UNDERWATER SCIENCE

UNDERWATER SCIENCE

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iten
Code
65662
ACADEMIC YEAR
2019/2020
CREDITS
2 credits during the 2nd year of 9916 ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL SCIENCES (L-32) GENOVA

2 credits during the 2nd year of 10723 MARINE BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY (LM-75) GENOVA

2 credits during the 2nd year of 10723 MARINE BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY (LM-6) GENOVA

SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
BIO/07
LANGUAGE
Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL SCIENCES)
semester
2° Semester
Teaching materials

OVERVIEW

The aim of the course is to understand the wide variety of disciplines (from Oceanography, to Geology and Biology) that use underwater sampling techniques. The course describes the main existing techniques and the available means that allow human to do research in a submerged marine environment, and also has the aim of defining the role and importance of underwater scientific diving to study the marine environment.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Meaning and role of underwater scientific diving in environmental sciences. Scientific diver, underwater researcher. Human penetration under the sea. Techniques of shallow and deep waters. Autonomous or remotely operated means, manned or unmanned, normobaric or hyperbaric. Characteristics of scientific diving in the context of the different disciplines and activities. Ship-based approaches and land-based approaches. Surface techniques. Autonomous scuba diving. Physical and chemical oceanography. Geology. Biology and ecology. National, EU and international regulations for underwater scientific diving. Training. Risk assessment in scientific diving.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

Class attendance will allow the student acquiring the knowledge necessary to understand the existing techniques, both from a historical and a current point of view, which allow human to do research in a submerged marine environment. All the means available to penetrate underwater will be described, both with land-based and ship-based approaches, autonomous or remotely controlled. The characteristics of the underwater scientific diving in the various disciplines will be explained (physical and chemical Oceanography, Geology, Biology and Ecology) and the importance and necessity of scientific diving to study the marine environment will be highlighted. A part of the teaching will also focus on issues related to "safety during work", risk assessment in scientific diving, and training.

PREREQUISITES

No special requirements are required to attend the course. A basic knowledge on the techniques and characteristics of scuba diving is not necessary, but the course itself will include an introduction to the main techniques of autonomous scuba diving.

Teaching methods

The course consists of lectures, for a total of 16 hours. During the classes some instruments for sampling underwater will often be shown. Lectures in the classroom are delivered through multimedia presentations. As there is no reference text adopted, class attendance is strongly recommended. The student can make use of the material made available on Aulaweb.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

The program of the course includes:
Definition of scientific diver and underwater researcher. Human penetration under the sea. Techniques of shallow and deep waters. Autonomous or constrained means, manned or remotely controlled, normobaric or hyperbaric. AUV and submarines. Rigid articulated diving helmet, diver with helmet. Autonomous diving techniques. Snorkeling and ARA; other gases: O2 (ARO) and mixtures (Nitrox, Heliox, Hydrox, Trimix) normoxic and hypoxic. Operation of air breathing apparatus. Elements of underwater technique: problems related to depth (O2, N2) and time (N2, consumption); implications for the planning of scientific diving. Characteristics of scientific diving in the context of types of underwater activity. Nautical means for underwater scientific research. Qualifications of an oceanographic vessel and a minor boat. Ship-based approaches and land-based approaches. Surface techniques: sampling, inspection. Dredgers, buckets, core drills: type and operation; Applicability to underwater use. ROV qualifications and towed cameras. Autonomous scuba diving. Type and use of the underwater slate; basic instruments for underwater research. Underwater activities in the various scientific disciplines: areas and specificities. Physical and chemical oceanography: current measurement, underwater optics, water sampling. Portable units. Accessibility and specificity criteria in the approach to underwater habitats. Geology: topography, clinometry, morphometry, sedimentology, ripple-marks, penetrometry. Underwater portable sonars. Biology and ecology. Scientific diving in the study of the pelagic environment and in the benthos. Qualitative, quantitative and semi-quantitative surveys. Numerical descriptors: biomass and bio-volume; abundance and density; cover; frequency. Destructive methods, non-destructive methods. Scraping. Air-suction. Photographic sampling. Visual methods: squares and transects. Depth transects and parallel transects. Types of parallel transects: Line Intercept Transect (LIT), Point Intercept Transect (PIT); Chain Transect (CT); Belt Transect (BT). National, EU and international regulations for underwater scientific diving. Training and updating. Operating procedures. Technical and psychophysical requirements. Civil liability. Eligibility, insurance, certificates, dive books. Coordination of scientific diving within the European Union. Notes on the Legislative Decree 626/94 "Safety in the Workplace". Risk assessment in scientific diving. Good practices for safe underwater activities by ISPRA and Environmental Agencies.

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

The adoption of a reference text is not envisaged. Available (downloadable from Aulaweb) a copy of the presentations used during classes, didactic material and scientific articles for further information.

The following texts can be consulted for some parts of the course program:

1) Gambi M.C., Doppiano M. (Eds.) 2003. Manuale di metodologia di campionamento e studio del benthos marino mediterraneo. Biologia Marina Mediterranea10 (s), 638 pp.

2) Colantoni P. 2007 L’immersione scientifica. Tecniche di indagine subacquea. Editrice La Mandragora, Imola.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Ricevimento: Students are received by appointment, agreed directly with the teacher by telephone (0103538065), by email (monica.montefalcone@unige.it) or via Aulaweb.

Exam Board

MONICA MONTEFALCONE (President)

MARIO PETRILLO

LESSONS

Teaching methods

The course consists of lectures, for a total of 16 hours. During the classes some instruments for sampling underwater will often be shown. Lectures in the classroom are delivered through multimedia presentations. As there is no reference text adopted, class attendance is strongly recommended. The student can make use of the material made available on Aulaweb.

LESSONS START

The lessons of the first semester will start from September 23, 2019, and will be completed by January 17, 2020. The lessons of the second semester will start from February 17, 2020 and will be completed by June 12, 2020. Refer to the detailed timetable below link: https://easyacademy.unige.it/portalestudenti/

EXAMS

Exam description

The final evaluation consists of an oral exam. At the end of the course, only those who have attended will be given the opportunity to take an OPTIONAL written test with multiple choice questions, including all the topics covered during classes. This test is also useful for a self-evaluation of the understanding of all the topics covered. The written test will be evaluated in thirtieths (30). The student have the possibility to decide whether to hold the evaluation of the written test, which will be then averaged with the evaluation of the oral exams, or if he/she does not consider the written test (whose evaluation will not therefore be taken into consideration) and only take the complete oral exam.
The oral exam starts with the exposition of a topic chosen by the student (among the topics covered during classes or with the exposition of a scientific article provided in the material for further information on Aulaweb), and will continue with further 2/3 questions asked by the teacher on topics covered during the teaching. If the student has taken the written test and wishes to improve the evaluation with the oral exam, he/she will be asked 1 or 2 questions on any critical issues that emerged during the written test.
2 exams are available in the winter session (January-February) and 5 exams in the summer session (June, July, September).

Assessment methods

Details on how to prepare for the exam and the degree of detail required for each topic will be provided at the beginning of the course and confirmed during the classes. The oral exam will mainly focus on the topics covered during the lectures and will aim to assess the achievement of the appropriate level of knowledge. The ability to present the topics clearly and with correct terminology will also be evaluated.

Exam schedule

Date Time Location Type Notes
17/07/2020 11:30 GENOVA Orale
04/09/2020 11:30 GENOVA Orale
18/09/2020 11:30 GENOVA Orale

FURTHER INFORMATION

Regular class attendance is strongly recommended as a reference text is not used for this course. During classes, examples of instruments for underwater sampling will also be shown.