Species identification skills are in critical shortage by environmental scientists. This in-depth Master’s programme is for those wishing to apply their existing knowledge of ecological, environmental, geographical or biological sciences to the management of marine or freshwater environments.
You will apply scientific, legal and management techniques to rivers, estuaries, coasts and oceans; covering a diversity of key species, from shellfish to finfish. Effective management and conservation techniques for charismatic species such as whale sharks or manta rays which are targeted as part of traditional medical trades will also be explored.
You will learn industry standard techniques and software to deal effectively with data as well as learning the skills to effectively identify species. The programme will also directly address the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) ‘most wanted’ skills sets by providing quantitative skills using the industry standard R software and taxonomic skills.
You will also get the opportunity to examine the need for management of cultural heritage of our aquatic systems and coastline. Overall, the programme will provide you for a career in aquatic management, and you will be supported by leading academics and professionals in achieving this goal.
A Bachelors Honours degree, 2:2 or above or equivalent in a related discipline and/or relevant comprehensive professional experience. If English is not your first language you´ll need IELTS 6.5 (Academic) or above.
Core units (Compulsory)
Quantitative & Spatial Analysis: Core skills for environmental scientists in data handling, processing, statistical techniques and spatial analysis (GIS) are taught on this unit. You will learn these techniques through the industry standard programming and statistical environment of R.
Integrated Coastal Zone Management: Examining key issues concerning current and future uses and environmental conditions found in coastal and marine areas, and the challenges and benefits associated with a range of approaches used to promote the sustainable management of related renewable and non-renewable resources. Content and discussions will focus on the application of the principles and concepts of integrated coastal zone management (ICZM), marine spatial planning and their interactions to formulate solutions to coastal and marine problems.
International Law of the Environment: International law of the environment is a comparatively new field of international law. It has seen a rapid evolution over the past 30 years, as a result of the widespread recognition that many environmental problems must be addressed at the international level if satisfactory solutions are to be found. This unit will examine the particular sectors of environmental policy that are the subject of international legal regulation and obligations. This will involve an appraisal of how international legal regulation has developed in these areas, taking into account various challenges, legal and political, that have been influential in shaping their respective evolution. It will also focus on selected legal topics concerning the implementation of international environmental law. In particular, it will consider various relatively recent developments in international environmental law that have served to broaden participation beyond the level of the nation state as regards the monitoring and enforcement of international environmental protection obligations.
Fisheries Ecology and Management: Providing you with a framework to actively make managerial decisions, this unit enables problems to be identified, analysed and solutions to be proposed including the promotion of sustainable communities and public participation in the planning process and environmental assessment. You will cover a range of aspects of freshwater resource management including sustainable development, conservation and key issues from a planning policy and decision making perspective.
Research Project: Develop your expertise in research methods, data collection, analysis, interpretation and synthesis and explore in detail core aspects of your subject area, with a view to generating new practical or theoretical insights. You will develop methodological, research, presentation skills and advanced communication skills by producing an extensive dissertation or report on your research.
Option units. Choose 2:
Marine Environment, Heritage & Spatial Planning: Environmental changes in the marine environment have affected the degradation and preservation of underwater heritage. This unit, which may involve field trips, will help you understand the effect of physical, chemical and biological damage to the historic environment and natural hazards to historical and archaeological sites in coastal and shallow marine environments. After completing this unit, you´ll be able to manage in situ degradation and the protection of underwater archaeological sites, and appraise mitigation methods for preserving our underwater cultural heritage in situ.
Advanced Quantitative & Spatial Methods: Giving you advanced data analysis skills, we will ensure you have an understanding of advanced contemporary statistical methods that will allow you to select and apply appropriate analytical techniques when working with complex data sets. A tool kit of analytical methods that may be used in a broad spectrum of research projects will be demonstrated and illustrated using real world examples. Methods taught will range from data visualisation through to contemporary model-based analyses, multivariate techniques and spatial statistics. Emphasis will be placed on choosing the most appropriate analysis for the available data, in order to ensure scientific rigor in the presentation of research results.
Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services: This unit will examine the scientific principles relating to the provision of ecosystem of services, their linkage with ecosystem function, and the relationships with biodiversity. Key ecosystem services that will be considered include provisioning services such as food and water; regulating services such as flood and disease control; cultural services such as spiritual, recreational, and cultural benefits; and supporting services such as nutrient cycling. The unit will examine how the production of ecosystem services can be measured and mapped; the distribution of beneficiaries; different approaches to valuation; and potential links with the green economy. Key emerging issues include potential trade-offs between different ecosystem services, and between ecosystem services and biodiversity.
Field Ecology Skills: Develop field observation and survey techniques that will equip you with skills that are relevant to professional biodiversity conservation, monitoring and research. You will explore how such skills may be applied to support practical conservation management. Based around a field course, you will develop your skills in a variety of terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments, supported by seminars and demonstrations.
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