Practical Skills in Environmental Science
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Field and laboratory studies are essential components of undergraduate training in Environmental Science alongside transferable skills such as computing and study skills. Practical work must be fully understood and effectively presented, but many students under-perform as they aim to acquire complex skills across a range of disciplines with limited opportunities for practice. Practical Skills in Environmental Science provides students with easy-to-read guidance for fieldwork, sampling, laboratory studies, project work and computing and communication skills, building on the strong reputation of the Practical Skills series as essential texts for those who wish to succeed.
Practical Skills in Environmental Science is an indispensable book for undergraduate students in environmental science. This book supplements any practical course in environmental science and provides useful support at all stages of a degree course. It is also a valuable resource for teachers in secondary schools.
I. FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES.
1. Basic Principles.
2. Health and Safety.
3. Working with Liquids.
4. Basic Laboratory Procedures.
5. Basic Fieldwork Procedures.
6. Principles of Solution Chemistry.
7. Principles of Gas and Fluid Behaviour.
II. THE INVESTIGATIVE APPROACH.
8. The Principles of Measurement.
9. SI Units and their Use.
10. Making Observations.
11. Drawings and Diagrams.
12. Scientific Method and Experimental Design.
13. Making Notes of Practical Work.
14. Project Work.
III. OBTAINING SAMPLES.
15. Sampling Strategies and Statistics.
16. Surveys and Surveying.
17. Sampling Biological Materials.
18. Sampling Soils and Sediments.
19. Sampling Minerals, Rocks and Fossils.
20. Sampling Air and Water.
21. Sampling Using Questionnaires.
IV. MANIPULATING AND IDENTIFYING SAMPLED MATERIALS.
22. Naming and Classifying Organisms.
23. Using Microscopes.
24. Preparing Specimens for Light Microscopy.
25. Identifying Organisms and Using Identification Keys.
26. Identifying Earth Materials.
27. Photography and Imaging.
V. ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS.
28. Ecological Analysis and Demographics.
29. Extracting Information from Maps and Photographs.
30. Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Change.
31. Chemical Analysis of Environmental Materials.
32. Analysis of Aquatic Environments.
33. Analysis of Soil and Sediments.
34. Measuring Atmospheric Variables.
VI. ANALYSIS AND PRESENTATION OF DATA.
35. Manipulating and Transforming Raw Data.
36. Using Graphs.
37. Presenting Data in Tables.
38. Hints for Solving Numerical Problems.
39. Descriptive Statistics.
40. Choosing and Using Statistical Tests.
VII. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND LIBRARY RESOURCES.
41. The Internet and the World-Wide Web.
42. Using Spreadsheets.
44. Databases and other Packages.
45. Finding and Citing Published Information.
VIII. COMMUNICATING INFORMATION.
46. Scientific Writing.
47. Writing Essays.
48. Reporting Practical and Project Work.
49. Writing Literature Surveys and Reviews.
50. Organising a Poster Display.
51. Giving an Oral Presentation.
- Provides basic methodologies and guides students in the process of experimental design and project work.
- Text is supported by numerous illustrations, tables, tips and hints, worked examples and checklists.
- 46 boxes provide additional support, from step-by-step instructions on constructing a topographic cross-section from a map, to guidelines on issues to consider in an environmental impact assessment and a case study of assessment of the conservation status of a lake.
- Coverage of information technology throughout, with sections covering the Internet and world wide web, using spreadsheets and databases.
- Assistance with numeracy, including use of statistics and solving numerical problems.
- References to useful sources for further detail are provided in the text and via an associated website.