Course: Winter Arctic Ecology

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Course title Winter Arctic Ecology
Course code KBO/326
Organizational form of instruction Lecture + Lesson
Level of course Master
Year of study not specified
Frequency of the course In academic years starting with an odd year (e.g. 2017/2018), in the summer semester.
Semester Summer
Number of ECTS credits 5
Language of instruction Czech
Status of course unspecified
Form of instruction Face-to-face
Work placements This is not an internship
Recommended optional programme components None
  • Elster Josef, prof. Ing. CSc.
  • Šabacká Marie, Mgr. Ph.D.
Course content
Content of lectures: "Geophysical characteristics of seasonal, northern environments "Physical, chemical and biological properties of snow and ice "Permafrost processes under winter conditions "Energy flow in ecosystems and metabolic processes during the Arctic winter "Changes in winter conditions as a consequence of climate change "Strategies for winter survival at different trophic levels "Ecosystem carbon balance during winter Content of practicals: Strong emphasis will be given to practical demonstration of field techniques appropriate for winter ecology. Students will learnt to properly conduct and assess snow profiles and develop sampling and experimental protocols. They will learn team work and learn first hand about the pitfall and challenges of winter Arctic fieldwork. Students will conduct individual projects in the field and in the lab, which will help them develop skills for data collection, analysis and presentation.

Learning activities and teaching methods
Monologic (reading, lecture, briefing), Dialogic (discussion, interview, brainstorming), Monitoring, Demonstration, Laboratory, Activating (simulations, games, drama), Individual preparation for exam, Experiment, Individual tutoring
  • Class attendance - 24 hours per semester
  • Field trip - 56 hours per semester
  • Preparation for credit - 6 hours per semester
  • Preparation for exam - 6 hours per semester
Learning outcomes
IAt the end of the course: " Students will gain cutting-edge knowledge of environmental conditions during the Arctic winter, and of adaptations and survival strategies that enable successful overwintering in terrestrial organisms. " Students will have insight into how winter conditions impact population dynamics, biological communities and terrestrial ecosystems. " Student will learn to work independently in the laboratory " Students will learn how to safely and properly conduct field research under winter Arctic conditions " Students will learn to interpret ecological experimental data in the context of cutting-edge science and independently communicate ecological results orally and in writing The course in organized in collaboration with UNIS. The Czech part is responsible for microbial part, Norwegian for botany and zoology. In microbiology we are measuring the viability of alga Tribonema sp., in botany part they are dealing with viability of selected vascular plants and zoology with winter pasture of reinder. All student participate on lectures and field research of all three parts, but they evaluate data and introduce data only from microbiology part.
The course is offered to advanced master and doctoral students.
The course is offered only in English and is organised in collaboration with the University Centre in Svalbard. Participans need a special experiences in field work in winter Arctic.

Assessment methods and criteria
They prepare poster which they introduce and discuss with whole group. They also write test which cover all lectures. During the course students has to prepare presentation (selected research paper - credit) and the course is finished by written exam.
Recommended literature
  • Marchard, P. J. 1996: Life in cold: An introduction to winter ecology.
  • Singh V. et al. 1990: Encyclopaedia of snow, ice and glaciers.
  • Fuller, B. Lane N. & Benson, E. E. 2004: Life In The Frozen State.
  • Halfpenny J. C. 1989: Winter: An ecological handbook.

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