Course: Polar Ecology (physical geography) - field exercise

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Course title Polar Ecology (physical geography) - field exercise
Course code KBE/264
Organizational form of instruction Lesson
Level of course Master
Year of study not specified
Semester Winter
Number of ECTS credits 5
Language of instruction Czech
Status of course Compulsory-optional
Form of instruction Face-to-face
Work placements This is not an internship
Recommended optional programme components None
  • Elster Josef, doc. Ing. CSc.
  • Nedbalová Linda, RNDr. Ph.D.
  • Šabacká Marie, Mgr. Ph.D.
  • Žárský Jakub, Mgr.
Course content
Content of practicals Physical geography 1. Climatology (Z. Chladová, K. Láska) The aim: Obtaining of fundamental knowledge about spatio-temporal regime of meteorological elements on a scale of microclimate and local climate. Content: 1. Adjustment of automatic meteorological measurement systems, necessary for installation in the space structure enabling the solution of defined aim in short period (about 8 days). 2. Installation of 2-3 automatic meteorological stations in the typical parts of landscape, oriented to determination of air and soil temperature and humidity effects of different altitudes and different exposure toward Sun radiation. 3. Measurement of incident and reflected global Sun radiation intensity, oriented to analyse of the regime of booth components of radiation balance. 4. Air and soil temperature and humidity measurement in system of vegetation climate. This topic is focused on subject field of spatio-temporal changes of booth temperature and humidity regime in typical levels of the plant cover. 5. The measurements of soil substrate temperature conditions investigational to detect the fundamental patterns of spatio-temporal regime of soil temperature. 6. In final part of described practice will be undertaken the basic statistical control of samples obtained. Consequently will be discussed the methods of their statistical processing used on behalf of final report. 2. Geology and geomorphology (D. Nývlt, Z. Engel, M. Hanáček) The aim: Is to provide an overview of sedimentary processes and landforms that are unique for glacial and periglacial environment Content: 1. Field descriptions of sediments (sediment texture and particle morphology description, sedimentary structures and clast macrofabrics examining, field sampling). 2. Interpreting the evolution of sedimentary environment (determination of processes, stratigraphy and origin of sediments, assessment of paleoenvironmental conditions based on interpretation of sedimentary records). 3. Investigations of periglacial landforms in the permafrost active layer (determination of thermal regime and thickness of the active layer, measurement of solifluction movements, measurements and analyses of morphological and sedimentary characteristics of selected periglacial landforms). 4. Mapping of glaciers and glacial landform change over time (mapping glaciers and glacier landforms, dating glacier fluctuations, measurement of glacier motion and velocity). 3. Hydrology a limnology (L. Nedbalová, J. Kavan, K. Kopalová) The aim: To present the specificities of polar regions and apply the theoretical knowledge of water ecosystems in the field work (measurements, monitoring, mapping) - water courses/lakes/ocean environments Contents: 1. Hydrometrics measurements and hydrological regime analysis of the small glaciated streams - daily cycle; characteristics of the river bed, banks and floodplain morphology - relationship between hydrological regime and river morphology. 2. Measurements of the suspended sediment transport - water courses and possibly shallow sea environments. 3. Ocean dynamics measurements - ocean currents/wave characteristics/tides, effect of these factors on the cost formation. 4. Bathymetry mapping of lake + Petuniabukta bay; basic physical and chemical characteristics measurements (temperature, transparency, colour, pH, oxygen, conductivity etc.) basic groundwater and subsurface-water characteristics measurements - groundwater level table measurements, groundwater flow velocity, physical and chemical characteristics---

Learning activities and teaching methods
  • unspecified - 160 hours per semester
Learning outcomes
Field exercise in physical geography includes ten days measurements in climatology, glaciology, geology, geomorphology, hydrology and limnology. Exercise is organised in Svalbard (Norwegian Arctic Archipelago Svalbard, Research station of the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice). Polar Ecology - field exercise and the course of Polar Ecology is finished during final seminar where students introduce their field results and pass the writing test.
Students should be familiar with field research. They should be MSc or PhD students with experiences with field research.
Two weeks field course for MSc amd PhD students. They have to be able to work in field.

Assessment methods and criteria
Combined exam

Polar Ecology (physical geography) - field exercise is obligatory connected with lecture Polar Ecology. Student applying for the course have to finish both parts. In case they will not finish it they have to cover expenses related with Svalbard field part of course.
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..
  • Crawford RMM (1989) Plant studies to survival. Blackwell Scientific Publications..
  • Crawford RMM (2008) Plants at the margins. Ecological limits and climatic change. Cambridge University press..
  • Davie T (2008) Fundamentals of hydrology. London : Routledge, 200 s..
  • DeWalle DR and Rango A (2008) Principles of Snow Hydrology, Cambridge University Press; 420 s..
  • Elias SA (Ed.) (2006) Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science..
  • 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.
  • French HM (2007) The Periglacial Environment. Third Edition. 478 p., Wiley, Chichester.
  • 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..
  • Gale SJ, Hoare PG (1991) Quaternary Sediments. Petrographic Methods for the Study of Unlithified Rocks. 323 p., Belhaven, London.
  • Gulliksen B. and Svensen E. (2004) Svalbard and Life in the Polar Oceans. Norvegian Polar Institute, 65 pp..
  • Hubbard B. and Glasser N. (2005) Field Techniques in Glaciology and Glacial geomorphology. 400 p., Wiley, ISBN 0-9544060-2-8, 608 pp.
  • 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..
  • Kovac KM and Lydersen C. (2006) Birds and Mammals of Svalbard. Norvegian Polar Institute, 203 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.
  • Moen FM. and Svensen E. (2004) Marine Fish & Invertebrates of Northern Europe KOM Forlag, 608 pp.
  • Netopil R. (1984) Fyzická geografie. I., Hydrologie, limnologie, oceánografie. Praha : Státní pedagogické nakladatelství, n.p., 258 s..
  • Pielou EC (1992) After the Ice Age: The Return of Life to Glaciated North America. The University of Chicago Press (Google books).
  • 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.
  • Tucker ME (2003) Sedimentary Rocks in the Field. Third Edition. 234 p., Wiley, Chichester.
  • 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) Branch of study Category Recommended year of study Recommended semester
Faculty of Science Ecosystem Biology (1) Ecology and environmental protection - Winter
Faculty of Science Ecosystem Biology (1) Ecology and environmental protection - Winter