Field Courses

Year 2: Urban Ecology and Conservation Field Course

This interactive field course is designed to build upon your knowledge of ecology and conservation, in addition to exploring the value of biodiversity in a stimulating urban context. You will focus on the biodiversity, sustainability and reduced carbon emissions commitments around the University of Leeds.

Taking place right outside your front door, this is your chance to be part of a truly unique field course set within the increasingly important inner-city landscape. You’ll work in small groups and have the opportunity to collect biodiversity data from a multitude of different urban sites. Topics will include:

  • Living Lab pollination transects - What are the ecosystem services provided by pollinators in an urban context?
  • Tree diversity and abundance on the University estate - How can trees contribute to carbon storage and other ecosystem services?
  • University green roofs - What is their biodiversity value and how can they contribute to the University’s sustainability plans?

Notably, you will find that the experience you gain in this urban environment course will complement the other field courses in your programme. The practical modules are purpose built to enhance your understanding and application of ecological principles and processes in the natural world.

During creative workshops, you will analyse your data before devising an action plan to maintain and improve biodiversity on campus. This will be supported by a practical ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch presented to the University’s Sustainability Services. A winning plan may lead to your recommendations being adopted by the University.

When: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun, Year 2)
Duration: 2 weeks
Location: Leeds, UK
Optional: Biology, Zoology, Ecology and Conservation Biology.

Learning and skills outcomes:

  • Understand the structure and function of exemplar urban ecosystems in the context of local and global sustainability
  • Measure and analyse key ecosystem services, including pollination and carbon storage, within an urban context and a focus on the University
  • Generate novel ideas for improvements to campus and city landscapes to benefit biodiversity
  • Integrate concepts from across disciplines to understand the non-scientific context for urban conservation biology
  • Communicate research and recommendations in an effective manner to key stakeholders
  • Taxonomic identification of plants and insects