Employers expect graduate biologists, especially those aiming for careers as field biologists or ecologists, to have gained experience of basic field biology skills and common survey techniques. This module offers an introduction to the fieldwork and methodology relevant for conducting ecological surveys. Students are taken through a habitat and biodiversity survey, and will develop skills in several areas, such as species identification, monitoring bird breeding parameters, moth trapping, and small mammal trapping.
The weeklong intensive course will take place in the local area and the work will mostly be conducted outdoors. Students will take part in two off-campus excursions, for example, to a species-rich meadow in the Yorkshire Dales, and to sites of highly diverse insect communities in the Morecambe Bay region to see Fritillary butterflies. They will also gain the ability to identify appropriate sampling methods and apply them in the field, as well as developing transferable abilities such as report writing, teamwork, observation skills and safety awareness.