GEOG 2143 - Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

This course introduces the methodology of environmental impact assessment (EIA) as a vital tool for sound environmental decision-making. It provides an introduction to the concepts, methods, issues and various stages of the EIA process. The various stages of the EIA process, such as screening, scoping, EIA document preparation, public involvement, review and assessment, monitoring and auditing, appeal rights and decision-making are examined. The course mainly focuses on EIA in Australia and in particular draws on case studies from South Australia, but also includes other EIA systems of other countries. The variability of EIA systems within Australia and other countries is highlighted.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOG 2143
    Course Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment
    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 2043, GEST 2009 or GEST 3009
    Course Description This course introduces the methodology of environmental impact assessment (EIA) as a vital tool for sound environmental decision-making. It provides an introduction to the concepts, methods, issues and various stages of the EIA process. The various stages of the EIA process, such as screening, scoping, EIA document preparation, public involvement, review and assessment, monitoring and auditing, appeal rights and decision-making are examined. The course mainly focuses on EIA in Australia and in particular draws on case studies from South Australia, but also includes other EIA systems of other countries. The variability of EIA systems within Australia and other countries is highlighted.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Melissa Nursey-Bray

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Explain the major principles of environmental impact assessment in Australia.
    2 Understand the different steps within environmental impact assessment.
    3 Discuss the implications of current jurisdictional and institutional arrangements in
    relation to environmental impact assessment.
    4 Communicate both orally and in written form the key aspects of environmental impact
    assessment.
    5 Understand how to liaise with and the importance of stakeholders in the EIA process.
    6 Be able to access different case studies/examples of EIA in practice.
    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. 2, 5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 4
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1, 2, 3
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 3, 5
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures supported by problem-solving tutorials developing material covered in lectures. This course may contain problem-based learning, blended models and fully online methods of learning and
    teaching.
    Workload

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

    The expected commitment for this course is 2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of tutorials weekly. In addition, 3–4 hours of study per week is required.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Schedule
    Week 1 Introduction to course, definitions and history
    Week 2 EIA process - generic
    Week 3 EIA process – Australia
    Week 4 EIA process - states and territories
    Week 5 EIA techniques
    Week 6 Involving stakeholders
    Week 7 Evaluating EIA
    Week 8 Other types of assessment and SEA
    Week 9 Case studies in practice
    Week 10 Case studies in practice
    Week 11 Exam revision
    Week 12 Take home exam
  • 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 TYPE WEIGHTING COURSE LEARNING OUTCOME
    Attendance and participation Formative and summative 10% 2, 5, 6
    Essay Formative and summative 30% 1, 3, 4, 6
    Seminar report Formative and summative 30% 1, 3, 4, 6
    Take home exam Formative and summative 30% 1, 3, 5





    Assessment Related Requirements
    Attendance at lectures and tutorials is compulsory.
    Assessment Detail
    Attendance and participation: attendance at lectures and seminars.

    Essay: students are required to write an essay on the EIA process. Students choose two
    case studies – one national/state based (Australian) and one international. In the essay, students are required to: 
    1.  Describe each case study and discuss the key issues that are raised;
    2.  Describe/evaluate the extent to which the case studies apply generic EIA principles in practice;
    3.  Compare the similarities and differences between the two case studies;
    4.  Discuss whether or not they think the EIA was successful in each case and why.

    Seminar report: students will be required to write a report which will be based on exercises given in seminars and lectures throughout the semester. Students may ask the convenor to look over work done during semester to get formative feedback prior to submitting a final draft of all completed exercises. Exercises will include case studies, article reviews and quizzes and are designed to support exam preparation.

    Take home exam: based on lecture materials and seminar activities, students will be asked to complete a take home exam. Students will be given the exam in a lecture period and expected to return a final copy two weeks later.
    Submission
    Students may submit their work in hard copy to the coordinator via the Social Sciences School Office. Students may email their assignment as well but a hard copy needs to be submitted first. Students
    who do not request an extension will forfeit assessment marks at 10% for every three days it is 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

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    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.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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