GEOG 2139 - Environmental Management

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2020

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)
    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
    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
    2-5
    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
    3-6
    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, 3-6
    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
    1-3
    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
    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 lectures 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 two short exams 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 No Lecture (Public Holiday)
    4 Biodiversity conservation

    2 No workshop (Public holiday)
     
     
    Week 3
     
    5 The Precautionary principle
    6 Sustainable economic development I

    3 Debating Contentious topics in Environmental Management
     
     
    Week 4
     
    7 Sustainable economic development II
    8 Social equity and environmental management I

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

    5 Environmental management debates
     
     
    Week 6
     
    11 Environmental hazards & a quick summary
    12 Mid-Semester Exam

    6 Environmental management debates
     
     
    Week 7
     
    13 Sustainable Development via Ecological modernisation?
    14 Urban environmental management

    7 Essay Preparation
     

    Week 8
     
    15 The Risk Society Critique
    16 Climate change & human populations
     
     8 Risk and social learning
     

    Week 9

    17 International governance & climate change
    18 Political-ecology

    9 Critiquing an environmental management decision
     
    Week 10
     
    19 Energy I
    20 Energy II

    10 Preparing for the roundtable 
     
     
    Week 11
     
    21 Agriculture I
    22 Agriculture II

    11 No workshops (prepare for next week)
     
     
    Week 12
     
    23 Summary and a quick country case study: Switzerland
    24 End of Semester Exam

    12 Essay roundtable
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Students are involved in two small-group discovery experiences associated with environmental management decision-making.

    The first is a debate organised from weeks 1-6, where students are assigned into small groups based on their interest and they are challenged to develop and undertake a debate for or against a statement relevant to environmental management.

    The second is a roundtable decision-making process organised from weeks 10-12, where students are assigned into groups associated with their environmental management agendas and they argue as a groups for their agenda to be prioritised in relation to environmental management topics over two weeks.
  • 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
    Exams Exam 20


    20
    1-6
     
     
    1-6

    Due to the current COVID-19 situation modified arrangements have been made to assessments to facilitate remote learning and teaching. Assessment details provided here reflect recent updates.

    Students no longer will be attending workshops. Students are instead asked to participate in Zoom discussions and in lieu of physical attendance they will be asked to send in two half page summaries of two workshops later in the semester – students will be informed which ones to focus on after the semester break.

    Students can no longer conduct the debates. Instead of debating, students send the course coordinator a one page (500 word +/- 20%) summary of what they would have presented in the debate in relation to their particular role. Students still need to try and develop the logic of their arguments clearly, warranting the claims with appropriate evidence. This is due on Friday 3rd April 2020 by 6pm - normal rules of lateness apply. Please upload this document on the Assignments page of MyUni.

    The essay remains the same but the submission date has been brought forward to Thursday 21st May 2020, to allow for the take-home exam later in June.

    The two shorter exams during lecture times were cancelled. Instead students will be asked to complete a take-home exam with two sections and students will need to choose one question from each section to answer. The two sections will test learning from each half of the semester: Students will need to choose one of three questions from material up to the mid-Semester break testing knowledge of key sustainable development theory and applications; and, Students will need to choose one of three questions from material presenting during the second half of the Semester and will test your knowledge of environmental modernisation and risk society theory.
    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%).


    Exams: Two shorter exams on the lecture & workshop materials (2 x 20% = 40% of your total mark)

    2 x 45 minute exams (5 minute reading time) will be run during lecture times throughout the semester. The two exams will test learning from each half of the semester:
    · the first Mid-Semester exam will test your knowledge of key sustainable development theory and applications introduced in the first half of the semester; and,
    · the second End-of-Semester exam will test your knowledge of environmental modernisation and risk society theory and applications from the second half of the semester.

    Students who are sick or unable to make that time due to course clashes will need to provide evidence and arrange an alternative time with the course convenor.

    Each Exam is worth 20% of your final mark = 40% of total assessment.
    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

    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.