Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse – Københavns Universitet

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Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse

Field Course in Ecology and Evolution of East Africa

Practical information
Study year 2016/2017
Block 5
Programme level Bachelor
Course responsibles
  • Nikolaj Scharff (8-7479696e67786c6c4679747334717b346a71)
  • Eline Lorenzen (13-69706d726970737669727e697244777271326f7932686f)
  • Thomas Pape (5-777364736843767170316e7831676e)
  • Anders P. Tøttrup (9-68777b767b7b797c77477a757435727c356b72)
  • The Natural History Museum of Denmark
Course number: NNMB16001U

Course content

  • A general introduction to rainforests and savannah ecosystems with particular focus on East Africa.  
  • Biodiversity surveys, monitoring and conservation issues.
  • Morphological and biological characteristics of the major ‘key’ groups of animals and plants in the East African rainforest and savanna ecosystems.
  • Tropical fieldwork and field techniques are demonstrated and practiced.

Learning outcome


At the end of the course, the student is expected to be able to:

  • Describe rainforest and savanna ecosystems in general terms.
  • Outline the major challenges involved in the conservation of tropical ecosystems and their species.
  • Describe how to carry out practical fieldwork under tropical conditions.
  • Mention and briefly describe the morphology and biology of the major ‘key’ groups of animals and plants in the East African rainforest and savanna ecosystems.



At the end of the course, the student is expected to be able to:

  • Explain how to collect occurrence data in the field and how to analyze such data.
  • Outline the roles of key animal and plant groups in rainforest and savanna ecosystems and explain how they interact. 



At the end of the course, the student is expected to be able to:

  • Elaborate on conservational priorities for tropical ecosystems.
  • Discuss the processes that generate biological diversity in rainforest and savanna ecosystems.
  • Compare different field techniques and assess their suitability and cost-efficiency.

Recommended prerequisites

Students are expected to have knowledge about East Africa at a level equivalent to the bachelor course “East Africa”.


This is recommended as an optional summer field course for students aiming at a MSc thesis project in tropical biology.

The field course will take place at the Udzungwa Ecological Monitoring Centre at the foothills of the Udzungwa Mountains National Park, southern Tanzania. There is a course fee covering transportation costs within Tanzania, park fees, teaching, teaching material, food and accommodation. Course fee does not cover travel costs to and from Tanzania. Students will be required to have their own visa and international travel health insurance. The course is physically demanding (trekking in connection with fieldwork).

Notice that the students participating in this course must expect expenditures around DKK 10,000.

The students also need a visa which the student can acquire in the airport (the fee is $50). The turist visa is valid for three months.

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Study Board of Biology and Animal Science

Course type

Single subject courses (day)


teachers from SNM and MUSE - Science Museum in Trento, Italy.


1 block
3 weeks (2 weeks in the field followed by a 1 week written assignment)


July or August
---- SKEMA LINK ----

Teaching and learning methods

A mixture of lectures, field and lab exercises, and field excursions. Evaluation based on participation and written assignment (one week).


16 students




Category Hours
Exam Preparation 40
Course Preparation 26
Lectures 42
Field Work 30
Practical exercises 30
Excursions 38
English 206


Type of assessment

Written assignment
The course will be completed with each student doing a 5 page written assignment after returning from the field part. The titles for the assignments will be given to the students before they return to Denmark, and the students will have one week (40 hours) to write the essay. The essay is weighted 100% of the grade.


All aids allowed

Marking scale

7-point grading scale

Criteria for exam assessment

See Learning Outcome

Censorship form

No external censorship
Flere interne censorer


As the ordinary exam.

If the student has not fullfilled the exam registration requriments the student must take the course again next year.

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