GEOG 2139 - Environmental Management

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2022

The course will provide a critical survey of the contemporary field of environmental policy, planning and management in the Australian and international contexts. The course is centrally concerned with understanding deliberate efforts to translate environmental knowledge into action in order to achieve particular outcomes in the way landscapes, societies and/or natural ecosystems are used and managed. It will also consider how the objectives for land and resource use are shaped, fashioned and contested in democratic and non-democratic settings. The course will introduce students to the dominant management models that have been applied historically. This work will set the scene for an analysis of contemporary approaches to environmental policy making, planning and management. The course will critically examine contemporary thinking on these environmental themes including: sustainable use practices, political-ecology, decentralised environmental management, NGO and community-based approaches, social learning, and regional and urban planning. A feature of the course's examination of contemporary approaches will be in-depth critical analyses of prominent cases of environmental management, including Regional Forest Agreements and the Murray Darling Basin Authority in the Australian context, and the emerging international environmental challenges for climate change adaptation, agro-ecosystems, biodiversity conservation and megacities.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOG 2139
    Course Environmental Management
    Coordinating Unit Geography, Environment and Population
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study
    Incompatible GEST 2039, GEST 2002 or GEST 3002
    Course Description The course will provide a critical survey of the contemporary field of environmental policy, planning and management in the Australian and international contexts. The course is centrally concerned with understanding deliberate efforts to translate environmental knowledge into action in order to achieve particular outcomes in the way landscapes, societies and/or natural ecosystems are used and managed. It will also consider how the objectives for land and resource use are shaped, fashioned and contested in democratic and non-democratic settings. The course will introduce students to the dominant management models that have been applied historically. This work will set the scene for an analysis of contemporary approaches to environmental policy making, planning and management. The course will critically examine contemporary thinking on these environmental themes including: sustainable use practices, political-ecology, decentralised environmental management, NGO and community-based approaches, social learning, and regional and urban planning. A feature of the course's examination of contemporary approaches will be in-depth critical analyses of prominent cases of environmental management, including Regional Forest Agreements and the Murray Darling Basin Authority in the Australian context, and the emerging international environmental challenges for climate change adaptation, agro-ecosystems, biodiversity conservation and megacities.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Douglas Bardsley

    Dr Douglas Bardsley
    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. Understand environmental management approaches in Australia and internationally.
    2. Analyse environmental management in relation to the major principles of sustainable development, defined broadly as: Biodiversity conservation; The Precautionary Principle; Economic sustainability; Intragenerational equity; and Intergenerational equity.
    3. Translate generic concepts and methods into critical reviews of contemporary, real-world environmental management practices.
    4. Critically assess theoretical and conceptual issues relating to environmental management utilising dialectical analysis approaches.
    5. Present synthesised and critically evaluated information in oral and written forms.
    6. Create environmental management analysis outputs of professional quality, both independently and within team environments.

    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.

    1-2

    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.

    2-5

    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.

    3-6

    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.

    1, 3-6

    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.

    1-3

    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.

    1,3-4

    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.

    5-6

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

    3, 5-6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There are no required resources for this course.
    Recommended Resources
    Although there is no prescribed text for this course, if you do not have any background in Physical Geography or Environmental Science, the following book is highly recommended: Strahler A.H. (2013) Introducing Physical Geography. 6th Edition. John Wiley and Sons, Chichester UK.

    Weekly reading materials will be provided for Environmental Management students. The articles, book chapters and reports are available on MyUni (under Content/Readings: Online Content links) and should be used to supplement lecture and workshop activities. Beyond these, numerous references will be provided during lectures and workshops. It is also recommended that you use the library databases such as Scopus, Web of Science or Google Scholar (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/library/) to access academic publications relevant to the weekly topic or your assignments.
    Online Learning
    MyUni Site: This course guide and additional course-related material will be made available through MyUni. These materials include amongst other information:
    • Announcements and links to reading materials
    • Powerpoint slides from the lectures and workshops. Every attempt will be made to post the slides on MyUni prior to the lectures and workshops.
    • Recordings of lectures
    • On-line assignment submissions

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    There are a number of teaching and learning modes in this course:
    · The course lectorials provide factual information and conceptualise approaches to environmental management, initially in relation to the important tenets of Sustainable Development and secondly on Environmental Risk.
    · The workshops provide a forum in which students can learn about techniques to critically analyse approaches to environmental management and present their analyses during debates with other students. The workshops are framed in part by the different approaches to dialectical analysis that allow for the resolution of disagreements through rational discussion from opposing viewpoints. The workshops will also provide an opportunity for students to raise questions or points of interest during discussions.
    · The debate and the essay provide opportunities for students to undertake research that will allow them to articulate in both oral and written form, their appraisal of contemporary environmental management decision-making.
    · Finally, the end of semester take-home exam will assess the extent to which students have developed their understanding throughout the course.
    Workload

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

    Estimated times for learning activities:
    • Structured learning (lectures and workshops): 3 hours per week
    • Background reading and reading for specific workshops: 2 hours per week
    • Debate and essay research and preparation: 6 hours per week (average)
    • Workshop preparation: 2 hours per week (average)
    • Exam revision: equivalent of 2 hours per week (average)
    Learning Activities Summary

    Week 1 (Lectures, workshop)
     
    1 Introduction to the course & environmental challenges
    2 Does environmental management equate with sustainable development?

