ENV BIOL 3004 - Freshwater Ecology III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2018

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.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    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 Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Justin Brookes

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    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
    4 5
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This 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
    Workload

    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 Requirements
    This course has a 4-day field trip in the mid-semester break
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes Hurdle Yes/No Date for assessment Learning Outcome Assessed/Achieved
    Essay Formative Summative

    20%

    No Week 4 1,2,4
    Field trip report Formative Summative 30% No Week 9 1-5
    Exam Summative 50% No Exam Week 1-4
    Assessment Detail
    Essay (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) The practical sessions on the field camp will be undertaken in small groups. Each member will undertake all tasks and contribute results back to the group. The field practicals are designed to equip students with skills in field instrumentation, sampling, team work, scientific methodology and working in remote locations. 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 to the River Murray. Upon return from the camp, students work in their team to analyse data and prepare a short presentation which is presented to the class. 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.

    Exam (total of 50%) The exam is 3 hours long and examines student knowledge on material presented in 24 lectures
    Submission
    If 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.
    Course Grading

    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.

  • Student Feedback

    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.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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