By the end of the course, the student
- Has gained a general understanding of concepts and methods needed to examine key processes in estuarine ecosystems,
- Has experience in performing an estuarine ecological experiment (including design, performance, analyses & reporting),
- Has obtained the ability to critically read, understand and interpret scientific literature
- Has developed skills communicating scientific results to a broader audience.
Coastal systems such as Eestuaries or tidal embayments are among the most biologically productive ecosystems on the planet-critical to the life cycles of fish, other aquatic animals, and the creatures that feed on them. The Estuarine Coastal Ecology module covers the physical and chemical aspects of coastal systemsestuaries, the biology and ecology of key organisms, the flow of organic matter through estuariescoastal systems, and human interactions, such as the environmental impact of fisheries on coastsestuaries and the effects of global climate change on these important ecosystems.|
We will discuss state-of-the-art thoughts and findings based on recent peer-reviewed scientific papers from international journals authored by a team of experts from the coastalestuarine science community. These papers focus on temperate coastal systems and cover key processes that structure these systems (a.o. bio-geomorphology, primary productivity and trophic transfer).
The course will start with introductions on the framework of the course, and how to read and present a scientific paper. Hereafter, the organizers of CoastalEstuarine Ecology module will introduce each week two specific scientific papers, one general paper on the background of the process studied and one paper comprising new insights on this matter, which will be made available via the Blackboard.
The students are then requested to read the papers thoroughly. The general paper is discussed within the group. For the second paper, students should prepare questions within small groups with regard to the Introduction, Materials & Methods, Results or Discussion sections. After discussing the questions within the full group, the students will interview one of the authors of the second paper. In addition, students (one group per week) will prepare a presentation on the second paper indicated for a broader audience, which is presented as the start of the discussion with the invited author.
Furthermore, students will learn to execute an experiment within the field of coastalestuarine ecology, including the design, performance, data analyses and reporting. Data analyses will be done using R, a programming language and software environment for statistical computing and graphics, which will be shortly introduced during the course. The one-day experiment will be performed at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) on Texel.
Development of Transferable Skills:
- Ability to work in a team: research papers and a scientific experiment need to be prepared and carried out in teams. Students have to distribute tasks and organize the workflow.
- Problem solving: students will measure their own data and have to use different statistical approaches to analyse them and make scientifically valid conclusions.
- Verbal communication skills: emphasis is put on transferring knowledge to a non-scientific audience; talks need to be prepared to make scientific literature and concepts approachable for the general public.
- Quantitative skills: univariate statistical methods will be applied to analyse experimental results
- Technical skills: using computer programs as R for statistical analysis
|Je moet een geldige toelatingsbeschikking hebben|
Voorkennis kan worden opgedaan met
|Essential: Bachelor or equivalent degree in Biology or Earth Sciences or related field. |
Useful background: basic knowledge of marine sciences, mathematics and R.
|Mariene wetenschappen I, II & III (B-B1MAWE13, B-B3MSCI05, B-B2MAWE14)||Verplicht materiaal-Aanbevolen materiaal|
|Zuur, A.F., Ieno, E.N., Meesters, E. 2009. A Beginner’s Guide to R. Springer.|
BeoordelingFinal grading is based upon written exams (open questions) on 20 December 2017 (40%) and 26 January 2018 (40%) referring to the scientific papers that are discussed during the course, and a report of the experiment to be submitted before 25 January 2018 (20%)