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ECOL314 Pacific Field Ecology

The techniques of field ecology in the Pacific; sampling strategies, design, procedures and equipment; cultural engagement and traditional ecological knowledge in the Pacific.

This paper is designed to give students experience in field ecology in a Pacific context. The paper will be run primarily as a field course at a location in the Pacific region (currently Rēkohu/Chatham Island) and will emphasise the importance of experimental design, field research techniques, and engagement with local culture and conservation issues.

Paper title Pacific Field Ecology
Paper code ECOL314
Subject Ecology
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period 1st Non standard period (23 January 2023 - 21 June 2023) (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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ECOL 211, ECOL 212 and one of STAT 110 or STAT 115
Schedule C
(i) This paper is intended for third-year students majoring in Ecology However, other students may be admitted at the discretion of the Programme Co-ordinator. (ii) This paper will include a compulsory field trip based in the Pacific held prior to the beginning of semester 1.

Enrolments for this paper require departmental permission. View more information about departmental permission.

Teaching staff

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Travis Ingram
Dr. Jenny Jandt
Dr. Anna Wood

Paper Structure

ECOL 314 involves a live-in field camp where students undertake an independent ecological research project under the guidance of academic staff. This camp will take place somewhere in the Pacific region; in 2022 it will be held for 12 days on Rēkohu/Chatham Island. Projects can cover a wide range of topics from marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments. Students work in pairs in developing their ideas in collaboration with staff, formulating a research question, and designing and conducting the study over a period of 5-6 days during the camp. The camp will also include opportunities for cultural exchange and engagement with local ecological issues. After returning to the Dunedin campus, students then work on their research project individually, with tutorials focused on statistical analysis and on communication skills, then present their research in oral and written formats.

Teaching Arrangements

A compulsory field trip will be held prior to the beginning of the semester from 23 January - 3 February, 2023. The field trip will be held on Rēkohu/Chatham Island, and students will be responsible for their own airfare costs. 

Space on ECOL314 is limited, and student selection will take place during Semester 2, 2022. Application forms will be distributed via ECOL212 in the first week of semester, and will be due by 29th July 2022. If you are not enrolled in ECOL212 in 2022 and wish to apply to take ECOL314 in 2023, please contact


Textbooks are not required for this paper.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Environmental literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who have successfully completed this paper will:

  • Have a practical understanding of ecological field research
  • Understand how to use different ecological surveying techniques and methods
  • Understand how to adapt approaches to suit variable field conditions
  • Be able to apply scientific methods to practical field research
  • Understand the significance of good experimental design and rigorous measurement
  • Have good oral communication skills
  • Have good written communication skills and understand how to write a scientific paper

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1st Non standard period (23 January 2023 - 21 June 2023)

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system