C&ENVENG 4108 - Environmental Engineering & Design IVA
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015
General Course Information
Course Code C&ENVENG 4108 Course Environmental Engineering & Design IVA Coordinating Unit School of Civil, Environmental & Mining Eng Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 4 hrs per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Assumed Knowledge C&ENVENG 3029, C&ENVENG 3079, C&ENVENG 3077, ECON 3500 & ENV BIOL 2005 Course Description Natural environments are complex systems involving many different drivers and interacting components. Such components include the ecological processes of species interaction, the physical processes of contaminant transport, and the human processes driven by social values, policy and economics. This course presents a system dynamics approach towards understanding and modelling environmental systems. The emphasis will be on the development and analysis of models that describe the material flows and feedback processes within environmental systems, and the influence of environmental management. In the assignments and the projects, the system dynamics framework will be applied to some of the following systems: capacity constrained population growth and decay; predator-prey systems; coupled hydrology and wildlife systems; species migration; and matter cycling in ecosystems.
Course Coordinator: Dr Aaron Zecchin
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning OutcomesThe learning objectives for this course are:
Technical knowledge and application of knowledge skills:
1. To appreciate the complex nature of environmental systems, and understand the features that characterise them: dynamic; spatially distributed; multi-component; multi-process; integrated; and responsive
2. To understand the importance of “systems thinking” when dealing with environmental systems
3. To understand, interpret and develop models of environmental systems using the “Stock and Flow” modelling framework both qualitatively, and quantitatively
4. To understand basic qualitative concepts concerning dynamic systems such as phase space representations, equilibrium points and stability
5. To understand the role of policy in managing environmental systems, and be able to model the impacts of policy decisions on these systems
6. To understand the need to consider the different natural systems (i.e. hydrological and biological), their interactions, and develop integrated models to describe these interactions.
7. To understand the role of feedback and homeostasis within environmental systems, and be able to characterise it using causal loop diagrams
8. To understand the importance of analysing environmental models, particularly with respect to the analysis of model sensitivity arising from parametric uncertainties
9. To demonstrate competence and independence in using software to develop environmental models
10. To appreciate and understand selected advanced integrated environmental modelling methods used by researchersThinking skills:
11. To demonstrate competence in problem identification, formulation and solution
12. To demonstrate competence in critical and independent thinking
13. To demonstrate the ability to effectively synthesise information and ideas
14. To demonstrate the ability to conduct investigations and research into civil and environmental engineering problemsPersonal skills and attitudes:
15. To demonstrate competence to adapt to a changing society (lifelong learning skills)
16. To demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively with others in the engineering profession and the community – written, oral and listening skills
17. To demonstrate the ability to manage effectively the allocation of time in performing tasks
18. To demonstrate the ability to work effectively as a member of a team
19. To demonstrate awareness of the social and environmental context of professional engineering practice
University Graduate Attributes
No information currently available.
Required ResourcesThe course is largely built around the following book by Andrew Ford. I strongly urge all students to purchase this book as it will prove to be essential.
Ford, A., (2010). Modelling the Environment, 2nd Ed, Island Press, Washington, US
Recommended ResourcesThe following book by Michael Deaton and James Winebrake will be extremely useful. It provides more of a mathematical basis to the stock and flow models used within the course.
Deaton, M.L., and Winebrake, J.J., (2000). Dynamic Modelling of Environmental Systems, Springer Science + Business Media, LLC, New York, US
The following texts will provide informative background reading.
Wainwright J, and Mulligan, M., (Eds), (2004). Environmental Modelling: Finding Simplicity in Complexity, John Wiley and Sons Ltd, West Sussex, England
Haefner, J.W., (2004). Modelling Biological Systems: Principals and Applications, 2nd Edition, Springer Science + Business Media Inc, New York, US (available as an e-book)
Seppelt, R., (2003). Computer-Based Environmental Management, Wiley-VCH (available as an e-book)
In addition to these texts, further material will be recommended throughout the duration of the course.
Online LearningMost handouts, course material and lecture slides will be made available on MyUni. The use of the discussion board on MyUni is also strongly recommended. Complementary material for the text Ford (2010) is available on the books website: http://www.wsu.edu/~forda/AA2nd.html
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThe course will involve two one hour lectures, and one two hour CATS practical session weekly.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.In line with University guidelines, it is expected that the average student should spend 12 hours per week on this course. In addition to the lectures (2 hours) and the practical session (2 hours), students are expected to spend an additional 8 hours per week reviewing lecture material and working on the
Learning Activities SummaryThe course will be involve 38 contact hours in total. Eighteen hours for lectures, and 22 hours of design sessions. A break down of the activities is outlined below. Note that this may be subject to change.
Week Lecture (a) Lecture (b) Practical Session 1 Introduction Philosophy
of Environmental Modelling
- 2 Stock and Flow Models Mathematics of Stock and Flow Models Vensim Turorial 3 Differential
Equations Primer (1)
Equations Primer (2)
Equations Primer (3)
Equations Primer (4)
Study 1 – Kaibab Plateau
Study 1 – Kaibab Plateau
Assignment 2 6 Feedback
Mid-semester Break 7 Integrated
Study 2 – Pacific Salmon
Study 2 – Pacific Salmon
10 - - Project
11 - - Project
12 - - Project
13 - - Project
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 SummaryThe assessment is comprised of an individual assignment, two group projects, and an individual essay. The assignment and projects will be modelling-based exercises that the students will undertake using the modelling software VENSIM PLE.
Assessment Related RequirementsIt is expected that students will participate in all practical sessions. Students must achieve at least a 30% mark for all assessment components. If this requirement is not met, the student will receive a zero (fail) mark for the course.
Assessment DetailThe assessment items are detailed below. Note that these details may be subject to minor changes.
Assessment Item Brief Outline Approximate Weighting Assignments This individual assignments will expose the students to modelling dynamic systems of differential equations using the Vensim PLE software (this software will be used for projects 1 and 2). ~ 15 % Project 1 In groups of 2, the students are to investigate and analyse the Mono Lakes Water Export Policy (developing both a hydrological model and a wildlife model), or the Kaibab Deer Plateau Managament (developing a dynamic predator-prey model). The assessment will be based on the final report. ~ 30 % Project 2 In groups of 2, the students are to investigate and analyse the Migration Behaviour of the Pacific Salmon in north-west US. The assessment will be based on the final report. ~ 35 % Essay This assignment will be undertaken on an individual basis. The students are to write a short essay (approximately 1000-1500 words) comparing the land use modelling framework MedAction to another socio-economic-environmental land use model ~ 20 %
SubmissionAll submissions will be in hard copy form and submitted to the relevant submission box outside the school office. The projects are expected to be formally structured reports. The essay is expected to be a formal academic essay with correct use of referencing.
In addition to hard copy submissions, students will be required to submit electronic versions of their reports, and their Vensim project files.
A penalty of 10% per day will apply to all late submissions.
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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