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GEOP605 – Australian Environmental Futures

2017 – S2 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Peter Davies
Jessica McLean
Kerrie Tomkins
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MEnv or MEnvPlan or MPlan or GradCertEnvPlan or GradDipEnv or GradCertEnv or MSusDev or GradDipSusDev or GradCertSusDev
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
GEOP605
Unit description Unit description
This unit is for students from non-cognate disciplines interested in pursuing postgraduate research in environment and sustainability. These units introduce students to core environmental concepts and topics by enabling them to participate in selected undergraduate units. This unit introduces and critically examines key environmental, social, economic, cultural and political processes and relationships that underpin environmental management and sustainability in urban, rural and remote Australia. The unit is accessible for students with degrees from a broad range of backgrounds, and develops foundational knowledge and skills relating to environment and sustainability in order to facilitate higher level studies.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply knowledge of concepts and integrated discipline approaches at multiple scales to manage Australia’s environmental futures
  2. Explain the physical, social and political drivers and their interrelationships associated with contemporary environmental management challenges
  3. Carry out independent research in environmental management and the practical applications of that research.
  4. Write for different target audiences and critically read, think about, interpret and evaluate environmental and social science data.

General Assessment Information

Marking rubrics:

Marking rubrics will be provided in class for each assessment task.  

Penalty for late submission of assessment tasks:

Assessment tasks are to be submitted on the date listed under the Assessment Tasks section of this Unit Guide. 5 marks will be deducted off the final mark for the assessment task for each day that the assessment task is late.  For example, for a student who initially receives a mark of 75/100 for an assessment task but this task was submitted two days late, they will be penalised a total of 10 marks - to bring a final mark of 65.  

Extensions:

Extensions must be requested in advance and in writing via email to your Unit Convenor. In the email, please explicitly state the reason for the request.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Mapping and data analysis 20% 28/08/2017
Sustainability essay 30% 22/09/2017
Briefing report 40% 10/11/2017
Participation and engagement 10% Ongoing

Mapping and data analysis

Due: 28/08/2017
Weighting: 20%

There are two components to this assessment and students will be guided through the instruction within tutorials in Weeks 2 and 3. The aim is for students to use different types of maps and additional data to answer an environmental question, and to present their analysis in a map format with supporting text. Students can choose which question they would like to focus on for the assessment out of four hypothetical, but real-world challenges that are facing Lane Cove National Park and surrounds. The topics for the questions relate to a proposed development within the National Park, the implications of sea level rise, bushfire risk to vegetation communities within and adjacent to the park or the management of riparian weeds. 

This exercise is an introduction to the preparation of a statement of environmental  effects or review of environmental factors that would accompany a development application, strategic plan or management plan. 

Length - 750 words (maximum) excluding references 

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Apply knowledge of concepts and integrated discipline approaches at multiple scales to manage Australia’s environmental futures
  • Carry out independent research in environmental management and the practical applications of that research.
  • Write for different target audiences and critically read, think about, interpret and evaluate environmental and social science data.

Sustainability essay

Due: 22/09/2017
Weighting: 30%

Word length: 1,500 (excluding references)

ESSAY QUESTION

Choose an Australian-based sustainability initiative as a case study, and discuss the decision-making processes involved in its design and implementation. This will include identification of various stakeholders and an analysis of their relationships. In your conclusion, based on your understanding of the concept of ‘sustainability’, please address the level of success to date, or potential for success, of the project.

CHOOSING AN INITIATIVE

1.    Sustainable Sydney 2030: http://www.sydney2030.com.au

2.    Sustainability program at the Sydney Fish Market: http://www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au/sustainability/corporate-social-responsibility

3.    Sustainability program at the Sydney Harbour Trust: http://www.harbourtrust.gov.au/about/environment-sustainability

4.    Sustainable Table: https://www.sustainabletable.org.au/

5.    Sustainability@MQ:  http://www.mq.edu.au/sustainability/

 

 

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Apply knowledge of concepts and integrated discipline approaches at multiple scales to manage Australia’s environmental futures
  • Explain the physical, social and political drivers and their interrelationships associated with contemporary environmental management challenges
  • Carry out independent research in environmental management and the practical applications of that research.
  • Write for different target audiences and critically read, think about, interpret and evaluate environmental and social science data.

