- Introduction to fish (marine and freshwater): Diversity of fish and associated survey challenges; why do ecologists and managers need to survey fish?
- Planning a fish survey: Considerations & practicalities to take into account when conducting a survey; how life history, seasonality, habitat and geographical location influence the survey protocol; scope & wider context of the survey; step by step planning
- Protocols, sampling & data: Licencing, permits & husbandry; sampling & protocols; organising, recording & storing data; data analysis & presentation of results
- Fish survey methods 1: Observations: Tagging, bank-side or shore counts; underwater visual census; hydroacoustics; advantages and disadvantages of each
- Fish survey methods 2: Netting & trapping: seine nets; trawl nets; hand nets, throw nets & push nets; gill nets & trammel nets (Set nets); traps; advantages and disadvantages of each
- Fish survey methods 3: Electrofishing, hook & line, and egg estimates; advantages and disadvantages of each method
- Introduction to amphibians: Diversity of amphibians and how their unique defining features affect survey design; why ecologists and managers need to survey amphibians; amphibian declines and conservation
- Amphibian survey: planning & protocols: Permits & licenses; handling amphibians; protocols & sampling- invited Topic by Dr Steve Green, Operation Wallacea and DICE
- Amphibian survey methods 1: Commoner observational and visual methods: tagging & identification of individuals; scan searching & egg surveys; transect & patch sampling
- Amphibian survey methods 2: Netting & trapping: drift fencing; nets & traps; removal studies & calls
- Case studies: Comparing fishing and non-fishing sites in Los Cayos Chochinos, Honduras and community-based conservation of migratory amphibians in south-western New Hampshire, USA and impacts of surveys on non-target species in freshwater environments in the UK
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