- Rationale and practicalities of invertebrate surveys: Why survey invertebrates?; practicalities of invertebrate surveys; types of survey
- Before starting - planning and preparation: Preparing for an invertebrate survey; a wider context for your survey
- Field methods 1 - active methods: Targeted searching; extractive sampling from habitats
- Field methods 2 - interception trapping: Interception trapping – principles; flight interception trapping; pitfall trapping
- Field methods 3 - responsive trapping: Water, pan or frisbee traps; light trapping; baited trapping
- Sorting, identification and taxonomic considerations: Initial sorting of samples; identification and naming
- Sampling strategies: Sampling versus searching?; Location and number of samples
- Invertebrate habitat description and evaluation: Introduction to invertebrate habitat features; identifying microhabitats; measuring and recording heterogeneity
- Invertebrate survey for monitoring: Introduction to monitoring invertebrates; single species survey and monitoring; monitoring assemblages
- data and specimens - what to do with them; survey results - interpreting; writing up and reporting
Your course tutor will guide you through a series of key topics via reading materials, online activities, and discussion forums. Discussion forums are the primary space where students are able to interact with one another and their tutor to discuss questions, solve problems and share ideas just as they would expect to do in a face-to-face classroom setting.
Level and demands
The course is designed for Master’s-level students, and you are likely to be studying alongside students on our Postgraduate Certificate in Ecological Survey Techniques.
You can expect
- to engage with and contribute to the course around ten to 15 hours per week (depending on whether it is taken for credit or not).
- your course tutor will engage online for no less than six hours per week (usually distributed across each week and will focus on particular topics and activities).
- topics to be covered following a suggested calendar of activity (so that activities, discussion and reading are completed within the course week duration, and at an even pace).
- the course can be taken with or without Masters-level credit. Credit enables students to demonstrate their academic achievement and can count towards further postgraduate study.