DEPARTMENT OF EARTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
(02/03/2020 - 12/06/2020)
28 lesson hours
Basic knowledge of Ecology and Zoology is required, in particular on the following topics: main factors that regulate the abundance and distribution of organisms in aquatic environments; main marine taxonomic groups.
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING:
The course aims to explain the different sampling techniques used to understand ecological phenomena in marine environments and their application for the conservation of the seas and oceans (Goal 14 of the UN AGENDA 2030 for Sustainable Development).
APPLIED KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING:
One of the aims of the course is to train students in developing a sampling design, recognizing the most common species of benthic macroinvertebrates and fish, applying different sampling techniques in the field, as well as learning the use of a software for the analysis of images for the evaluation of the covering of benthic populations.
In addition, this course aims to make students more aware about the UN AGENDA 2030 for Sustainable Development goals, with particular regard to Goal 14: " Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development".
AUTONOMY OF JUDGMENT:
The autonomy of judgment will be developed through laboratory and field activities, learning the organization of a sampling from the beginning to the end, evaluating the critical issues and finally analyzing the data collected.
During the course, attention will be paid to the student's ability to communicate a case study in the ecological field, starting from the aim of the work up to the discussion of the results.
ABILITY TO LEARN:
Given the practical purpose of this course, students will manage to operate directly in the water, learning the most efficient sampling techniques for a specific case study.
The course is composed by theoretical lectures, laboratory activities and one final field survey at the sea, in co-presence to the Module 2.
The theoretical lectures, which will illustrate the main underwater sampling methods, will address the following topics:
-Introduction to marine ecology: benthos, plankton and necton; marine habitats and zonation in the Mediterranean Sea; main adaptations of marine organisms in rocky and soft bottoms
-Identification of marine invertebrates
- Elaboration of an experimental design and analysis of hypotheses in ecology
-Benthos underwater sampling techniques
- Underwater sampling techniques of marine phanerogams
-Visual census of fish fauna
-Underwater sampling techniques in geology
-Presentation of the objectives of the UN AGENDA 2030 with particular reference to Goal 14; Volunteering and citizen science.
The laboratory activities will allow the students to learn how to recognize target species, in order to facilitate that sampling in the field. Furthermore, laboratories will be also dedicated to data analysis: assessment of the percentage coverage of benthic sessile species and statistical analysis on marine community’s data.
During the field work it will be possible to try different sampling techniques in snorkeling.
Theoretical lectures (hours/year): 16
Laboratory activities (hours/year): 12
Attendance at the theoretical lectures is strongly recommended, while for the laboratory activity is mandatory.
Reccomended or required readings
The material will be provided on the KIRO platform: presentations (in pdf), chapters of books, scientific papers and other material.
Suggested books for consultation:
-"Biologia Marina" - Castro & Huber, Mcgraw-Hill Editore
-"Manuale di metodologie di campionamento e studio del benthos marino" - Gambi & Dappiano 2003, Biologia Marina Mediterranea 10(1): 638 pp.
-"L'immersione scientifica - Tecniche di indagine subacquea" - Colantoni, La Mandragora Editrice, 144 pp.
The exam is composed by a written test, composed by both open-ended questions and multiple choice.
Sustainable development goals - Agenda 2030