Centre for Alternative Technology

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Pond and Stream Invertebrate Life

  • pond lifepond life

    Fri 20th - Sun 22nd Sept 2019.
    Course starts at 10am. Course fee £120, Concessions £100.
    Please book onto the course through Aberystwyth University 01970 621 580.
    Full board accommodation at CAT £118.

  • Dates, Times & Fees

Course details

If you have fond childhood memories of dipping nets in to ponds and streams to catch newts and sticklebacks and of collecting frogspawn, then this is the course for you.

Build on this elementary knowledge and explore further the lives of the many invertebrate animals that make up a freshwater ecosystem.

Field visits will be made to ponds and streams here at CAT where different sampling techniques will be used to collect aquatic organisms.

With the specimens indoors, their amazing diversity, adaptations and life cycles will be revealed with the aid of microscopes, identification keys and of course, help from the tutor.

The monitoring and management of ponds and streams to both asses their general status and to improve their biodiversity will be covered briefly.

This module explores the invertebrates of freshwater pond and stream habitats.
During field work, a variety of techniques will be used to collect specimens. These will be observed, identified as far as is feasible and recorded in the laboratory with the aid of microscopes and reference literature. Selected examples will be studied in greater depth to cover life cycle and structural adaptations to habitat.
The course introduces students to the methods used to sample and monitor of ponds and streams and touch upon the management of these habitats in order to maintain or improve their biodiversity.

Seminars (2 x2 hours) covering:
- Overview of the physical and chemical environment of different pond and stream habitats that impact on aquatic invertebrates.
- How to keep a field/practical notebook of observed data.

Field work/ Practical workshops (16 hours over a minimum of three sessions) covering:
- Methodology used to collect/sample a wide range of freshwater invertebrate groups
- Identification (to an appropriate level) of the common invertebrates in ponds and streams.
- Using reference keys
- Observation of living material to observe structural and behavioural adaptations
- Investigation of life cycles and trophic levels of major groups ,br>- Keeping a field/practical notebook of observed data.

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1.Use appropriate techniques to sample invertebrates in ponds and streams.
2.Identify the main groups of organisms and describe their main characteristics.
3.Describe their distributions, adaptations, life cycles, and trophic levels.
4.Accurately record observations and data in a field notebook.

Please book onto the course through Aberystwyth University 01970 621 580.

More information on Lifelong Learning, Aberystwyth Univeristy

The University of Aberystwyth and Lifelong Learning aims to offer a range of accredited (intensive) courses at CAT to enable students to gain a Higher Education Certificate in Field Ecology.

The Certificates would take a minimum of two to three years to complete. Gaining the Certificate would enable you to become a competent field ecologist, able to plan and undertake field survey work and identify key species. These are useful skills that are in high demand for many environmental and conservation jobs.

The core courses of this Certificate cover general ecology, the diversity of plants and animals and plant identification.
There are also many key and optional courses to choose from involving the identification, habitat and general ecology of a range of groups: invertebrates, mammals, bats, mosses, lichens, grasses, flowering plants, birds, pond life and many more.

Individual courses can be built up in to the Certificate of Field Ecology.

If you are interested in working towards this Certificate, more information, help or advice is available from Lifelong Learning Aberystwyth University, telephone the Science Co-ordinator 01970 621 580 .

You do not need a scientific background to succeed.

For more information on taking this course as part of a field certificate through Lifelong learning, Aberystwyth University Click here
(opens new web page)

Booking, Fees and Cancellation policy

To book a place on a course, please choose one of the following options:

• Book Online- the “Book online” button is either below, or in the top right corner of the screen and follow the instructions.

• Call the Courses Department on 01654 704 966 with your bank card details.

Please note: a £100 non-refundable deposit is required to secure your place.

The balance of the course fee is due 28 days before the start of the course.

Our course fees include full board accommodation, tuition and materials, unless otherwise stated.

Please also note our Cancellation & Refund Policy
a) The £100 deposit and 1 day course fees are non-refundable.
b) For courses of 2 days or more when you give us this notice of cancellation:
• 28 days or more – refund minus your £100 deposit.
• 8 to 27 days notice – refund minus your £100 deposit for sales of £200 or under. On sales over £200 - 50% refund.
• 7 days notice or under – no refund.
c) CAT reserves the right to cancel any courses. Deposits and fees will be returned in full should this happen.


Start Date

Bed & Breakfast the night before the course starts

Book Now!

Email courses@cat.org.uk
or phone 01654 704 966

Please book onto the course through Aberystwyth University 01970 621 580 before booking accommodation at CAT.

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