Multidisciplinary Offshore Operations in Marine Science

The national offshore blended learning module is an inter-institutional accredited module (5 ECTS) that provides undergraduate students (NFQ level 8) with the detailed knowledge, skill sets and expertise necessary to design, plan and execute a multidisciplinary research survey at sea. The module is based on a blended learning approach and is delivered using a combination of practical training onboard the national research vessels, classroom lectures, laboratory practicals and a suite of supporting online resources including video lectures, PowerPoint presentations, digital course manuals.

The module is designed to introduce students from a variety of science backgrounds to the concept of utilising a multidisciplinary ecosystem approach to studying the marine environment using the core disciplines of oceanography, benthic ecology, fisheries biology and geosciences. Teaching focus's on the practical, cross‐disciplinary skills involved in sample acquisition and processing, deployment and operation of equipment and instrumentation and data acquisition, processing and analysis of these data. Other elements essential in carrying out research surveys at sea will be examined, including safety at sea, survey design and planning, post‐survey analysis and assessment, vessel activities and capabilities, and vessel familiarisation and orientation.

Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Design, plan and execute a multidisciplinary marine science research survey focusing on the core disciplines of oceanography, benthic ecology, geosciences and fisheries science.
• Evaluate the physical, chemical and biological factors that influence the abundance and distribution of marine organisms.
• Describe the application of various scientific sampling equipment and instrumentation on-board a survey vessel.
• Acquire, process, analyse and archive quantitative and qualitative samples.
• Perform data analysis, quality control, interpretation and integration.
• Prepare a final scientific survey report integrating all data.

This unique module was funded by National Digital Learning Repository and was developed and delivered annually in conjunction with partners from GMIT, NUIG, UCC and UU,