ENV BIOL 2502 - Ecology II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2019

This course introduces the core principles of modern ecology, provides basic skills for the conduction of field studies, and fosters the development of the skills needed for the scientific analysis of ecological systems. The topics are integrated into a conceptual framework that allows students to analyse real situations. Topics include the description and study of biological populations and communities, the factors that determine their properties and dynamics, the patterns and consequences of species diversity, and the biotic and abiotic factors that control the dynamics of ecological systems. Across these topics, the impact of human activities on ecosystem processes is discussed. Case studies are used to illustrate the underlying theory, and the application of the ecological theory to the management of natural resources for use and conservation. The course is relevant for students interested in furthering their understanding of ecological principles, in the management of rangelands, wildlife, fisheries, forests, and human made systems, and in the conservation of natural ecosystems. Details of field trip communicated at start of the course.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ENV BIOL 2502
    Course Ecology II
    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 field trip
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible ENV BIOL 2005
    Assumed Knowledge BIOLOGY 1202 or BIOLOGY 1001
    Course Description This course introduces the core principles of modern ecology, provides basic skills for the conduction of field studies, and fosters the development of the skills needed for the scientific analysis of ecological systems. The topics are integrated into a conceptual framework that allows students to analyse real situations. Topics include the description and study of biological populations and communities, the factors that determine their properties and dynamics, the patterns and consequences of species diversity, and the biotic and abiotic factors that control the dynamics of ecological systems. Across these topics, the impact of human activities on ecosystem processes is discussed. Case studies are used to illustrate the underlying theory, and the application of the ecological theory to the management of natural resources for use and conservation. The course is relevant for students interested in furthering their understanding of ecological principles, in the management of rangelands, wildlife, fisheries, forests, and human made systems, and in the conservation of natural ecosystems.
    Details of field trip communicated at start of the course.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Jose M Facelli

    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 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 data obtained in ecological studies
    6 Conduct simple searches of ecological literature in journals devoted to the discipline of Ecology
    7 Report results of ecological studies in a clear, precise, and succinct way.
    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, 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
    4, 6, 7
    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, 7
    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 ,7
    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
    7
    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
    NA
  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources
    RECOMMENDED 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 advanced 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 Modes
    The course uses a combination of lectures, practicals and field work.  Attendance at lectures is highly recommended. 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 perweek

    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.

     

    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 for the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).

    Learning Activities Summary
    Lectures
    Week 1             Sampling and experimental design
    Week 2             Population dynamics I
    Week 3             Population structure
    Week 4             Ecological interactions I
    Week 5             Ecological interactions II
    Week 6             Ecological Communities
    Week 7             Community dynamics
    Week 8             Factors that control diversity
    Week 9             Resources and conditions        
    Week 10           Food webs and trophic interactions
    Week 11           Nutrients and energy in the ecosystem
    Week 12           Ecosystem management: freshwater ecology

    Field Camp
    Second week of the mid-semester break

    Practicals
    Week 1             Sampling                     
    Week 3             Regression and Correlation            
    Week 5             Means, ANOVA, graphs                                
    Week 9             Field data Tutorial/Alternative assigment briefing


  • 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 Hurdle Weighting Learning Outcome
    Final Exam Summative

    No

    50% 1,2,4
    Practicals Formative No 35% 3,4,5,6
    Field Data (or Desktop) Report
    Formative/Summative

    No
    15% 3,4,5,6,7
    Assessment Detail
    Lab Workshops
    There will be five lab workshops in practical sessions with short quizzes that will be worth 7% each. Quizzes will be short answer written quizzes 20 minutes in duration. Written feedback will be provided prior to the following practical.

    Assignment
    There will be one assignment worth 15%.  The assignment will consist of several problem based questions that will require some computing work for data analysis and short answer type responses (half to one page).   Assignments are to be submitted using TurnItIn.

    Exam
    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.
    Submission
    All assignments must be SUBMITTED BY THE DUE DATE and accompanied by the corresponding Cover sheet, signed. They are available from the Course MyUni site. If your assignment is late, email the course coordinator.

    Extensions for Assessment Tasks
    Extensions of deadlines for assessment tasks may be allowed for reasonable causes. Such situations would include compassionate and medical grounds of the severity that would justify the awarding of a replacement examination. Evidence for the grounds must be provided when an extension is requested. Students are required to apply for an extension to the Course Co-ordinator before the assessment task is due. Extensions will not be provided on the grounds of poor prioritising of time. 

    Late 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
  • 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.