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Synchronous online data handling PC workshop
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork34:0012:00PiP - Semester 1 field practical
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork134:0034:00PiP - Semester 2 field work
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery20:301:00Online synchronous tutorials following practical work
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00Online synchronous tutorials following practical work
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk20:301:00Online - Semester 1 practical briefings
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk21:002:00Online - Semester 1 module introduction and practical briefings
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures and module talks will introduce the students to the format of the module and outline expectations, including assessment requirements.

Academic skills activities, practicals, fieldwork and workshop sessions are designed to introduce students to key concepts and allow them the opportunity to develop expertise in a range of fundamental scientific skills, including using scientific equipment, and collecting, interpreting and presenting scientific information.

Drop-in sessions will be conducted following summative practical sessions to provide students with opportunity to discuss their assessment and address queries.

Students will practice skills through directed supporting information to consolidate their learning by guided independent study, in particular via online material for practical preparation and subsequent data analysis. Students will be encouraged to become more independent in their learning at this stage in their programmes, developing key skills such as Active Learning, Goal Setting and Action Planning, Decision Making, and Initiative, which they will require at Levels 5 and 6.

Assessment preparation and completion will allow students to fully prepare for their formative and summative coursework. They will have the opportunity to consolidate and build upon knowledge gained in the taught sessions

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 report1M257500 word equivalent report on a laboratory exercise - Dissection practical
Practical/lab report2M25750 word equivalent report on a laboratory exercise - Alkalinity practical
Practical/lab report2M25750 word equivalent report on a field exercise
Prob solv exercises1M25500 word equivalent report on a laboratory based problem solving exercise
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prof skill assessmnt1MFive formative practical exercises
Prof skill assessmnt2MFour formative practical exercises
Practical/lab report1MNotes from formative practical exercises (Practical Notebook)
Practical/lab report2MNotes from formative practical exercises (Practical Notebook)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formatively assessed exercises coursework are designed to test the breadth of knowledge of important concepts related to the application of biological and environmental survey methods, and laboratory analyses. Feedback from formative coursework will prepare students for summative coursework assessments.

The three 750 word equivalent summative reports will assess the students’ ability to plan and carry out experimental work from one field and three laboratory settings, and accurately record, analyse and report scientific data. In producing the report, students will need to demonstrate their use of taught practical skills, and appropriate reporting and interpretation of observations. Students will be expected to produce annotated drawings outlining the key external and internal characteristics of a specimen and detail how form relates to function. In addition, students will compare the morphological features of two similar organisms to identify similarities and differences between them.

The problem solving exercise will examine the students’ ability to design an appropriate experiment suited to the application to unknown samples, and the ability to report outcomes in a concise laboratory report

Reading Lists

Timetable