GEOG 1102 - Footprints on a Fragile Planet

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2019

This course examines the heavy footprint humans have placed on Planet Earth. We address, in turn, the main components of the planet and examine the fundamental, natural processes within each. With this grounding we then document the impact of indigenous peoples, and then the excesses of modern humans, to reveal the consequences of the activities of contemporary society. Firstly, we focus on how the unwise use of natural resources in both the developed and developing nations has resulted in loss of fertile soil. Then follows an examination of global climate processes and changes humans have made to climates and the atmosphere upon which we rely. Turning to the water cycle, we focus on how the crucial resource of water has been degraded. Finally, the complexities of natural biota and communities are examined with a focus on biodiversity, invasive species, fire and forest management, and the importance of wetlands.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOG 1102
    Course Footprints on a Fragile Planet
    Coordinating Unit Geography, Environment and Population
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week, plus a one-day field trip
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible GEST 1002
    Course Description This course examines the heavy footprint humans have placed on Planet Earth. We address, in turn, the main components of the planet and examine the fundamental, natural processes within each. With this grounding we then document the impact of indigenous peoples, and then the excesses of modern humans, to reveal the consequences of the activities of contemporary society.
    Firstly, we focus on how the unwise use of natural resources in both the developed and developing nations has resulted in loss of fertile soil. Then follows an examination of global climate processes and changes humans have made to climates and the atmosphere upon which we rely. Turning to the water cycle, we focus on how the crucial resource of water has been degraded. Finally, the complexities of natural biota and communities are examined with a focus on biodiversity, invasive species, fire and forest management, and the importance of wetlands.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor John Tibby



    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1 Demonstrate an understanding of the Earth’s major physical environmental systems
    2 Gain an insight into the history of humankind and its impact on the planet
    3 Demonstrate an understanding of key physical environmental processes at local to global scales
    4 Develop interdisciplinary problem-solving skills
    5 Develop literary, verbal and numerical proficiency
    6 Enhance their ability to work effectively in a team environment
    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, 2,3, 4, 5, 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
    1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6
    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, 5,
    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
    1, 2
    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
    1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There is no text book “Footprints”, rather a list of readings relevant to each lecture, the tutorials and assessment will be available on MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    Recommended resource are provided on MyUni
    Online Learning
    MyUni is the platform for aspects of the course that will be delivered online. All lectures will be recorded and made available online.  Lecture slides will also be made available online. Revisions materials and practice assessment questions will be placed online.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    The course lectures provide basic factual information and conceptual
    understanding of the physical environment and human impact upon it.  The tutorials
    provide an opportunity to consolidate understanding from lectures and, particularly,
    to debate key issues and provide “hands on” experience in data
    manipulation.  The short essay provides a grounding in a key
    concept in geography and opportunity to gauge your progress in the early part
    of the course. The field trip and report provides students with an
    opportunity to apply their understanding of the course to natural resource
    management issues in the River Torrens catchment. Finally, the quizzes will assess students’ understanding
    of the course content.

    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    1.  Structured learning (lectures and tutorials): 3 hours per week

    2.  Researching and writing the short essay: 2.5 hours per week

    3.   Background reading and reading for specific tutorials: 1.5 hours per week

    4.    Field report research and preparation: 3 hours per week (average)

    5.    Revision: 2 hours per week (average)

    Learning Activities Summary


    A broad outline of each week's focus is outlined below.  However the focus of the course will be altered in response to student interest and events during the year

    Week                      Overall topic

    1                           The Anthropocene concept

    2                           Living in harmony? The impacts of Aboriginal peoples on the physical
    environment

    3                           Global and Australian climates

    4                           Climate
    Change: Causes and consequences

    5                           Climate Change:
    Solutions

    6                           Inland waters: availability and variability

    7                           Protecting critical Inland waters

    8                           Biodiversity (online)

    9                           Biodiversity loss

    10                         Oceans and coasts

    11                         No lectures

    12                         In class quiz






     

    Specific Course Requirements
    There will be a compulsory one day field trip focussed on the upper reaches of the River Torrens. More details will be provided during the
    first weeks of classes.

    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Students will work in small groups to address issues in the lectures and tutorials and particularly on the field trip and during computer-bases workshops.
  • 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 Weighting Learning Outcome
    Participation and tutorial presentation Formative and Summative 10% 1-6
    1800 word fieldwork report Formative and Summative 40% 1-6
    In class quizzes Formative and Summative 50% 1-5
    Assessment Detail
    Participation and tutorial presentation (10%): students will be required to engage in interaction in class activities and sharing of materials and information.

    800 word short essay (20%): students will be required to write a research paper on a key issue.

    1800 word (inc references) fieldwork report (30%): based on a one-day field trip and incorporating work undertaken during computer-based workshops.

    In class quizzes (40%): 2 x 1-hour quizzes/exams.
    Submission

    No information currently available.

    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.

    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 CEQ 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 least once every 2 years. 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

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