ENV BIOL 2515 - Plant Identification (Wildlife Conservation Biology) II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2019

This short intensive course provides a basic understanding of the diversity of plants and develops specialised technical skills in the identification of vascular plants to provide the skills needed for documenting plant communities and their composition and relevance to wildlife conservation. The course is taught in the context of Australian plant diversity. Native and introduced plant groups are emphasised in practical studies and some emphasis will be placed on understanding the status of rare and threatened plant groups, and plant communities. Field and practical experience will include study of plant community structure in local natural and managed habitats. Skills developed in this course include the identification of vascular plants and the description of plant community structure. The skills developed will provide a sound basis for contributing to plant-based conservation science and wildlife management.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ENV BIOL 2515
    Course Plant Identification (Wildlife Conservation Biology) II
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week during second half of the Semester, up to 40 hrs per week in mid-Semester break
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Incompatible ENV BIOL 2510
    Assumed Knowledge 6 units of Level I BIOLGY, Environmental Biology courses or equivalent, ENV BIOL 2500
    Restrictions Available to BSc (Wildlife Conservation Biology) students only
    Course Description This short intensive course provides a basic understanding of the diversity of plants and develops specialised technical skills in the identification of vascular plants to provide the skills needed for documenting plant communities and their composition and relevance to wildlife conservation. The course is taught in the context of Australian plant diversity. Native and introduced plant groups are emphasised in practical studies and some emphasis will be placed on understanding the status of rare and threatened plant groups, and plant communities. Field and practical experience will include study of plant community structure in local natural and managed habitats. Skills developed in this course include the identification of vascular plants and the description of plant community structure. The skills developed will provide a sound basis for contributing to plant-based conservation science and wildlife management.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Michelle Waycott

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    No information currently available.

    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)
    2, 3, 4, 5
    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, 5
    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
    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
    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
    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
    2, 4, 5
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be run as a one week intensive course in the mid semester break of Semester II, followed by 4 weeks to complete the project component. Prior to the intensive mode component of the course, students will have a series of eLectures to deliver theoretical concepts for the course followed by online learning-based tutorials for reinforcement which should be completed in the 2-3 weeks prior to the intensive mode component. Several additional lectures will be delivered during the face-to-face component of the course, followed by tutorial and practical reinforcement. During the intensive mode period, students will engage in small group discovery to develop their small group report to be submitted on the final day of this one week period. Small group discovery will be based around the field trip day run during this week. Practical experience will be gained by students individually and in groups in the use of plant identification keys of various types both electronic and traditional hard copy; dichotomous, character based, technical and visual. Students will also learn to collect field data on the floristic and structural features of plant communities and how these are used to define different plant communities providing them with foundational skills. Learning activities will include collection, analysis and interpretation of field data that requires correct plant identifications and students will individually learn to integrate these data to define a plant community.
    Workload

    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary
    This course will be delivered by the following means:
     
    Delivery of this course will be through a combination of three different teaching modes:
    a.    eLecture series (10 x 1 hour lecture equivalents) and eTutorial sessions (5 x 1 hour tutorial session equivalents in online mode) – this eContent would need to be completed prior to the intensive mode session.
    b.    Intensive mode delivery (1 week in the mid semester break); lectures (5 x 1 hour), practicals (12 hours in 4 separate
    sessions), tutorials (7 hours in 3 sessions) and field trip (8 hours expected to be as a single day trip)
    c.    Post intensive mode period; practical sessions (4 x 4 hours post-intensive mode with staff) and tutorials (3 x 2 hour
    sessions).
     
    The course content will include the following topics:

    1.    Botanical nomenclature, the principles of systematics and taxonomy (including historical context)
    2.    Species concepts versus species identification (including historical and theoretical context and its practical application).
    3.    Modern taxonomic techniques.
    4.    The role of the herbarium and other research infrastructure such as botanic gardens, seed banks and databases.
    5.    Fundamentals of plant characters used for modern taxonomy; morphology, anatomy, cytology, DNA characters. Detailed plant character analysis; leaves, flowers and fruits.
    6.    Distinctive characters for major groups including iconic Australian flowering plant groups, weeds and globally important plant families.
    7.    Fundamental floristic and structural features of plant communities.
     
    Practical classes will include developing skills in the recognition of plant structures for use in taxonomic identification, the use of taxonomic identification key and other resources, analysis of plant characters for assessment of variability, and the use of floristic and structural features to describe plant communities and their fundamental importance to wildlife conservation and environmental
    management more broadly.
    Specific Course Requirements
    The recommended texts assigned to this course are:
     
    Plant Systematics, Second Edition, by Michael G. Simpson ISBN: 978-0-12-374380-0
     
    It's Blue With Five Petals by Ann Prescott ISBN: 978-0-64-659298-5
     
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Small group discovery will be based around the field trip day run during the contact week. Groups will be assigned a field based activity to observe and collect key attributes of a plant community, so those plant communities can be described, applying skills in plant identification to aid those descriptions These field-based activities will be under the supervision of senior academic staff.
    Groups will be relatively small, 3–4 students, who will solve the logistical aspects of describing and measuring plant attributes, including additional evidence (e.g. effective imagery) that will confirm their species identifications and plant community descriptions.
  • 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
    Quizzes Formative & Summative 10% No 1,3 Intensive mode week days 2,4 and 5.
    Group Presentation Formative & Summative 20% No 2,3,4 Intensive mode week day 5.
    Project Formative & Summative 40% No 1,2,3,4,5 End of 4 week post intensive mode period.
    Mid-term test Summative 10% No 1,2,3,5 Intensive mode week day 2.
    Final Test Summative 20% No 1,2, 3 End of 4 week post intensive mode period
    Assessment Related Requirements
    None
    Assessment Detail
    1. Quizzes (10%)

    Four quizzes testing the skills
    in plant identification the students have gained will be held, during practical sessions of the intensive mode period of the course. The total for these quizzes will be 10% of their final grade (each quiz is worth 2.5%). These quizzes include assessment of the ability of student to not only observe and describe the unknown plant specimens they will need to identify but the correct
    taxonomy applied.

    2. Presentation (20%)

    The conclusion to the small group experience component of the intensive mode course will be to present the work done in groups as an electronic poster presentation incorporating information of plant community structure. This will require groups to agree on content, complete the work assigned, then present in a structured manner and be able to answer questions about the project. Marks are awarded to individuals and innovation in presentation style while supporting delivery of technical content will be rewarded.

    3. Project (40%)

    The project will include the collection, collation and both field and laboratory identification of plant specimens in order to define and document plant community composition and structure (10%). The assignment will include the preparation of a report (30%), maximum length 5000 words, plus will require the submission of the student’s field notebook and field data sheets.

     4.  Mid Term and Final Tests (30%)

    Mid-term  test (10%)

    A 1 – hour test during the intensive mode period that will draw on material presented as eLectures and supporting discussions in eTutorials requiring the students to evaluate their understanding of the lecture content. This test will be in the form of a short answer quiz.

    Final test (20%)

    A 1 – hour test following the intensive mode component that will draw on material from both lectures and practicals requiring the students to integrate their learning in short answer and/or short essay-style questions.

    Submission
    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:

    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.

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    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.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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