ENV BIOL 3008 - Conservation and Restoration III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

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. dry-land 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, reintroduction 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.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ENV BIOL 3008
    Course Conservation and Restoration III
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 5 hours per week, plus fieldwork
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    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. dry-land 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, reintroduction 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 Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor David Paton

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    A 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)
    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)
    1,2,6
    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
    2,5
    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
    3,6
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1,2,3,4,5,6
    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
    2,3,4,5
    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
    2,3,4,5,
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There is no textbook prescribed for this course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This 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.
    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
    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 Requirements
    This 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.
  • 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)
    Learning Outcomes being assessed/achieved  Due date
    Assignment Summative
    Formative

    5%

    No 2 Week 7
    Group project Summative
    Formative
    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 Detail
    Assignment: (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.

     .
     

    Submission
    Late 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
    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
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.