GEOG 5045 - Valuing the Environment
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014
General Course Information
Course Code GEOG 5045 Course Valuing the Environment Coordinating Unit Geography, Environment and Population Term Semester 1 Level Postgraduate Coursework Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 6 Contact 3 hours per week Prerequisites Completed degree (72 units) Course Description A number of economic valuation studies of environmental assets (e.g. wetlands, wildlife, scenic amenities) have been undertaken around the world to inform decision-making with regard to environmental planning and management. This course critically outlines economic approaches to valuing the non-market benefits and costs of environmental assets, policies or projects. The course first discusses the concept of non-market value and public disputation over the needs for and arguments against non-market valuation. The course then examines conventional methods of valuing the natural environment including the hedonic pricing method, the travel cost method and the contingent valuation method. The course addresses various issues (e.g. questionnaire design and sample selection) and limitations (biased responses) associated with these survey-based non-market valuation methods. The emphasis is placed on both the theoretical underpinnings of the non-market valuation methods and their practical applications in the sphere of environmental policy and management. A range of case studies are reviewed for this purpose. The course also looks into various environmental decision-support systems that integrate non-market environmental values, such as extended cost-benefit analysis and multi-criteria analysis.
Course Coordinator: Dr Jungho Suh
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
1 Demonstrate a sound understanding of the concept of non-market environmental costs and benefits. 2 Demonstrate a sound understanding of the basic concepts and principles of conventional non-market valuation methods including the hedonic price method, the travel cost method and the contingent valuation method. 3 Locate and use resources to evaluate the competing priorities between environmental protection and economic growth 4 Identify the strengths and weaknesses of each of the major non-market valuation methods and be able to select an appropriate method. 5 Develop a sound understanding of how to design non-market valuation survey questionnaires. 6 Identify various environmental decision-support systems and make a general assessment as to which decision-support system is suitable for a particular research application. 7 Present logical and coherent written arguments based on evidence.
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, 4, 5, 6 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 3 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3, 7 An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1
Required ResourcesThere is no prescribed textbook. Extensive lecture notes drawn from various sources are provided. The students are progressively guided to read and review a number of journal articles published to date in the field of non-market valuation.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesLecture slides will be posted, in pdf format, to the course webpages progressively after the respective lecture is delivered. That way, you are free from having to reproduce the material in the Powerpoint slides during lectures. However, much detail will be conveyed to the audience verbally. No video or audio recording service will be provided for this course. All material covered in lectures are examinable. Therefore, it is imperative for you attend lectures and take notes.
Each lecture is followed by a workshop-style seminar. The seminars provide an opportunity to explore the ideas, perspectives and issues central to the course, through discussion, debate and collaboration amongst the students in your discussion group.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.Lecture and seminar: 3 hours per week
Lecture material reading: 8 hours per week
Assignment preparation: 8 hours per week
Exam preparation: 7 hours per week
Learning Activities Summary
Week 1 Valuing the environment: introduction Week 2 An overview of non-market valuation methods Week 3 Travel cost method Week 4 Hedonic pricing method Week 5 Contingent valuation method Week 6 Choice modelling Week 7 Extended cost-benefit analysis (I) Week 8 Extended cost-benefit analysis (II) Week 9 Multi-criteria analysis (I) Week 10 Multi-criteria analysis (II) Week 11 Group presentations Week 12 Course review and exam preparation
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Assessment SummaryThe assessment for the course is based on four components. Your grade will be determined by the aggregate mark that comprises of these components. The following table shows the percentage weightings of the graded work required by the course.
Activity Proportion of mark (%) Seminar participation and presentation 20 Academic essay 40 End-of-semester exam 40 Total 100
Assessment DetailSeminar participation and presentation (20%)
It is compulsory for the students to participate in seminars to be held after every lecture unless otherwise notified. You are expected to play an active role in the seminars. This will include taking part in discussions and making brief oral presentations.
Written assignments (40%)
The first and second assignments must be submitted in class; the third written assignment is optional in place of the end-of-semester exam.
End-of-semester exam (40%)
A closed-book written examination.
SubmissionInformation available on enrolment.
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.
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