GEOG 5012EX - Identifying Risks and Vulnerabilities

External - Semester 1 - 2014

Conducting a vulnerability or risk assessment is a complex exercise, and usually, depending on the scale involved, one that requires input from many fields of expertise. It is also an exercise that is conducted in many ways. Such assessments help to: (i) identify specific areas of the community/sector that are vulnerable to climate change impacts, (ii) prioritise which of these are most important regarding management and (iii) therefore which adaptation option is the most appropriate. This unit aims, via a series of case studies and interactive assessments to develop students skills in and knowledge about what types of decisions are needed and what types of processes must be implemented to assess risk and vulnerability to climate change.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOG 5012EX
    Course Identifying Risks and Vulnerabilities
    Coordinating Unit Geography, Environment and Population
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s External
    Units 3
    Contact Participation in the set online tutorials, 3 hours per week of self-directed study, 3 hours per week of research and assignment preparation
    Prerequisites A Bachelor degree or equivalent demonstrated skills as endorsed by the Head of School
    Course Description Conducting a vulnerability or risk assessment is a complex exercise, and usually, depending on the scale involved, one that requires input from many fields of expertise. It is also an exercise that is conducted in many ways. Such assessments help to: (i) identify specific areas of the community/sector that are vulnerable to climate change impacts, (ii) prioritise which of these are most important regarding management and (iii) therefore which adaptation option is the most appropriate. This unit aims, via a series of case studies and interactive assessments to develop students skills in and knowledge about what types of decisions are needed and what types of processes must be implemented to assess risk and vulnerability to climate change.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate 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. Demonstrate and be able to critically apply the terms vulnerability, sensitivity, exposure, adaptive capacity, risk, and risk perception

    2. Demonstrate capacity to choose between different assessment techniques and be able to conduct a basic risk assessment, risk perception and vulnerability assessment

    3. Demonstrate capacity to apply knowledge and expertise to local conditions and tailor assessments accordingly

    4. Demonstrate ability to use results of vulnerability and other assessment to prioritise adaptation options 
    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, 3
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 4
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 2,3
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1,2,3
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1, 2, 3, 4
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1, 2, 3, 4
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 2
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There is no formal requirement to purchase any particular text and a full suite of resources will be available to you on MYUNI under the readings folders each week.
    Recommended Resources
    As this area is very dynamic, we will upload each semester a suite of supporting and relevant resources.
    Online Learning
    This course is 100% online. Students will be given opportunities to contact staff and other students via blogs, post, and wiki activities. Students will have a skype or phone tutorial at least once each semester.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is delivered via independent learning and informed by problem solving pedagogy. It is 100% online.
    Workload

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

    This is a 100% online course, so there are no prescribed workload activities per se, as the course is based on independent learning methods. However, it is assumed that students will spend the equivalent of the following:

    3 hours a week @ 14 weeks doing the online activities: 42 hours

    4 hours a week @ 14 weeks reading : 56 hours

    2 hours a week @ 12 weeks completing assessments: 24 hours

    2 hours a week doing @ 12 weeks research for the major assignments: 24 hours

    4 hours tutorial preparation and presentation: 4 hours

    Total: 150 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week 1: Risk society, Fussel and vulnerability
    Week 2: Tools and Types of vulnerability
    Week 3: Indicators of vulnerability
    Week 4: Ranking vulnerability
    Week 5: Case study exercise
    Week 6: Evaluating vulnerability approaches
    Week 7: Assessing risk assessments
    Week 8: Work on risk assessment assignment
    Week 9: Risk perception 
    Week 10: Risk perception and adaptation
    Week 11: Major interactive tutorial
    Week 12: Assessing and understanding resilience
    Weeks 13 – 14: Finalisation of major assessments
    Specific Course Requirements
    Students must have access to a computer and internet in order to do this course.
  • 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
    Vulnerability essay:            15%

    Risk assessment:                10%

    Study guide assessments:   40%

    Resilience essay:                20%

    Attendance and participation
    in major interactive tutorial: 15%

    Total:                                 100%  
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students must have a computer in order to complete assessments
    Assessment Detail
    Assignment 1: Completion of vulnerability essay/assessment:
    Using examples, write a short essay (1000 -1500 words) that discusses the nature of vulnerability, specifically, why it is important as a tool to assist in building climate change adaptation 

    Assignment 2: Risk assessment
    In this assignment students are asked to choose a case study and then complete a risk assessment process.

    Assignment 3: Online and study guide activities
    As this unit is online, students will be undertaking a series of interactive exercises that act both as learning activities as well as constituting the assessment activities.

    Assignment 4: A Critical Review
    Task:  Go to the journal Ecology and Society
    Using various relevant articles and drawing on actual case studies, answer one of the following:-
    "Resilience weakens the adaptive capacity of communities and thus ability to adapt to climate change" Discuss.
    Or
    "How does the existence of adaptive capacity and resilience in social-ecological systems affect its vulnerability?"
    Submission
    Information available on enrolment.
    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.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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