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Project Design Based on Mediterranean Biodiversity

21-Project Design Based on Mediterranian Biodiversity - Ana Morton

This course aims at introducing the student to the creative and conceptual process of a research project based on field sampling techniques (marine and terrestrial fieldwork). The specific objectives of this practical course are: to learn the process of creating a scientific project; to learn techniques of sampling in marine and terrestrial ecosystems; and, to acquire knowledge of marine and terrestrial biodiversity in the Mediterranean and to know the possible factors that condition them.

The course has a high practical content to explore the Mediterranean biodiversity, and includes trips to the Costa Brava and work in the field.  Therefore, students are required to have swimming skills and to bring adequate equipment for working in the sea and in the field (appropriate clothing and footwear).

Based on a fictitious project call, the student will learn the steps to follow to create a project. At the same time, students will conduct fieldwork and laboratory work/practices to analyze the processes of sampling, logistics and the expected potential results, in order to draft a project based on one of the study methodologies provided. Furthermore, students will learn concepts about habitats and biodiversity associated with the sampling performed during the course.

This course takes place in four scenarios: in the classroom, in the field, in the laboratory and in the computer room. In the classroom, theoretical knowledge of terrestrial sampling and marine sampling associated to different organisms and habitats will be exposed, and the factors that regulate them will be introduced. In the field (both in marine and terrestrial ecosystems), the student will practice some sampling techniques to know different groups of organisms or habitats. A special emphasis will be placed on analyzing the sampling process, logistics and the potential results, in order to design the project. In the laboratory, the samples obtained in the field will be analyzed, and again, students will deepen in the process, the logistics and the analysis of potential results. In the computer room, from the theoretical concepts and practical work (field and laboratory), students will be able to search information to design and draft the project proposal. The project proposed by the student will be a free theme to stimulate creativity, but it must satisfy the basis of the project call.

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