    1 Course introduction 
     
     
    Week 2
     
    3 Biodiversity
    4 The Precautionary principle

    2 Debating Contentious Topics in Environmental Management 
     
     
    Week 3
     
    5 No Lecture (Public Holiday)
    6 Sustainable economic development I

    3 No Workshop (public holiday)
     
     
    Week 4
     
    7 Sustainable economic development II
    8 Social justice and environmental management I

    4 Environmental management debates 
     
     
    Week 5
     
    9 Social justice and environmental management II
    10 Natural resource management

    5 Environmental management debates
     
     
    Week 6
     
    11 Summary and Environmental Hazards
    12 Mid-Semester Exam

    6 Environmental management debates
     
     
    Week 7
     
    13 Sustainable Development via Ecological modernisation?
    14 Australian Environmental Policy

    7 Essay Preparation
     

    Week 8
     
    15 The Risk Society Critique
    16 Climate change & human populations
     
     8 Critiquing an environmental management decision
     

    Week 9

    17 International governance & climate change
    18 Political-ecology

    9 No workshop 
     
     
    Week 10
     
    19 Energy I
    20 Energy II

    10 Risk and social learning
     
     
    Week 11
     
    21 Agriculture I
    22 Agriculture II

    11 Preparing for the roundtable
     
     
    Week 12
     
    23 Summary and a quick country case study: Switzerland
    24 End of Semester Exam

    12 Essay roundtable
  • 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 Course Larening Outcomes
    Workshop Attendance Workshop Attendance 5 – to obtain this you will need to attend 90% of workshops or more & participate in the Essay roundtable 1-6
    Assignment 1: Debating contentious issues of environmental management Debate 15 – part of this mark is allocated in relation to how well the debating team works collaboratively 1-6
    Assignment 2: An essay critiquing a recent environmental decision Essay 40 – critiquing an environmental management decision 1-3, 5-6
    Take-home exam Exam 40 1-6
    Assessment Detail
    Attendance at workshops (5% of your final mark)

    Workshop attendance is compulsory and will be assessed as part of this course. You will be required to sign-off at each workshop and must attend at least 90% of the workshops to receive the full 5% allocation for this part of the course. Attendance at the Essay Roundtable final workshop session is also compulsory, so failure to attend and participate will result in the loss of your full workshop attendance mark (5%).
    You should contact the course convenor to explain why you have missed a workshop and will need to have written evidence such as a medical certificate, if you do not wish to be recorded as absent. For each workshop you are absent below the 90% attendance threshold you will lose 1% of your total mark, down to the maximum of 5% lost. Failure to attend and participate in the final “Essay roundtable” workshop at the end of semester will lead to the total loss of the attendance mark (full 5%).

    Students should be well prepared for each workshop and participate in the discussion. Take notes from the lectures and your readings, so that you are able to raise issues in the workshop seminars.


    Assignment 1: Debating contentious issues of environmental management (15% of your final mark)
     
    Debates on contentious issues in Environmental Management
    In two teams of three or four (with one team for the affirmative and the other for the negative), you are to debate the contentious issues in sustainable development under formal debating conditions. Debating topics include: the Commonwealth governance of the Murray-Darling Basin; an Urban Growth Boundary for Adelaide; Public transport in Adelaide; future energy sources for Australia; a price on carbon dioxide emissions in Australia; off-shore oil drilling; whaling in the South Pacific; Australian marine parks; and forestry policy in Tasmania.

    Students should choose a topic early in the semester. Failure to participate in your group’s debate without a valid excuse will lead to the loss of all of your debating marks.


    Assignment 2: Critiquing an Environmental Management Decision (40% of your final mark)
     
    Essay topic - Critique a recent decision made regarding an environmental issue by an international organisation, a government department, an NGO or an industry body. Describe the environmental management issue, explain why it is important, and present a critical analysis of the management response in relation to the key tenets of sustainable development.
    Length - 2000 words +/- 10%, excluding references and appendices
     
    Participation in the “Essay Roundtable” – You will need to briefly argue whether the decision you critiqued would or would not lead to sustainable development. Failure to attend and participate will lead to the loss of your workshop attendance mark (5%).


    Take-home Exam (40% of your total mark)

    An on-line Take-home exam will be posted to the MyUni page for the course prior to the lectorial prior in week 11 and then students will have about a week to complete the exam.

    The exam will test learning from each half of the semester:
    · the first half of the exam will test your knowledge of key sustainable development theory and applications introduced in the first half of the semester; and,
    · the second half of the exam will test your knowledge of environmental modernisation and risk society theory and applications from the second half of the semester.


    Submission
    Assignment 2 (the essay) will need to be submitted via the Turnitin link on the MyUni site for the course. Turnitin is an internet-based service that allows for checking of information sources and plagiarism (for more information see: www.turnitin.com/). A link will be available on MyUni to submit your work via Turnitin under Assignments. I will also assess your work and make comments available via MyUni.

    For guidance on how to submit your assignment electronically via MyUni, go to http://www.adelaide.edu.au/myuni/student/tutorials/. For more assistance on submitting your assignment file to MyUni, please telephone the Service Desk on 831 33000, 8 am – 6 pm, Monday to Friday or email servicedesk@adelaide.edu.au

    Assignment 2 must be lodged in electronic form by the given due date and time to avoid penalty. A penalty of 5% will be deducted per day for any assignment that is submitted late.
    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 course is designed as a review of the important emerging issues for environmental management in South Australia, Australia and the globe. It aims to guide students’ critical interests in particular topics or areas of study. For that reason, there is significant opportunity for students to investigate particular issues relevant to environmental management that interest them.

    SELTS results from previous years suggest that students have found the course to be an excellent introduction to Environmental Management, with very high levels f satisfaction with the course.  That said, some students find the independent learning to be one of the more challenging aspects of the course. The workshops are designed to guide you through the development of your debate and your essay. Another key to getting the most out of the subject is to use the workshops to raise particular issues with your lecturer and peers.

    SELTS results and student feedback suggests that some students prefer two smaller exams throughout the semester rathern than one large one at the end.  For that reason, there are two smaller exams to test student knowledge of course content during the semester.
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

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