ENV BIOL 2005 - Ecology for Engineers II
North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2024
General Course Information
Course Code ENV BIOL 2005 Course Ecology for Engineers II Coordinating Unit Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Term Semester 2 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 5 hours per week, plus field trip Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Incompatible ENV BIOL 2502 and ENV BIOL 2003 Restrictions Available to BEng students only, or by permission of the Course Coordinator Course Description This course aims to teach students the core principles of modern ecology, to provide basic skills for the conduct of field studies, and to foster the development of scientific analysis of ecological systems. The topics are integrated into a conceptual framework that will allow students the analysis of real situations. Topics include the description and study of biological populations and communities, the factors that determine their properties and dynamics, the
properties of fragmented systems, the patterns and consequences of species diversity, and the biotic and abiotic factors that control the dynamics of ecological systems. Case studies are used to illustrate the underlying theory, and the application of the ecological theory to the management of natural resources for exploitation and conservation. The course is relevant for students interested in furthering their understanding of the basic ecological principles, in the management of rangelands, fisheries, forests, and human made systems, and in the conservation of natural ecosystems.
Details of field trip communicated at start of the course.
Course Coordinator: Professor Ivan Nagelkerken
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
A successful student in this course should be able to: 1 Understand and apply fundamental ecological concepts; 2 Analyse simple ecological problems using conceptual frameworks 3 Understand the basic requirements of the design of ecological studies 4 Interpret graphs and tables reporting results of ecological studies 5 Demonstrate knowledge of the basic statistical tools used to analyse the dataobtained in ecological studies 6 Conduct simple searches of ecological literature in journals devoted tothe discipline of Ecology 7 Report results of ecological studies in a clear, precise, and succinctway.
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)
Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth
Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.
Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving
Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.
Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills
Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.
Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness
Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.
Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency
Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.
Attribute 7: Digital capabilities
Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.
2, 5, 6, 7
Recommended ResourcesRECOMMENDED TEXTBOOKS
There is no textbook required for this course. While many books provide a good coverage of the main topics approached during lectures, they are not an alternative to attending to the lectures and taking good notes.
Most advances Ecology textbooks provide a reasonable coverage of the topics included in the course, but the emphases and examples will be determined by the lecturers. Reading the same topic from different sources is recommended for better understanding of complex concepts. Some books worth considering are:
Krebs, C. J. Ecology. The experimental analysis of distribution and abundance. 5th edition. Benjamin Cummings.
Morin, P.J. Community Ecology. Blackwell Science.
Attwill, P. and B. Wilson (eds.). Ecology. An Australian perspective. 2nd edition. Oxford.
Begon, M. Townsend, C.A. and J.L. Harper. Ecology: From Individuals to Ecosystems, 4th edition. Blackwell Science
Lecture outlines and recordings of the actual lectures will be available through MyMedia. Please note that this material (particularly Lecture outlines alone) is not an alternative to attendance at lectures. For specific aspects of the course there will be Discussion Boards set up in MyUni. Their use is strongly encouraged to enhance the learning experience.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThe course uses a combination of lectures, practicals and field work. Attendance at lectures is highly recommended; attendance at the field trips and practicals is mandatory as they are neccessary for the data collection and data analyses that form part of the practical assignments and the field data report. There is a component of directed practicals (sampling and data analyses) and directed group field work followed by independent reporting.
Lectures: 2 x 1-hour lectures per week
Practicals: 1 x 3-hour practical per week - selected weeks only
Field Trips: 3 x one-day field trips - selected weeks only. Students unable to attend field trips will receive an alternative desk-top assignment.
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 for the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
Learning Activities SummaryLectures
Week 1 Sampling and experimental design
Week 2 Population dynamics
Week 3 Population structure
Week 4 Community dynamics
Week 5 Factors that control diversity
Week 6 Resources, competition & Predation
Week 7 Food webs and trophic interactions
Week 8 Nutrients and energy in the ecosystem
Week 9 Ecosystem management: freshwater ecology
Week 10 Spatial ecology
Week 11 Ecological management / TERN
Week 12 Spatial ecological processing
3 x one-day field trip (dates to be announced at start of the course)
Week 1 Sampling ecological systems
Week 3 Managing data
Week 5 Statistical analyses
Week 9 Scales of ecological patterns, drone mission
Week 11 GIS and spatial data
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 Hurdle Weighting Learning Outcome Final Exam Summative
40% 1,2,4 Practicals Formative No 40% 3,4,5,6 Desktop Report Formative/ Summative No 20% 3,4,5,6,7
There will be four lab quizzes in practical sessions that will be worth a total of 40%. Quizzes will be short answer written quizzes ~20 minutes in duration. Written feedback will be provided in the following practical.
Field report (or Desktop assignment)
There will be a field report and a field trip diary worth 20% in total. Assignments are to be submitted using TurnItIn. Students unable to attend field trips will receive an alternative desk-top assignment.
A 3-hour exam at the end of semester exam period which will draw on material from both lectures and practicals. It will require simple
calculations, but it will not involve computing.
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.
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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