ENV BIOL 3575 - Advanced Applications in Conservation Biology III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2018

This course will apply ecological and evolutionary techniques to the management and restoration of natural systems to address wildlife conservation issues. The course will consist of students undertaking a small group wildlife conservation-related-research project. The projects will be drawn primarily from Australian terrestrial systems with projects potentially researching overgrazing by herbivores, pollinator deficiencies, responses of biota to fire, monitoring distributions and abundance of declining species, benefits of remedial actions (e.g. revegetation, predator control) on flora, fauna and ecological processes (e.g. pollination, gene flow, animal dispersal), invasive and abundant species management to conservation genetics. The course will provide hands on experience on field-based risk assessment, logistic planning and execution of field activities in a safe manner, while engaging students in learning how research findings support on ground actions to deliver conservation outcomes. Although students will only focus their research in one area, presentations from other student projects will provide exposure to a range of current conservation issues. The course is designed to link closely to the co-requisite course Conservation Biology III (ENV BIOL 3580).

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ENV BIOL 3575
    Course Advanced Applications in Conservation Biology III
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 12 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites ENV BIOL 2520, ENV BIOL 2515
    Corequisites ENV BIOL 3580
    Incompatible ENV BIOL 3008, ENV BIOL 3570
    Assumed Knowledge ENV BIOL 2502, ENV BIOL 3121, ENV BIOL 3540
    Restrictions Available to B.Sc (Wildlife Conservation Biology) students only
    Course Description This course will apply ecological and evolutionary techniques to the management and restoration of natural systems to address wildlife conservation issues. The course will consist of students undertaking a small group wildlife conservation-related-research project. The projects will be drawn primarily from Australian terrestrial systems with projects potentially researching overgrazing by herbivores, pollinator deficiencies, responses of biota to fire, monitoring distributions and abundance of declining species, benefits of remedial actions (e.g. revegetation, predator control) on flora, fauna and ecological processes (e.g. pollination, gene flow, animal dispersal), invasive and abundant species management to conservation genetics. The course will provide hands on experience on field-based risk assessment, logistic planning and execution of field activities in a safe manner, while engaging students in learning how research findings support on ground actions to deliver conservation outcomes. Although students will only focus their research in one area, presentations from other student projects will provide exposure to a range of current conservation issues. The course is designed to link closely to the co-requisite course Conservation Biology III (ENV BIOL 3580).
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor David Paton

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

    1.  Plan and execute research and monitoring programs that address problems and issues associated with wildlife conservation and management;

    2.  Undertake risk assessment and implement field activities in a safe manner;;

    3.  Understand the complexities of incorporating spatial and temporal scales in wildlife conservation research and management;

    4.  Apply scientific principles and modern technologies to help solve current problems or deficiencies in the management of flora,
         fauna or ecological processes of benefit to wildlife conservation;

    5.  Work co-operatively in small groups and interact with potential clients (e.g. Natural Resource sector personnel); and

    6.  Communicate effectively in written and oral formats at the standards expected  in the industry

    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, 3,4, 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
    1,2,3,4,6
    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
    1,2, 5,6
    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
    1,2,3,4,5
    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
    1,2,3,5,6
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course applies the theory and practice of Conservation Biology to a series of current and on-going wildlife conservation issues. After initial workshop training in HSW issues associated with undertaking field work, students will plan and execute a research project
    in small groups that is likely to involve multiple days of appropriate field work to establish monitoring programs, experimental trials, to collect and collate data and interpret those data. These student activities will be overseen by an academic advisor with whom the students would meet with regularly. Many of the projects are likely to have an industry contact involved in advising the students as well. In this way the students will be provided real-life experiences indicative of likely work environments post degree.

    Workload

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

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 24 hours per wee3 on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
    Learning Activities Summary
    The major component of this course will require students to undertake a small-group (1-5 students) research project where they will plan and execute a study that addresses a specific conservation-related problem. Where possible these will be linked to issues that DEWNR/ NRM boards wish to have addressed and have an industry person as well as an academic adviser and supervisor. Some projects may not be suitable for small groups to tackle and in these cases individual projects will be developed. Most research projects will involve field work and so will require small groups to work together to meet HSW requirements. The intention is to have good cross-referencing between the course content in 3580 Conservation Biology III and the research projects. There is also scope to have projects that do not have a field component if required.  Components of the small group projects would be assessed as a group (initial report that includes safety and logistics; data base). However, each student would produce an individual report where they will demonstrate their written communication skills in summarising and reporting on findings.

    Specific Course Requirements
    This course requires students to work in small groups (up to 5 students) to undertake a research project that is likely to require students to undertake multiple days of field work, depending on the project chosen.

    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Students will work individually or in small groups (2-4 students; depending on HSW circumstances) to plan and execute a research project that addresses a current issue or deficiency in wildlife conservation under guidance from an appropriate academic staff member.
  • 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 of assessment




    Percentage of total assessment for grading
    purposes


    Hurdle

     

    Yes
    or No
    Outcomes being assessed / achieved Approximate Timing of Assessment
    Project proposal & presentation Formative
    & Summative
    20% No 1,2,3,4,5,6 Week 2
    Data base (including meta database) Formative
    & Summative
    20% No 3,4,5 Week 11
    Project
    presentation
    Formative
    & Summative
    10% No 1,2,3,4,5,6 Week 12
    Project report Formative
    & Summative
    50% No Week 13
    Assessment Detail
    Project proposal and presentation (20%, end of week 2)

    The project proposal is a written document that defines the wildlife conservation issue to be addressed, outlines the approach and methods to be used, and provides a detailed logistic plan and risk assessment for any proposed field work. Three 4hr workshops will be used to assist the students to learn and apply principles of working safely, designing and planning the research project and addressing the logistical and administrative aspects. The project components are also presented orally to the rest of the class at the end of the second week within a 10-15 minute allocation of time for each group to present. All of the learning outcomes are addressed in this task. A single group project proposal is submitted and assessed. However the individual contributions to the group’s work will be assessed separately. Half of the marks for this task are allocated to the written report and half to the oral presentation.

    Date base design and construction (20%, end of week 11)

    A key industry and scientific requirement is the storage of wildlife data in suitable formats with adequate metadata to explain the structure of the data base and how to use the data base to extract information. Although students will collect data in small groups, each student is expected to develop their own data base for the group data which will be submitted and assessed. Learning outcomes 3, 4, 5 and 6 are being assessed.

     Project presentation (10%, week 12)

    An oral presentation that summarises the main elements and findings of the research project will be of 15-20 minutes duration and presented as a group, with the individual contributions of students to the group presentation and subsequent responses to questions assessed. This task assesses all learning outcomes.

     Project report (50%, week 13)

    This report will consist of a 15-20 page (4,000 - 5,000 word) document that summarises the project including the purpose, methods, and results, discussion of findings and application of findings to wildlife conservation. Each student produces their own report (submitted in week 13). This task assesses all learning outcomes.



    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
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