WATR203-17SU2 (C) Summer Nov 2017 start

Freshwater Science Field Skills

15 points
20 Nov 2017 - 17 Dec 2017


In this course students will develop practical skills in sampling freshwaters, identification of freshwater organisms, and assessing hydrological conditions and water-quality.

NOTE: WATR203 is NOT OFFERED in 2018 but will run in 2019.

This course is designed to teach the basic skills required to measure aspects of freshwater ecosystems. Through intensive field days, you will learn practical skills necessary for a practicing freshwater ecologist employed in New Zealand.  You will learn how to assess and measure physical habitats, water chemistry, algae, aquatic plants, freshwater invertebrates, and fish. You will also be introduced to identification of freshwater biodiversity, focusing particularly on invertebrates and fish. This course will provide you with a background in skills useful for advanced waterways and freshwater ecology courses and equip you for freshwater science-related careers.

Prerequisite note: A freshwater-related course of study (e.g. BIOL375 or a WATR paper), two years of a science based major, or appropriate freshwater-related work experience as determined by the Head of Programme.

Learning Outcomes


A freshwater-related course of study or appropriate freshwater-related work experience as determined by the Head of Programme.

Timetable Note

NOTE: This course is NOT OFFERED in 2018, but will be in 2019. Timing of the course is still being finalised but in general the course will follow the block outline from 2017 (as follows).

The course commences on Monday 20 November when the first reading and pre-course assignment will be posted and finishes on Thursday 14 December when the last assignment is due. This includes compulsory practical contact time running from Monday 27 November to Thursday 7 December, and includes overnight stays at the Cass Field station (see course outline for more details). We will meet on the morning of Monday 27 November at 9 am in a Biology seminar room that you will be notified of near the start of the course. Please look at the course outline for a preliminary timetable.

Christchurch based field and lab activities: 27 Nov - 1st Dec
Cass Field Station: 4-6 Dec
Christchurch based work 7 December

All other course work can be done remotely.


10% Pre-course assessment (due 24 November)

30% Workbook

30% Practical test

30% Final report (due 14 December)

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $848.00

International fee $3,713.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

Minimum enrolments

This course will not be offered if fewer than 10 people apply to enrol.

Limited Entry Course

Maximum enrolment is 40

For further information see Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management on the department and colleges page.

All WATR203 Occurrences