Briefing report

Due: 10/11/2017
Weighting: 40%

You are required to prepare a briefing document for Minister for Planning and Environment. Your report shall discuss one of the following topics and is to be completed within the report template as provided and must demonstrate your understanding of the interaction of social, ecological and political processes that influence how Australia manages its environmental future. 

Topics include:

A. Planning for Sydney’s growing population

B. Planning for bushfire protection at the urban / bushland interface

C. Protecting and managing ecology in cities

D. Expanding ecotourism in national parks and wilderness areas

E. Develop new consultation strategies to support urban and regional land use planning

Or, You may select another topic with approval by the unit convenor.

Maximum page length 6. This is to include the 1 page executive summary and a visual summary of the key aspects in your report (this may relate to the issues, policy relationships or recommendations)   

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Apply knowledge of concepts and integrated discipline approaches at multiple scales to manage Australia’s environmental futures
  • Explain the physical, social and political drivers and their interrelationships associated with contemporary environmental management challenges
  • Carry out independent research in environmental management and the practical applications of that research.
  • Write for different target audiences and critically read, think about, interpret and evaluate environmental and social science data.

Participation and engagement

Due: Ongoing
Weighting: 10%

Your class preparation and engagement will be assessed through completion of a series of tasks during the ‘People, politics and Environment’ module of ENV 267/GEOP 605 (weeks 5-10).

Students will be required to complete online activities including listening to pre-recorded lectures and/or short videos, read articles and write a short blog in response to a prompt that will be uploaded to iLearn.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Apply knowledge of concepts and integrated discipline approaches at multiple scales to manage Australia’s environmental futures
  • Explain the physical, social and political drivers and their interrelationships associated with contemporary environmental management challenges
  • Carry out independent research in environmental management and the practical applications of that research.
  • Write for different target audiences and critically read, think about, interpret and evaluate environmental and social science data.

Delivery and Resources

This unit is delivered across three modules and will be led by three different lecturers:

Module 1 - ​Australia's unique environment and the need to manage impacts. This module will be delivered by Dr Kerrie Tomkins and will examine the physical challenges posed by Australia's unique environment including: climate; hydrology; soils; vegetation and bushfires; ecosystems; coasts; impacts of humans on the environment; and impacts of the environment on humans

Module 2 - Politics people and the environment. This module will be delivered by Dr Jess McLean and will explore six themes including: resource governance; stakeholder engagement; community participation in resource governance; climate change futures and carbon governance; urban spaces; and the Anthropocene in Australia.

Module 3 - Role of Environmental Legislation and Policy. This module will be delivered by Dr Peter Davies and will focus on how law and policy impacts on the environment from a strategic planning,  statutory development assessment and day to day decisions. This module will tie together your understanding of the physical environment its relationship to people and politics.

The content will be delivered through weekly lectures and tutorials. The tutorials will include in class and field based learning to enable students to understand and apply various techniques used to manage the environment.

External students will need to refer to the iLearn site for on-campus dates for tutorials and assessment due dates.

Unit Schedule

Week 1  - On campus lecture: Understating the big picture and major drivers (Dr Peter Davies)

              - No tutorial (2hrs)

Week 2  - On campus lecture: Our dry climate, droughts and flooding rains (Dr Kerrie Tomkins)

              - On campus tutorial (2hrs) 

Week 3 -  On campus lecture: Impoverished soils and flammable vegetation (Dr Kerrie Tomkins)

               - On campus tutorial (2hrs) 

Week 4  - On campus lecture: Ecosystems and habitats under threat (Dr Kerrie Tomkins)

               - Optional campus walk (1 hour) 10:00 or 11:00

Week 5  - On campus lecture: Australia in the Anthropocene  (Dr Jess McLean)

               -  On campus tutorial (2hrs)

Week 6  - Pre-recorded lecture: Decision makers and stakeholders (Dr Jess McLean)

               - On campus tutorial (2hrs)

