- Rationale for surveying vegetation: Why survey vegetation? The wider context
- Choosing a vegetation survey technique: Approaches to surveying vegetation; how to plan a field project
- Structural methods of vegetation description
- Floristic methods of vegetation sampling
- Overview of quadrats and plotless sampling: Introduction to quadrats; what size? Species-area curves; qualitative or presence/absence data; plotless sampling where quadrats are inappropriate
- Quantitative or abundance measures; subjective measures; objective measures
- Vegetation monitoring permanent quadrats and vegetation mapping: methods of monitoring vegetation; setting up permanent quadrats; vegetation mapping
- Sampling strategy or protocol: stratified, random and systematic sampling; transects and grids; how many samples?
- Recording and storing data; diversity indices
- Case study: Virtual model of Magdalen College Meadow: the meadow habitat; the meadow flora; management; the virtual meadow; aims of the practical
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