Detailed Description of Capita selecta

Capita Selecta, 5ECTS

1. Basic information

The course Capita Selecta deals with selected themes in natural resource management. It builds on other elective modules, focusing on 1) spatial ecology 2) agriculture and food security, and 3) forestry, including carbon and climate change. At the same time the course closely relates to the MSc thesis topic selected by the student. This implies that the student has substantial flexibility to shape this course, which should make her/him better prepared to successfully execute the MSc-thesis. For this reason, the MSc-thesis supervisor plays an important role in this course regarding guidance and examination, and will need to be identified before starting this course.

Because the course is tailored to individual students, upon registration the MSc-thesis supervisor will provide between 2 and 4 scientific articles, which describe current data processing or analysis methods that could possibly be applied during the MSc research. The student should complement this by searching for other relevant articles  that describe advanced data analysis methods with relevance for the MSc topic. The articles should provide different alternatives for performing a specific key analysis of the MSc thesis. To clarify, these should not include basic methods like image differencing, but could be, for example, more advanced modelling tools. The student will then list the pros and cons of the identified methods. Then either a) one method will be selected supported by a justification of its selection; or b) the student will combine elements of different methods to come up with a new hybrid method for her/his MSc thesis (which also should be justified). Based on data already available for the student’s thesis work, or alternatively another (online) data source, the student will then gain experience in applying the method to real data. In most instances the data and the subsequent analyses should have a spatial and/or temporal component.

2. General information

The course is part of the internet based programme ‘GIS and Earth Observation for Environmental modeling and Natural resource management’ (iGEON). The course is an elective course for the double degree: Master of Science in Geographical Information Science and Earth Observation, University of Twente, Faculty ITC, the Netherlands and Master of Science in Geographical Information Science of Lund University, Sweden. The course is also given as a single subject course. The language of instruction is English. The course is fully based on distance learning, with all material distributed over the Internet. It is flexible in the sense that students can study full time (100%), half time (50%), or with a 25% study tempo.

3. Learning outcomes

By the end of the module participants should be able to:

4. Course contents

The course consists of the following parts:

5. Teaching and assessment

Teaching consists of:

Assessment is by means of an individual report providing an overview of data processing and analysis methods examined, a critical analysis of why/why not these may be applicable in the thesis work, a demonstration of a specific method to real data.

6. Grades

The Capita Selecta course will be graded as pass or fail. The grade will be based on the individual report. First, the MSc thesis supervisor will approve (following the guiding questions below) and then the Capita Selecta course coordinator. Students may take this course in combination with the Proposal Writing course. Note however that the Capita Select report has different requirements, because of the main focus on the critical comparison and selection of methods, and the demonstration that you can apply those methods. To approve your report, the following questions are considered:

7. Entrance requirements

The following are required for admission to the course:

8. Literature

No standard literature. A limited number of key research articles and other information will be provided for by the MSc thesis supervisor. In addition, the student is expected to search her/his own literature