Mathematics

ECM2901 - Mathematics of the Environment II (2015)

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MODULE TITLEMathematics of the Environment II CREDIT VALUE15
MODULE CODEECM2901 MODULE CONVENERProf Stuart Townley (Coordinator)
DURATION: TERM 1 2 3
DURATION: WEEKS 11 0 0
Number of Students Taking Module (anticipated) 8
DESCRIPTION - summary of the module content

On this module, you will continue to develop and use mathematics to explore topics in natural environment and sustainability science. This module continues with the approach of ECM1901.

You will revisit field trips to local, natural environment sites in Cornwall – our living laboratory – from year one and will collect a second census of data.  In addition, you will conduct classroom-based mathematical investigations, in which you will draw on skills learnt in year one.  Furthermore, you will interact with first year students, sharing your experiences and passing on your expertise. Then you will communicate the analyses from your group to your peers, both orally and in written work (reports, posters and web pages). Finally, you will discuss each other’s analyses, before moving on to the next topic. You may participate in presentations from ECM1901.

AIMS - intentions of the module

Using Cornwall’s living laboratory as a source of inspiration for your mathematical investigations, in each topic of study, you will embark on a field trip to a local site or activity of direct relevance to environmental and sustainability. The field trips are an essential component of the module and serve a number of purposes. Firstly, they will give you first-hand experience of the underlying scientific and societal issues, and, secondly, you will consolidate your own data sets to be used now and in later stages of your programme. Continuing to work in peer groups, you  will study three topics and each will require you to further develop various skills in mathematics, statistics and computing. Your learning will follow a three-stage cycle of field trip or activity, which will then be followed by classroom-based mathematical investigation,  then by oral and written presentation. Each cycle is repeated three times. You will get the chance to share the knowledge and expertise you acquire with first year students.

 

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES (ILOs) (see assessment section below for how ILOs will be assessed)

On successful completion of this module, you should be able to:

 

Module Specific Skills and Knowledge:
1 apply and develop mathematical skills to model and analyse natural phenomena;
2 abstract key environmental and sustainability issues into mathematical concepts.
Discipline Specific Skills and Knowledge:
3 collect and archive data;
4 develop more sophisticated models for processes in ecology, renewable energy and social interactions.
Personal and Key Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge:
5 work successfully in small groups;
6 communicate to specialists and non-specialists both orally and in written form;
7 interact with first year students in ECM1901.

SYLLABUS PLAN - summary of the structure and academic content of the module

The syllabus is developed around three, half day, field trips. These field trips are either led by experts. These field trips are representative of the broad environment and sustainability agenda and will include fields trips from each of: Ecology; Renewable Energy; Environmental Humanities. The learning and teaching will follow a three-week cycle of field trip, followed by classroom based investigation, then by written and oral presentations and feedback. Field trips are:

 

1. The marine environment: You will revisit Castle Beach in Falmouth, a local rock pool haven for crabs and small fish, where you will observe the natural environment and collect population data for crabs, sea snails, sea gulls, etc. Back in the classroom you will collate and archive (with data from previous years) the population data. Furthermore, you will use mathematical and statistical modelling tools to explore further issues of biodiversity and population dynamics. Finally, you will use data from the published mathematical ecology literature, both to compare with your data, and also for mathematical and statistical analyses.

 

2. Wind energy: You will revisit a wind farm test site, collect data on wind speeds and weather data (from the Met Office website), and observe the interaction between the technology and the natural environment. Back in the classroom you will collate and archive (with data from previous years) the data. You will further analyse the potential for wind as an energy source (resource assessment) and the issues of environmental impact. Moreover, you will develop a simple dynamical model for a wind turbine.



3. Going carbon free: You will create another opinion survey that you will conduct in Falmouth High St. This will confront you with how to work with qualitative data. Back in the classroom you will collate and archive your data with data from previous years. You will explore further statistical approaches to analysing qualitative data, and compare and contrast your results with the previous year.
 

LEARNING AND TEACHING
LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS (given in hours of study time)
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities 33.00 Guided Independent Study 117.00 Placement / Study Abroad 0.00
DETAILS OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS
Category Hours of study time Description
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 6 Lectures, field trips
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 21 Group activities, guided mathematical investigation
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 6 Presentation, discussions/poster sessions
Guided independent study 117 Wider reading and preparation

 

ASSESSMENT
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT - for feedback and development purposes; does not count towards module grade
Form of Assessment Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Group reports 1,000 words (or equivalent) 1-6 Written and oral
Group presentation 10 minutes 1,2,4-6 Oral
       
       
       

 

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT (% of credit)
Coursework 75 Written Exams 0 Practical Exams 25
DETAILS OF SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT
Form of Assessment % of Credit Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Group reports 50 2,000 words (or equivalent) 1-6 Written and oral
Individual reports 25 1,000 words (or equivalent) 1-3,5-7 Written
Individual presentations 25 10 minutes 1,2,4,6 Oral
         
         

 

DETAILS OF RE-ASSESSMENT (where required by referral or deferral)
Original Form of Assessment Form of Re-assessment ILOs Re-assessed Time Scale for Re-reassessment
All above Written exam (100%) All August Ref/Def period
       
       

 

RE-ASSESSMENT NOTES

If a module is normally assessed entirely by coursework, all referred/deferred assessments will normally be by assignment.


If a module is normally assessed by examination or examination plus coursework, referred and deferred assessment will normally be by examination. For referrals, only the examination will count, a mark of 40% being awarded if the examination is passed. For deferrals, candidates will be awarded the higher of the deferred examination mark or the deferred examination mark combined with the original coursework mark.

RESOURCES
INDICATIVE LEARNING RESOURCES - The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of
information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener

ELE – http://vle.exeter.ac.uk

Reading list for this module:

There are currently no reading list entries found for this module.

CREDIT VALUE 15 ECTS VALUE 7.5
PRE-REQUISITE MODULES None
CO-REQUISITE MODULES None
NQF LEVEL (FHEQ) 5 AVAILABLE AS DISTANCE LEARNING No
ORIGIN DATE Thursday 23 January 2014 LAST REVISION DATE Tuesday 24 March 2015
KEY WORDS SEARCH Interdisciplinary mathematics and statistics; ecology; environmental change; policy; society.