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

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2020

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
    During Covid-19
    This course is run in an atypical format. Although run in Semester 2 we provide lectures and some tutorial content delivered as online content prior to the 1 week face to face period during the first week of the mid-semester break (this year starting 21 Sept 2020). This was followed by 3 weeks 'tutorials' to support the students development of major project. The fundamental of the course is the face to face is hands on learning - laboratory and field based - in the practice of identifying plants, both informal (field base) and formal (lab based) final results being evaluated in a technically authoritative manner, augmented by additional lecture/tutorial content during this period.The specific outcomes for this course are difficult to achieve without students having access to microscopes in the laboratories, and plant material that is able to be explained to the students in detail to understand what they are looking at. To achieve the outcomes in 2020, with a minimum of lab and field time, we are restructuring the available lab time and space during the scheduled face-to-face period in the mid-semester break (ie starting 21 Sept 2020). We propose to deliver laboratory classes, complying with COVID conditions in Braggs laboratories and field components, again based on COVID conditions compliant activities in walking distance to the northern end of North Tce campus.Our 2020 proposal is:

    1. All lectures will be converted to online content if not already developed in this mode - including the content usually given during the face-to-face week.
    2. All tutorials will be converted to online content including the content usually given during the face-to-face week, some of this content will be delivered post face-to face to provide follow-up reinforcing content that also prepares the students for their final major project work.
    3. We will develop in-lab work that is readily completed following COVID-19 restrictions and lab availability. We will also record the labs during the week if students are unable to attend and propose that they find similar plant material to observe although they may need to be directed in gaining access to appropriate material.

    Typically we take students to natural bush sites close to the city (Anstey Hill) or within easy travel distance (Aldinga Scrub and Onkaparinga reserve). During this years course we will utilise sites such as the Botanic Gardens, Botanic Park and along the Torrens with permission from landholders. This will enable walking from campus and social distancing.
    Workload

    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary
    During Covid-19

    This course is run in an atypical format. Although run in Semester 2 we provide lectures and some tutorial content delivered as online content prior to the 1 week face to face period during the first week of the mid-semester break (this year starting 21 Sept 2020). This was followed by 3 weeks 'tutorials' to support the students development of major project. The fundamental of the course is the face to face is hands on learning - laboratory and field based - in the practice of identifying plants, both informal (field base) and formal (lab based) final results being evaluated in a technically authoritative manner, augmented by additional lecture/tutorial content during this period.The specific outcomes for this course are difficult to achieve without students having access to microscopes in the laboratories, and plant material that is able to be explained to the students in detail to understand what they are looking at. To achieve the outcomes in 2020, with a minimum of lab and field time, we are restructuring the available lab time and space during the scheduled face-to-face period in the mid-semester break (ie starting 21 Sept 2020). We propose to deliver laboratory classes, complying with COVID conditions in Braggs laboratories and field components, again based on COVID conditions compliant activities in walking distance to the northern end of North Tce campus.

    Our 2020 proposal is:

    1.All lectures will be converted to online content if not already developed in this mode - including the content usually given during the
    face-to-face week.
    2. All tutorials will be converted to online content including the content usually given during the face-to-face week, some of this content will be delivered post face-to face to provide follow-up reinforcing content that also prepares the students for their final major project work.
    3. We will develop in-lab work that is readily completed following COVID-19 restrictions and lab availability. We will also record the labs during the week if students are unable to attend and propose that they find similar plant material to observe although they may need to be directed in gaining access to appropriate material.Typically we take students to natural bush sites close to the city (Anstey Hill) or within easy travel distance (Aldinga Scrub and Onkaparinga reserve).

    During this year's course we will utilise sites such as the Botanic Gardens, Botanic Park and along the Torrens with permission from landholders. This will enable walking from campus and social distancing.

    The course content may 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. Spotting characters for major groups including iconic Australian flowering plant groups, weeds and globally important
    plant families.
    7. Evolutionary systematics of vascular plants including adaptation and congruence in plant characters.
    8. Advanced plant biodiversity; plant-animal co-evolution, adaptation gradients, the influence of plasticity,
    applied uses of plant biodiversity, ethnobotany.

    Practical classes 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, the description of plant community structure and to assess conservation status of plant species.
    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 15% No 1,3 Week 39
    Practical Assessment Formative & Summative 15% No 2,3,4 Week 42
    Project Formative & Summative 20% No 1,2,3,4,5 Week 44
    Mid-term test Summative 25% No 1,2,3,5 Week 39
    Final Test Summative 25% No 1,2, 3 Week 45
    Assessment Related Requirements
    None
    Assessment Detail
    1. Quizzes (15%)

    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 (online). The total for these quizzes will be 10% of their final grade (each quiz is worth 3.75%). 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. Practical Assessment (15%)

    The practical assessment will replace group presentations and be based on the hands on activities conducted during the face to face week. Alternatives are being identified for those unable to attend but lack of equipment at home identified as problem for inspecting plants for use in formal identification keys.

    3. Project (20%)

    The project has been down-weighted as it usually represents the individual and group work based field collections in native bushland which will not be possible this year. A revised major project scope has been devised where the students can achieve good outcomes using virtual resources following demonstrations during the face to face training.

     4.  Mid Term and Final Tests (50%)

    Mid-term  test (25%)

    Mid-semester test has been increased in value due to additional online content to be completed prior to the face to face training activities.

    Final test (25%)

    Final test remains the same and assesses content across the course.

    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.

  • 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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