ENV BIOL 7017 - Issues in Sustainable Environments
North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015
General Course Information
Course Code ENV BIOL 7017 Course Issues in Sustainable Environments Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences Term Semester 2 Level Postgraduate Coursework Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 6 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Course Description This course is designed to teach students to conceptualise and analyse our natural and built environments as an interconnected system. This means that it is multi-disciplinary in content and will require students to understand the trade-offs between use and conservation of resources. The course will emphasise the biophysical, social and economic dimensions of current and emerging environmental and resource management issues. It comprises a series of seminars by invited speakers from research, government, community and business sectors. Students will be expected to improve their skills in critical thinking and issue analysis, present a logical and succinct opinion piece on an environmental issue and write a scientifically informed article suitable for popular media.
Course Coordinator: Professor Wayne Meyer
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
1 understand the limits to the concepts of sustainability, resilience and resource capacity 2 increase the information and reference base from a wide variety of sources about criticalenvironmental issues 3 increase student capability to collate, analyse and report using scientific methods 4 stimulate understanding of the complexity of the interdependent environmental system andhence avoid simplistic assessments 5 identify the biophysical, economic and social elements of resource use and conservation 6 develop critical questioning and interaction skills with a range of presenters 7 refine information acquisition, logic development and succinct reporting skills 8 learn to distil and practice presenting key concepts about sustaining environmental resources 9 learn and demonstrate the capability to communicate to different audiences 10 refine literature collation, gap analysis and research proposal presentation
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. 1-10 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1-10 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1-10 Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1-10 A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1-10 A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-10 A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1-10 An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1-10
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesSeminars
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.For a 3-unit course, the expected workload would be, on average, 12 hours per week.
Learning Activities Summary
Week 1 Concepts of sustainability and resilience, evidence of climate change
and issues of population pressures
Week 2 Agriculture, landscapes, ecosystem services: tradeoffs and opportunities Week 3 Designing cost-effective, socially acceptable policy for managing water
Week 4 Water and irrigation in Australia - the place of irrigation in the
Murray and Murrumbidgee
Week 5 Alternative energy Week 6 Assessing, regulating and managing coastal environments for production,
conservation and amenity
Week 7 Erosion of ecosystem services Week 8 Water security and sustainability in South Australia Week 9 Environmental toxicology Week 10 Markets for ecosystems service provision: concepts, prices and
Week 11 Soil carbon: an answer to carbon sequestration? Week 12 Managing a working river system for use and conservation with policy,
regulation, institution and community input
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 Short reports on four sessions Formative / Summative 33% 1,2,3,4,5,6 Two short "lift conversation" presentations Summative 17% 7,8 Popular science article Formative / Summative 17% 8,9 Research proposal Formative / Summative 17% 8,9,10 Unit factor conversion Formative 16%
Assessment DetailReport on nominated presentations are due within two weeks of each presentation. 1000 word limit.
Two “lift conversation” presentations – each 3 minutes. Peer feedback immediately
following, written comments and assessment within the week following presentation.
Popular science article – draft due week 7 for feedback on suitability of topic, final due week 10. 1200 word limit
Research Proposal – draft due week 10, final due week 12. 2500 word limit
A written proposal to a potential supervisor for a one year research project in a sustainable environment topic. The topic to be discussed with and agreed with the course coordinator. · Students will learn how to research the topic, read appropriate references, define knowledge gaps and outline research that will address the knowledge gap in the time.
Unit factor conversion exercises will consist of 2 problems each week. The answers need to be submitted electronically within one week.
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 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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This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.
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