ENV BIOL 4070B - Honours Ecology and Environmental Science Project (T/Y) Final

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2022

The focus of this course is about the execution of a piece of original research, and on implementing the research proposal developed in the Adv Ecol & Env Sci (Hons) course (ENV BIOL 4050A/B). The two courses are closely aligned and are designed to be done in parallel at the same time, and interact. The two courses complement each other and form the Honours program in Ecology and Environmental Science. Students investigate an area of Ecology and Environmental Science and discover interesting phenomena to observe, one or more original questions to answer and corresponding hypotheses to test. The project includes the design, execution, analysis and reporting of a discrete research project. The student is largely responsible for the conduct of the project, but receives counsel and direction from a member of staff with relevant expertise.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ENV BIOL 4070B
    Course Honours Ecology and Environmental Science Project (T/Y) Final
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 15
    Contact Up to 15 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Incompatible ENV BIOL 4000A/B, ENV BIOL 4005A/B, ENV BIOL 4030A/B
    Restrictions BSc Honours Ecology & Environmental Science
    Assessment Research project, seminar presentation
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Ivan Nagelkerken

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Develop the attributes of a creative, independent and effective Environmental Biology research scientist;
    2 Design and manage a substantial research project within constraints of time and budgets;
    3 Collect data using a range of appropriate techniques;
    4 Analyse and interpret data with appropriate statistical methods;
    5 Present data in clear, instructive figures and tables;
    6 Prepare a critical discussion of the research in relation to the literature, that also identifies weaknesses and opportunities for further research
    7 Write a well organised, clear and concise research paper (thesis);
    8 Prepare and defend an oral presentation.
    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The research project provides an opportunity for students to develop their skills as a scientist by executing a defined research project, guided by one or more academic staff. The execution of the research project includes the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, and communicating the findings in written (research paper) and oral (seminar) forms. This is an experiential learning process with students learning while doing but supported with appropriate mentorship and collegiality. Although the students focus on executing their own research project they are expected to be actively involved in lab or research group meetings where research is discussed and reviewed, and also expected to attend seminars given by other researchers. These activities will vary in volume and type from research group to research group but are aimed at exposing students to the practice of science which the students can then consider applying to their own research.

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

    A student enrolled in this course should expect to spend, on average 30 hours per week executing the research project including data collection, analysis, and the writing of the research paper and attending specialist research group meetings and seminars.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Students in this course are taught the attributes that make an effective, innovative and independent researcher with the capacity and confidence to collect, analyse, interpret and report on research findings at a high level.
  • 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 Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Research Project
    Oral Defence
    Formative & Summative

    Last week in October or mid November

    Seminar presentation Formative & Summative First week in November 10% 1-8
    Assessment Detail
    Research Project (90%) and Oral Defence (0%)
    The research project equates to about 22 weeks of full time work, resulting in a research paper (thesis). There will also be a final seminar (assessed) that is presented after the written project is submitted (see below) and an oral defence.
    The project will be written up in the format of a paper suitable for submission to a scientific journal appropriate to specific area of research. Papers should be a maximum of 40 pages of text. Students are required to attend a clarification session with their examiners.

    Final seminar (20 minutes including questions; 10%)
    A seminar presentation is given after completion of the project and submission of the written paper and is assessed. The seminar will be for 20 minutes including question time. Assessment is based on the presentation style, including the clarity of the presentation and ability to engage with the audience and ability to effectively answer questions.
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M11 (Honours Mark Scheme)
    GradeGrade reflects following criteria for allocation of gradeReported on Official Transcript
    Fail A mark between 1-49 F
    Third Class A mark between 50-59 3
    Second Class Div B A mark between 60-69 2B
    Second Class Div A A mark between 70-79 2A
    First Class A mark between 80-100 1
    Result Pending An interim result RP
    Continuing Continuing CN

    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.

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