Postgraduate Course: Marine Renewables and the Environment (IDCORE) (PGEE11096)
|School of Engineering
|College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)
|SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
|Not available to visiting students
|This course aims to introduce students to the wider marine environments within which Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) devices are intended to operate, including physical parameters and biodiversity. The course provides students with a detailed understanding of the various environmental issues surrounding the deployment, operation and decommissioning of, current and future, offshore renewable energy technologies. It seeks to do so by providing students with an in-depth understanding of mechanisms by which MRE devices may impact, and/or may be impacted by, different marine species over the course of devices' operational lifetimes. State-of-the-art survey and monitoring approaches are discussed. The course provides several opportunities for at-sea observation, sampling and data collection by students aboard a range of vessels (incl. SAMS research vessels, tour boats, and commercial ferries).
The course seeks to introduce students to a wide range of environmental topics relevant to engineers seeking to operate in the MRE sector. These topics are each covered within 1- 2 lectures and/or practical sessions, often involving hands-on exercises or boat trips.
Lecture topic list:
Introduction to the Marine Environment - explores fundamental concepts of oceanography, salinity, seawater chemistry, circulation and tides, marine geology/sedimentology, and marine ecology.
Physical Oceanography a more in-depth look at physical processes occurring in the sea, with a particular focus on tidal channels.
Life in the Sea / Seabed Communities introduces the main groups of organisms (seaweeds & invertebrates) found associated with the seabed or other solid surfaces.
Rocky Shore Ecology ¿ a focused lecture describing rocky shore communities in intertidal environments, including artificial structures.
Larval Dispersal & Connectivity highlights the importance of larval dispersal in many invertebrate species found growing on artificial structures such as MRE devices.
Artificial Reefs ¿ explores the concept of artificial reefs and links this to MRE device/array placement.
Biofouling and Invasive Species ¿ focuses on organisms (including introduced/invasive species) growing on artificial surfaces such as MRE devices and associated infrastructure.
Marine Fish ¿ introduces the main groups of fish, investigates their ecology, and explores the various interactions between fish and MRE developments. Includes a laboratory exercise on fish anatomy.
Marine Birds ¿ introduces the main groups of marine birds, investigates their ecology, and explores the various interactions between birds and MRE developments.
Marine Mammals ¿ introduces the main groups of marine mammals, investigates their ecology, and explores the various interactions between marine mammals and MRE developments.
Regulation, Protected Species and Consenting introduces relevant environmental legislation and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process, with particular relation to legally protected species.
Experimental Design considers appropriate sampling methods and statistical concepts to ensure environmental data collection is appropriate for the questions asked in EIA.
Marine Robotics as Samplers considers state-of-the-art autonomous technologies used to sample the marine environment.
Ecosystem modelling. A full-day introduction to the use of models as a tool to help understand marine ecosystems and the effects of human activities such as MRE development.
Field trip list:
Rocky shore field trip (on shore by SAMS lab)
Biofouling field trip (in Dunstaffnage Marina)
Soft sediment/plankton sampling trip (in inshore waters of the Firth of Lorn), followed by analysis of collected samples
Tidal race field trip (in the Gulf of Corryvreckan, within the Firth of Lorn)
Marine mammal survey (aboard the CalMac ferry to Mull, crossing the Firth of Lorn)
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 25,
Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 10,
Fieldwork Hours 18,
Summative Assessment Hours 3,
Revision Session Hours 7,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Additional Information (Learning and Teaching)
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
Syndicate projects carried out during the week and presented to the class and teaching staff at the end (with a pass/fail criteria).
|No Exam Information
| An understanding of how offshore renewables interact with the marine environment.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Offshore Renewable Energy,Marine,Environment,ecosystem,interactions,impacts,megafauna
|Prof David Ingram
Tel: (0131 6)51 9022
|Dr Katrina Tait
Tel: (0131 6)51 9023