ENV BIOL 3004 - Freshwater Ecology III
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2021
General Course Information
Course Code ENV BIOL 3004 Course Freshwater Ecology III Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 6 hours per week, plus field camp Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Incompatible WRM 7024 Assumed Knowledge 3 units of Level II Environmental Biology courses Course Description The course provides theoretical understanding and practical implications of the ecology and restoration of freshwater habitats. It distinguishes habitats of lakes, wetlands, streams and rivers by varying circulation types, nutrient cycles and food webs. Complementary practicals will be conducted in order to provide skills for the identification of algae, zooplankton and water plants as well as for monitoring, assessment and management of drinking water reservoirs, urban and floodplain wetlands, and rivers.
This course will include a field camp up to 5 days. Details will be provided at the start of the course.
Course Coordinator: Professor Justin Brookes
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
1 Improve understanding on structures and functioning of freshwater systems under changing environmental and climate conditions 2 Improve understanding of habitat requirements of aquatic communities and water quality to implement informed management and restoration of freshwater systems 3 Acquire skills on monitoring, assessment and modelling of water quality, aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem integrity 4 Acquire skills on conceptualising, documenting and reporting research questions, data and findings taking international research in this field into account 5 Develop skills in working in a team environment
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Deep discipline knowledge
- informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
- acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
- accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
1 2 4 Critical thinking and problem solving
- steeped in research methods and rigor
- based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
- demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
3 4 Teamwork and communication skills
- developed from, with, and via the SGDE
- honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
- encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
4 5 Career and leadership readiness
- technology savvy
- professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
- forward thinking and well informed
- tested and validated by work based experiences
3 5 Intercultural and ethical competency
- adept at operating in other cultures
- comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
- able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
- demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
5 Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
- a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
- open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
- able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThis course will be delivered by the following means:
- Lectures: 2 x 1-hour lecture per week
- Practicals: 4 x 4-hour practicals
- Field Trip: 4-day field trip in the mid-semester break
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision)
Learning Activities Summary
Lectures Week 1 Introduction , Physical properties of freshwater Week 2 Nutrient and biological properties of freshwater Week 3 Aquatic primary productivity and lake metabolism Week 4 The phytoplankton; Alternate stable states Week 5 Aquatic macrophytes; Plants response to water level manipulation Week 6 Dryland Rivers; Impacts of predators Mid Semester break Week 7 Dispersal; Disturbance and recovery Week 8 Introduced species; Recruitment fish and river flows Week 9 Human disturbance in river systems; restoration ecology in rivers Week 10 Biological properties of freshwater; Aquatic food webs and trophic cascading Week 11 River continuum concept, flood pulsing Week 12 Eutrophication and cyanobacteria; forecasting algal blooms Practicals Instrumentation, physico-chemical attributes and calculations Light, oxygen and primary productivity Zooplankton/fish identification Student presentations
Specific Course RequirementsThis course has a 4-day field trip in the mid-semester break
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Due to the current COVID-19 situation modified arrangements have been made to assessments to facilitate remote learning and teaching Assessment Task Task Type Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes Hurdle Yes/No Date for assessment Learning Outcome Assessed/Achieved Essay Formative Summative
No Week 4 1,2,4 Field trip report
practicals/workshops and field camp work will be shifted online
Formative Summative 30% No Week 9 1-5 Exam Summative 50% No Exam Week 1-4
Assessment DetailEssay (20% of total course grades) Students choose an essay from approximately 20 topics on issues in aquatic ecology. The essay develops skills in researching key literature to then structure and develop a scientific argument. The essay should be no longer than 3,500 words . The essay will be marked and feedback given before end of week 6.
Field Trip Report (30% of total course grades of which 5% is an oral report and 25% is a written report) Normally we have practicals/workshops leading up to a field camp. We have changed this to two online sessions where we ask the students to develop conceptual models identifying the major processes affecting oxygen dynamics in freshwater systems. We will provide data from field camps in previous years and provide a second online workshop on how the data was collected and how to analyse it. The field trip report will be in written up in groups of 2 and members of the group will receive the same mark. The aim is to provide experimental learning opportunities to students in a group setting which is common in the science and environmental management employment sectors. The field trip report is a synthesis of practical assignments undertaken on a field camp. Students work in their team to analyse data and prepare a short presentation which is presented to the class (5% of total grade). The feedback received at the presentations is intended to refine hypotheses, aid in building a cohesive story and facilitate the cross-pollination of ideas with other teams Report will be marked and returned before end of Semester The field trip report should be no longer than 4,000 words and should conform to the paper style of the Journal Limnology and Oceanography (25% of final grade.
Exam (total of 50%) The exam is 3 hours long and examines student knowledge on material presented in 24 lectures
SubmissionIf an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.
SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.
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