ENV BIOL 3008 - Conservation and Restoration III
North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014
General Course Information
Course Code ENV BIOL 3008 Course Conservation and Restoration III Coordinating Unit School of Earth and Environmental Sciences Term Semester 2 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 5 hours per week, plus fieldwork Incompatible ENV BIOL 3023 Assumed Knowledge ENV BIOL 2503 or equivalent Course Description This course will examine theoretical and practical aspects of conservation biology, ecological management and restoration of natural systems. The course will focus on terrestrial systems. It will cover the effects of introduced herbivores, carnivores, competitors, pathogens, vegetation clearance, habitat fragmentation, habitat degradation, disturbances (e.g. fire) and remedial actions (e.g. revegetation) on Australian flora, fauna and ecological processes (e.g. dryland salinisation, pollination, gene flow, animal dispersal). Edge effects, corridors, succession, endangered species management, conservation genetics, abundant species management, biological and mechanical control of unwanted species, rehabilitation, re-introduction and translocation biology will also be covered. Establishing adequate and effective monitoring programs, reserve design and risk assessment, as well as social and political factors in decision making will provide a practical element to the course. Students will be expected to conduct a small group research project on some current conservation or restoration issue as part of the course.
This course will include 4-5 days of field work either as a series of day trips or as a field camp. Details will be provided at the start of the course.
Course Coordinator: Associate Professor David Paton
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning OutcomesA successful student should be able to:
1 Demonstrate practical hands-on experience with a current problem in conservation, restoration and management of flora, fauna or ecological processes; 2 Apply scientific principles to solving current problems or deficiencies in the management of flora, fauna or ecological processes of benefit to the Natural Resource Management sector; 3 Develop and demonstrate an ability to work co-operatively in small groups and interact with potential clients (e.g. Natural Resource sector personnel); 4 Show self-confidence and ownership of environmental problems and solutions; 5 Apply skills in planning, executing and reporting on a particular problem relevant to the Natural Resource Management sector; 6 Demonstrate effective written, oral and communication skills.
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) Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,2 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2,3,5 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1-6 Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 3-6 A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1,2,5,6 A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-6 A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1-6 An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1,2,5
Required ResourcesThere is no textbook prescribed for this course.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThis course will be delivered by the following means:
- 2 x 1-hour lectures per week
- 1 x 3-hour practicals per week
- 4-5 days of field work either as a series of day trips or as field camps.
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
Schedule Lecture Practical Week 1 Introduction, vegetation clearance
Effects of vegetation losses on biota and ecological processes
Project selection Week 2 Types of habitat degradation
Habitat degradation – changes for plants
Health, Safety and Welfare Issues Week 3 Habitat degradation – plant-animal interactions, herbivory
Habitat degradation – changes in competition
Training in field methods Week 4 Habitat degradation – changes in predation
Habitat degradation – fire and drought
Project development Week 5 Population and Conservation Genetics (1)
Population and Conservation Genetics (2)
Field trip for plant ID Week 6 Population and Conservation Genetics (3)
Population and Conservation Genetics (4)
Project presentation Week 7 Population and Conservation Genetics (5)
Population and Conservation Genetics (6)
Population Genetics Practical Week 8 Seed conservation
Captive breeding and cross fostering programs
*Project execution Week 9 Restoring habitats and monitoring outcomes
Scales and strategies for re-establishing habitats
*Project execution Week 10 Declining species management
Abundant species management
*Project execution Week 11 Ecosystem management: Arid Recovery
Ecosystem management: Coorong
*Project execution Week 12 Conservation & Restoration under climate change & Overview Project presentation
Specific Course RequirementsThis course aims to equip students with good field based skills and includes a 4-5 days of field work either as a series of day trips or as field camps.
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.
Assessment Task Task Type Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes Hurdle
Learning Outcomes being assessed/achieved Due date Assignment Summative
No 2 Week 7 Group project Summative
45% No 1-6 Tasks due in week 6,12, 13
Formative feedback during semester
Theory exam Summative 50% No 2,6 Exam Period
Assessment DetailAssignment: (5% of total course grade)
Report on the Population Genetics Practical held in week 7 and submitted in week 8
Group project: (45% of total course grade)
This course involves students working in small groups to plan and execute a field-based research project. The aim is to provide experiential learning opportunities to students that are realistic with the natural resource management profession. This profession usually works in teams (an increasing necessity for field work) and a key feature of the course is training in health and safety reviews and in conducting risk assessments of field work and addressing any risks. These are important skills both in the work-force and are also needed in subsequent years of higher education (Hons, Ph.D.). An important part of experiential learning is for students to have some ownership and independence in conducting their field projects and this requires the students to work (as a group) in the field in the absence of a University staff member for at least some of the time (although a University staff member and or local NRM Manager is contactable at all times by phone). To provide a safe operating environment for students while they are in the field they therefore must work as part of a group. A range of different field projects are offered to the students in each year and the students choose the project that fits with their time-table and other commitments. In any one year there are typically 10-15 groups of 3-5 students, with each group doing a different project. The different projects help facilitate ownership of a project by the different groups. In the work force a single report would be produced with all participants contributing. Producing a single joint report with everyone in a group collaborating is also part of experiential learning. Depending on the project group reports also go to an external agency and a single collaborative report is what these agencies seek.
Although this course does not provide assessments of tasks until week 6, the development of the individual projects (project outline, field methods, logistics, HSW assessment and budget) are developed interactively between course staff and the students during the first four weeks of the course. This provides immediate feed-back for students and allows them to produce a well-designed project outline that can be safely executed. The emphasis in the first six weeks is to develop these fundamental skills that will serve students well in the future, rather than having an assessment that indicates that they are on track in the first half of the course. The first assessable tasks, however, are delivered in week 6.
Summary of Group Project Weighting Due Written report outlining purpose of project and methods*
Written report on logistics and Health, Safety & Welfare risk assessment*
Oral presentation to class outlining the project*
10% Week 6 Oral presentation on your project to the class* 5% Week 12 Written report and data bases for your project * 25% Week 13 Field aptitude and application during project development and fieldwork (with self-assessment) 5% during semester
* note these tasks are assessed as a group
End of term theory exam: (50% of total course grade)
The exam is held in the exam period and is given to address understanding of the material from the entire course.
SubmissionLate submission of assessments
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 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 or more late without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the mark
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.
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