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    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/Wharekauri/Chatham Island) and will emphasise the importance of experimental design, field research techniques, and engagement with local culture and conservation issues.

    About this paper

    Paper title Pacific Field Ecology
    Subject Ecology
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period 1st Non standard period (22 January 2024 - 19 June 2024) (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    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

    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 2023 it will be held for 12 days on Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Island. Projects can cover a wide range of topics from marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments, and may involve engagement with local stakeholders. 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 to engage with local culture and ecological issues, and to feed back research results to the community. After returning to the Dunedin campus, students complete the 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 at Kōpinga Marae on Rēkohu prior to the beginning of the semester, from 22 January - 2 February, 2024. Students will be responsible for their own airfare costs, and must abide by conduct guidelines that will be outlined on application forms. 

    Space on ECOL314 is limited, and student selection will take place during Semester 2, 2023. Application forms will be distributed via ECOL212 in the first week of semester, and will be due by 28th July 2023. If you are not enrolled in ECOL212 in 2023 and wish to apply to take ECOL314 in 2024, please contact for an application form.


    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


    1st Non standard period (22 January 2024 - 19 June 2024)

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Thursday 15:00-16:50 9-13, 15-22
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