GEOG 2139 - Environmental Management

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

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 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of 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: 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
    Students should gain from the course the following:
    1. An understanding of environmental management approaches in Australia and internationally.
    2. The ability to 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. The capacity to translate generic concepts and methods into critical reviews of contemporary, real-world environmental management practices.
    4. The capacity to critically assess theoretical and conceptual issues relating to environmental management utilising dialectical analysis approaches.
    5. The ability to present synthesised and critically evaluated information in oral and written forms.
    6. The ability to work effectively to 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)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-2
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2-6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3-6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 4-6
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 5-6
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 3 & 6
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 6
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1-2
  • 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.
  • 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, a final 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.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.
    · 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: 5 hours per week (average)
    · Exam revision: equivalent of 2 hours per week (average)

    Learning Activities Summary
    Schedule
    Week  Week Beginning Lecture  Workshop
    (attendance compulsory)
    Week 1 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 Sustainable economic development I

    6 Sustainable economic development II
    3  Critiquing an environmental management decision
    Week 4 7 Natural Resource Management I

    8 Natural Resource Management II
    4  Break – no workshop
    Week 5  9 Social equity and environmental management I 

    10 Social equity and environmental management II
    5  Environmental management debates
    Week 6 11 Introducing the Exam + Urbanisation

    12 Mid-Semester Exam
    6  Environmental management debates
    Week 7 13 Sustainable Development via Ecological modernisation?

    14 The Risk Society
    7 Environmental management debates
    Week 8 15 Climate change & human populations

    16International governance & climate change
    8 Preparing for the essay
    Mid-Semester Break
    Week 9 17 PUBLIC HOLIDAY

    18 The dominant critique: Political Ecology
    9  Break - no workshop
    Week 10 19 Agriculture I
    20 Agriculture II
    10  Risk and social learning
    Week 11 21 Energy I

    22 Energy II
    11  Preparing for the roundtable
    Week 12 23 A country case study: Switzerland

    23 Summary
    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 Due Date % of total grade Value Learning Objectives
    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 N.A.
    Assignment 1: Debating contentious issues of environmental management  To be announced in workshops 15 – part of this mark is allocated in relation to how well the debating team worked collaboratively. 1-6 Failure to attend your team’s debating session will result in loss of all marks.
    Assignment 2: An essay critiquing a recent environmental decision Wednesday 29th October 2014
    + discussion during workshops
    40 – Critiquing an environmental management decision 1-3, 5-6 5% per working day
    Failure to attend & discuss your essay during the “Essay Roundtable” will result in the loss of your workshop attendance mark (5%)
    Final Exam Semester 2 Exam Period 40 1-6f N.A.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    There are no assessment requirements additional to those above and below.
    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 (one for the affirmative and one for the negative), you are to debate the contentious issues in sustainable development under formal debating conditions. Debating topics include: the Commonwealth takeover of the governance of the Murray-Darling Basin; the establishment of an Urban Growth Boundary for 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 lead to sustainable development. Failure to attend and participate will lead to the loss of your workshop attendance mark (5%).

    Final Exam: Final 2 hour exam during the Semester 2 exam period - 40% of total assessment.
    Submission
    The essay (assignment 2) will need to be submitted electronically via both the ICC site and the Turnitin Assignment tool. The links for both the ICC site and the Turnitin Assignment tool have been created for you under the Assignment page in the MyUni site for the subject. You can upload your assignment directly by following the prompts. For guidance on how to submit your assignment electronically via MyUni, go to http://www.adelaide.edu.au/myuni/tutorials/ and click on the “Submit an Assignment” tutorial.
    You will need to upload a pdf version of your assignment to the ICC site AND a Word version of your essay to Turnitin.

    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 that an assignment is submitted late.

    Assignments will be printed out and marked in hard copy form and made available to be picked up by students at the end of the semester. If you wish to have final work sent to you, you MUST also supply a stamped, self-addressed envelope when submitting the final piece of work. Only one envelope is necessary.
    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.

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