Field practices in marine monitoring

Semester 1

Semester 2

Semester 3

Semester 4

ECTS
6

ENVIRONMENT

Ecotoxicology
Polytechnic university of Marche

Synopsis

This course aims at providing the students with the expertise for field work at sea, enabling the students to acquire the skills needed for the monitoring activities. The field course deals with practical issues on monitoring the marine environment, through both remote and direct techniques, i.e., the use of sampling devices (niskin water samples, remotely operated vehicles, benthic grabs, splash cameras).
It will offer the opportunity to experience the design of a sampling strategy using the main techniques and protocols that marine biologists apply in the field. The course will include either sample collection from a vessel (e.g. water, sediments, plankton, benthos, nekton), either experimental activities (mussel watch and translocation experiments, caging). The course includes lectures (2 ECTS, 16 hours) and practical training in the field and in the lab (4 ECTS, 32 hours).

Content

Description of the main sampling techniques for environmental monitoring. Sampling from the research vessel using van Veen grabs, Niskin bottles, box-corer or multiple corer, ROV and or splash camera. Practical experiences for the samples' treatment, preservation, preparation and sorting of samples of seawater column, sediments, benthos, intertidal and coastal organisms, mussel watch monitoring. Use of multiparametric probe, and sampling nets for zooplankton and microplastics, sediment corer, caging experiments and transplanted organisms.

Pre-requisites

Graduate level in sciences.
No specific pre-requisites are requested, although basic knowledge in marine biology and ecology are recommended.

Aims

The scope of the course is to offer students the theoretical and practical knowledge on more common sampling methodologies for the marine environment. They learn, touching by hands, the requirements needed to become a marine biologist both in the field, acquiring good competences in sampling and monitoring techniques, and in the lab. All the activities are focussed on the 11 descriptors required the European Marine Strategy Directive to define the Good Environmental Status.

Objectives

At the end of the course, the students know the main techniques and methodologies for specific case studies, in either research activities, monitoring or conservation issues.

Key skills acquired

The students will acquire practical skills for monitoring strategies. The peculiarity of the practical activities will require developing skills of interaction and coordination within a workgroup.

Bibliography

Notes taken during the lecturers and presentations given by the lecturers. State of the art articles, reports, books.

Assessment

Short presentation supported by visual material describing the sampling strategy, the sample or data collection, the lab analysis performed during the course.
The students must demonstrate that they have acquired the basic knowledge presented during the course; with regard to the practical part, the student will be asked to conceptually apply the methods learned in the field to specific case studies.
The final grade is mainly allocated according to the ability to set the answer complete and schematic, to the level of knowledge and the exposition of the proper terminology.

Involved teachers

Francesco Regoli Stefania Gorbi Cristina Gambi Marco Lo Martire

Contact hours

lectures
8

practicals
12

seminars

computerclass

fieldwork
40

other