GEOG 3021 - Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

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 draws on contemporary international and Australian case studies and includes building student capacity. In conflict resolution, cross cultural engagement, and stakeholder impact assessment.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOG 3021
    Course Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment
    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 6 units of Level II undergraduate study
    Assumed Knowledge It will be assumed students have proficiency at research and written skills for Level III
    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 draws on contemporary international and Australian case studies and includes building student capacity. In conflict resolution, cross cultural engagement, and stakeholder impact assessment.
    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
    On completion of this course studetns shoudl be able to :

    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)
    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, 3, 4, 5, 6
    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, 6
    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, 4, 5,
    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, 2, 3,4 ,5 ,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
    5, 6,
    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
    1, 2,3 ,4 ,5 ,6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    This course will suggest a number of articles and sources for students which will be of use. Students will gain maximum benefit from reading through a suite of articles on the subject, which will be both up to date and give a broad understanding of the issues surrounding ethics and the environment. Most of these articles will provided on MYUNI. However, students are encouraged to access the suggested readings below for a good grounding in EIA issues.


    Core Text:
    Harvey, N and Clarke, B 2012 Environmental Impact Assessment, Oxford press.

    Other suggested readings: Elliot, M. and Thomas, I. 2009. Environmental Impact Assessment in Australia, The federation Press

    Wood, C. 2003. Environmental Impact Assessment: A Comparative Review, Pearson Hall press.

    The journal called Environmental Impact Assessment Review is an excellent resource.
    Recommended Resources
    For your information here is a short bibliography on EIA. This is not compulsory reading but provided for those who wish to research further in this area and want international examples.

     Becker, H. and Vanclay, F. 2003. The International Handbook of Social Impact Assessment. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham.
     British Medical Association 1999. Health and Environmental Impact Assessment – An Integrated Approach. Earthscan, London.
     Byron, H. 2000. Biodiversity and EIA: A Good Practice Guide for Road Schemes. RSPB WWF-UK, London. Construction Industry Research and Information Association 2000. Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, C522. CIRIA, London.
     Dalal-Clayton, B. and Sadler, B. 2005. Strategic Environmental Assessment: A Source Book and Reference Guide to International Experience. Earthscan, London.
     European Commission 2001. Guidance on Screening and Scoping. EC, Brussels.
     Fischer, T. 2007. The Theory and Practice of Strategic Environmental Assessment. Earthscan, London.
     Glasson, J., Therivel, R. and Chadwick, A. 2005. Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment. UCL Press, London.
     Harrop, O. and Nixon, A. 1999. Environmental Assessment in Practice. Routledge, London.
     International Association for Impact Assessment 2006. Health Impact Assessment: International Best Practice
     Principles. IAIA, Fargo, ND.
     Joint Nature Conservation Committee 1990. Handbook for Phase I Habitat Survey – A Technique for Environmental Audit. JNCC, London.Maidstone.
     Morris, P. and Therivel, R. 2001. Methods of Environmental Impact Assessment. E & FN Spon, London.
     Morrison-Saunders, A. and Arts, J. 2006. Assessing Impact: Handbook of EIA and SEA Follow-up. Earthscan, London.
     Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 1992. Guidelines on Aid and Environment, No. 1. Good Practices for Environmental Impact Assessment of Development Projects. OECD, Paris.
     Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 2006. Applying Strategic Environmental Assessment. Good Practice for Development Cooperation. OECD, Paris.
     Petts, J. 1999. Handbook of Environmental Impact Assessment, Vols 1 and 2. Blackwell Science, Oxford.
     Therivel, R. 2004. Strategic Environmental Assessment in Action. Earthscan, London.
     Treweek, J. 1999. Ecological Impact Assessment. Blackwell Science, Oxford.
     United Nations Environment Programme 2002. Environmental Training Resource Manual. Earthprint, Stevanage.
     Wathern, P. (ed.) 1992. Environmental Impact Assessment: Theory and Practice. Routledge, London.
     Weston, J. 1997. Planning and Environmental Impact Assessment in Practice. Longman, Harlow.
     Wood, C. 2002. Environmental Impact Assessment – A Comparative Review. Longman, Harlow.
    Online Learning
    Students will be able to access readings, course materials on MYUNI. I also use the MYUNI as a key medium for sending messages to students so it is a good idea to check it regularly.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will use problem solving and small group discovery techniques to deliver content. Specifically this course focusses on skills development - by asking students to complete a skills portfolio which  builds work readiness - constructive alignment of assessment is used to enable students to undertake tasks they would feasibly have to do in the workplace.
    The teaching and learning mode for this course will be delivered  block activity and will be divided up into (i) information delivery, and (ii) group work/interaction and tasks.
    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 3 hours face to face and 3 – 4 hours study per week.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Please note this course will be run as a 3 hour intensive each week.

    Students will need to commit to come to 1 session of Modules 1 - 5, the Intro and last week

    Introduction week (run once)

    Module 1: Introduction to EIA (run twice)

    Module 2: The EIA process (run twice)

    Module 3:  EIA Techniques (run twice)

    Moduel 4: EIA and People (run twice)

    Week 5: Evaluating EIA (run twice)

    Guest presentations from real life practitioners (run once)

    Specific Course Requirements
    The University’s policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following five principles: 1) assessment must encourage and reinforce learning; 2) assessment must measure achievement of the stated learning objectives; 3) assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance; 4) assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned; and 5) assessment must maintain academic standards (see: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/700/
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    This course focusses on developing student skills, content knowledge and work readiness in EIA via small focussed group work in the seminars
  • 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 will be as follows:

    TASK                                                                    WEIGHTING                                            LEARNING OUTCOME

    ATTENDANCE                                                        10%                                                         1, 2, 3, 4, 5

    ESSAY:                                                                  20%                                                         1, 2, 3

    SKILLS PORTFOLIO                                               60%                                                         3, 4, 5, 6


    TAKE HOME EXAM (at start of course not end)     20%                                                         2, 4, 6
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students need to commit to at least 70% attendance at all seminar sessions
    Assessment Detail

    This will be provided in the MYUNI site for this course

    Submission

    No information currently available.

    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
  • 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.