FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

CCEA

FSC Northern Ireland provides a wide range of options for your biology field study. Detailed below are courses offered by the centre, which can either be undertaken as part of a residential fieldtrip or as a standalone one day visit. Many of the studies below can also be undertaken and written up by the students as a project for internal assessment.

Here we have outlined our most popular fieldwork investigations to choose from.

Please contact us to discuss how we can tailor a course to meet your specific requirements.

 

The Adaptation of Organisms: Sand Dune Investigation1 day

Through this session, students will study psammosere succession at Mullaghmore, Co Donegal and collect data across the dune system along an interrupted transect. Data collected includes microclimate conditions, and percentage vegetation cover. Soil is also collected for analysis. This study will allow students to understand the influence of ecological factors on the distribution of organisms.

Introduction: Revision of sand dune succession, data collection techniques, study area, health and safety considerations.

Data collection: Mullaghmore.

Follow up: Soil analysis (moisture content, organic content, pH), analysis (kite diagrams, graphs, Simpson’s Diversity Index, Chi Squared statistic), conclusions and evaluation.

The Adaptation of Organisms: Woodland Investigation1 day

This session allows students to study the influence of ecological factors on the distribution of plant species in a woodland by collecting data along an interrupted transect using systematic sampling. 

Extension: Holly leaf miner study OR Ivy leaf shape study OR Lincoln Index

Introduction: Revision of factors affecting plant species distribution, data collection techniques, study area, health and safety considerations.

Data collection: Ely Lodge.

Follow up: Analysis (kite diagrams, graphs, Simpson’s Diversity Index), conclusions and evaluation.

The Adaptation of Organisms: Rocky Shore Investigation1 day

This session allows students to study the influence of ecological factors on the distribution of plant and animal species and the resulting zonation on the rocky shore by collecting data along an interrupted transect using systematic sampling.

Introduction: Revision of ecosystem theory, data collection techniques, study area, health and safety considerations.

Data collection: Creevy Pier.

Follow up: Analysis of results (kite diagrams, Simpson’s Diversity Index, Chi squared), conclusions and evaluation.

 

The Adaptation of Organisms: Freshwater Investigation1 day

Through this study, students will consider the ecological factors influencing invertebrate species found in the freshwater environment by using random sampling and kick sampling to determine the species present. This is then used to determine the diversity of species present and the river’s status in terms of pollution.

Introduction: Factors affecting species in the freshwater environment, data collection techniques, study area, health and safety considerations.

Data collection: River Sillees.

Follow up: Collation of results, analysis (Simpson’s Diversity Index, BMWP scores, Chi Squared statistic), conclusions and evaluation.

The Adaptation of Organisms: Grassland Investigation1 day

This study allows students to compare and contrast two areas of grassland, and examine the factors contributing to any differences they find.

Introduction: Factors affecting species distribution in grassland habitat, data collection techniques, study area, health and safety considerations.

Data collection: Various locations, Derrygonnelly area.

Follow up: Collation of results, analysis (Simpson’s Diversity Index, Chi Squared statistic), conclusions and evaluation.

The Human Impact on Biodiversity: Management of Hedgerows1 day

This session will allow students to investigate the impact of different regimes of hedgerow management, and relate this to the hedge’s function in terms of biodiversity. The students will carry out a survey on two contrasting hedges, and discuss the contribution they make to local biodiversity. Extension: Holly leave prickliness study

Introduction: The importance of hedgerows for biodiversity, data collection techniques, study area, health and safety considerations.

Data collection: Derrygonnelly.

Follow up: Presentation of findings, conclusions and evaluation.

Sampling Techniques and Methods: An Overview1 day

This session aims to introduce students to a range of techniques and equipment used in ecological surveying and the need to carefully consider the suitability of these before commencing fieldwork. Sampling devices introduced include quadrats, pitfall traps, sweep nets, beating trays, d nets (kick sampling), small mammal traps and students will develop an understanding of estimating species abundance, density and percentage cover. Extension: Estimating woodlouse/ground beetle population size using Lincoln Index.

Introduction: Introduction to sampling strategies (random, systematic and stratified) and health and safety considerations.

Fieldwork: Various habitats around the field centre.

Follow up: Evaluation of various techniques.