Course: Introduction to Polar Ecology

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Course title Introduction to Polar Ecology
Course code KBO/325
Organizational form of instruction Lecture + Lesson
Level of course Master
Year of study not specified
Frequency of the course In each academic year, in the winter semester.
Semester Winter
Number of ECTS credits 3
Language of instruction Czech
Status of course unspecified
Form of instruction unspecified
Work placements unspecified
Recommended optional programme components None
  • Elster Josef, prof. Ing. CSc.
  • Šabacká Marie, Mgr. Ph.D.
  • Kociánová Milena, RNDr.
  • Vaněk Jan, Mgr.
Course content
Content of lectures: 1) Lecture content, organization issues. History of polar science. Recommended literature. 2) Origin and evolution of polar ecosystem. 3) Glacial and interglacial period's exchanges. 4) Comparison of the Arctic and Antarctic ecosystems. 5) Climatic parameters of polar regions. 6) Polar marine ecosystem. 7) Soil and freshwater ecosystem 8) Polar cryptogams 9) Polar vascular plants 10) Polar animals. 11) Sensitivity of polar ecosystem and its international protection. 12) Polar science and its organization. Domestic people in the Arctic. Content of practicals: Three days field excursion to Krkonoše National Park under supervision of experienced and skilled researchers RNDr. Milena Kociánová and RNDr. Jan Váňa. Excursion will bring the chance to visit Arkto-Alpine tundra in Krkonoše with special interest in cryoturbation geomorphology and glacial remnants introduction.

Learning activities and teaching methods
Monologic (reading, lecture, briefing), Work with text (with textbook, with book), Demonstration
  • Preparation for classes - 30 hours per semester
Learning outcomes
Introduction to Polar Ecology brings information about ecological functioning, biological and environmental diversity and adaptations of organisms to polar environment. It covers all main scientific topics related to polar science. Student has to participate on lectures (13 two hour lectures per semest, could be tolerated two absence on lectures). During lectures each student has to select from offered scientific papers one which has to study in detail and introduce the results of research paper in seminar. The course also consist two day excursion to Giant (Krkonoše) Mountain national part where field workers introduce glacial relicts of this mountain area. At the end of semester each student has to pass writing test, has to present results one research paper and has to introduce field report of glacial remnants. On the base of these activities their are invited for oral exam.
Bachelor and master students can apply for polar ecology course. They are already familiar with basic biological and ecological principles. Knowledges related with ecology and biodiversity of polar habitats and with climate changes impacts in polar environment are basic knowledges which are necessary for all university students and well educated people globally.
Students applaying for polar ecology has to have interest in natural science and ecology. They have to be interested in learning of global ecology including extremes related with polar regions and their historical-political development. Present global warming and their global impacts are related with development of civilisation on our planet and all consequences of these proceses are urgent tast for science.

Assessment methods and criteria
Course is dedicated for Bachelor and Master students. Polar regions have principal role in climatic stability of our Earth. Simulataneusly, polar regions are areas where climatic changes are remarkable. Secondary school students who graduated should have prerequisite to complete the course. During semestr students will prepare presentation to selected topic (new research paper - credit) and will pas written exam.
Recommended literature
  • Aleksandrova VD (1988) The Arctic and Antarctic: their division into geobotanical areas. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge..
  • Avila-Jimenez ML et al. (2010) Overwintering of terrestrial Arctic arthropods: the fauna of Svalbard now and in the future. Polar Research 29: 127-137..
  • Beyer L. and Boelter M. (eds.) (2002) GeoEcology of Terrestrial Oases Ecological Studies, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg..
  • Callaghan TV et al. (2005) Arctic Tundra and Polar Desert Ecosystems 243 - 353. Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. Cambridge University Press pp. 1039..
  • Campbell B, Claridge GGC (1987) Antarctica: soils, weathering processes and environment. Cambridge..
  • Captus University Press. Toronto. 268 pp..
  • Elverland E. (2008) The Arctic System. Norvegian Polar Institute, 203 pp..
  • Evans DJA and Benn DI (2004) A Practical Guide to the Study of Glacial Sediments. 266 p.,.
  • Fogg GE (1998) The biology of polar habitats. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Friedmann EI (ed.) (1993) Antarctic microbiology. Wiley-Liss, NewYork.
  • Fuller B, Lane N. and Benson EE (eds.) (2004) Life In The Frozen State. Taylor and Francis, London, pp. 111- 149..
  • Chapin, S.F. Jefferies, R.L. Raynolds J. Shaver, G.R and Svoboda J. (1992) Climatic Change and Arctic Ecosystem Response. The role of Ecophysiology. Academic Press 469 pp..
  • Last WM et al. (2001) Tracking Environmental Change Using Lake Sediments. Volume 3: Terrestrial, Algal, and Siliceous Indicators..
  • Last WM. Et al. (2001) Tracking Environmental Change Using Lake Sediments. Volume 4: Zoological Indicators..
  • Pielou EC (1994) Naturalists guide to the Arctic. The University of Chicago Press (Google books).
  • Singh P. (2001) Snow and Glacier Hydrology, Springer, 756 s..
  • Svoboda, J. and Freedman, B. (1994) Ecology of a polar oasis, Alexandra Fiord..
  • Tedrow JCF (1977) Soils of the polar landscapes. Rutgers University Press, New.
  • Vincent WF, Laybourn-Parry J. (eds.) (2008) Polar Lakes and Rivers: Limnology of Arctic and Antarctic Aquatic Ecosystems. Oxford University Press..
  • Vincent WF (1988) Microbial ecosystem of Antarctica. Cambridge University Press,.

Study plans that include the course
Faculty Study plan (Version) Category of Branch/Specialization Recommended year of study Recommended semester