Week 7  - No lecture

               - No tutorial

Week 8  - Pre-recorded lecture: Carbon Governance (Dr Jess McLean)

               - On campus tutorial (2hrs)

Week 9  - Pre-recorded lecture: Resource governance: ownership and control (Dr Jess McLean)

               - On campus tutorial (2hrs)

Week 10  - Pre-recorded lecture: Feeding cities: consumption, growth and urban sustainability (Dr Jess McLean)

                 - No tutorial

Week 11  - On campus lecture: Background and history of environmental law and policy (Dr Peter Davies)

                 - On campus tutorial (2hrs)

Week 12  - On campus lecture: Land use zoning, development and environmental protection (Dr Peter Davies) 

                 - On campus tutorial (2hrs)

Week 13  - On campus lecture: Strategic planning and the environment and unit summary (Dr Peter Davies)

                 - No tutorial 

Learning and Teaching Activities

Online activities

During the 'Politics, people and the environment' module, there will be a mixture of online preparatory activities and on campus face-to-face activities. These will be set out on iLearn and contribute to your Participation and Engagement grade.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Apply knowledge of concepts and integrated discipline approaches at multiple scales to manage Australia’s environmental futures
  • Explain the physical, social and political drivers and their interrelationships associated with contemporary environmental management challenges
  • Carry out independent research in environmental management and the practical applications of that research.
  • Write for different target audiences and critically read, think about, interpret and evaluate environmental and social science data.

Assessment tasks

  • Mapping and data analysis
  • Sustainability essay
  • Briefing report
  • Participation and engagement

Learning and teaching activities

  • During the 'Politics, people and the environment' module, there will be a mixture of online preparatory activities and on campus face-to-face activities. These will be set out on iLearn and contribute to your Participation and Engagement grade.

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Apply knowledge of concepts and integrated discipline approaches at multiple scales to manage Australia’s environmental futures
  • Explain the physical, social and political drivers and their interrelationships associated with contemporary environmental management challenges
  • Carry out independent research in environmental management and the practical applications of that research.
  • Write for different target audiences and critically read, think about, interpret and evaluate environmental and social science data.

Assessment tasks

  • Mapping and data analysis
  • Sustainability essay
  • Briefing report
  • Participation and engagement

Learning and teaching activities

  • During the 'Politics, people and the environment' module, there will be a mixture of online preparatory activities and on campus face-to-face activities. These will be set out on iLearn and contribute to your Participation and Engagement grade.

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Apply knowledge of concepts and integrated discipline approaches at multiple scales to manage Australia’s environmental futures
  • Carry out independent research in environmental management and the practical applications of that research.

Assessment tasks

  • Mapping and data analysis
  • Sustainability essay
  • Briefing report
  • Participation and engagement

Learning and teaching activities

  • During the 'Politics, people and the environment' module, there will be a mixture of online preparatory activities and on campus face-to-face activities. These will be set out on iLearn and contribute to your Participation and Engagement grade.

Creative and Innovative

Our graduates will also be capable of creative thinking and of creating knowledge. They will be imaginative and open to experience and capable of innovation at work and in the community. We want them to be engaged in applying their critical, creative thinking.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Apply knowledge of concepts and integrated discipline approaches at multiple scales to manage Australia’s environmental futures

Assessment tasks

  • Sustainability essay
  • Briefing report
  • Participation and engagement

Learning and teaching activities

  • During the 'Politics, people and the environment' module, there will be a mixture of online preparatory activities and on campus face-to-face activities. These will be set out on iLearn and contribute to your Participation and Engagement grade.

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Explain the physical, social and political drivers and their interrelationships associated with contemporary environmental management challenges
  • Carry out independent research in environmental management and the practical applications of that research.
  • Write for different target audiences and critically read, think about, interpret and evaluate environmental and social science data.

Assessment tasks

  • Mapping and data analysis
  • Sustainability essay
  • Briefing report
  • Participation and engagement

Learning and teaching activities

  • During the 'Politics, people and the environment' module, there will be a mixture of online preparatory activities and on campus face-to-face activities. These will be set out on iLearn and contribute to your Participation and Engagement grade.

Engaged and Ethical Local and Global citizens

As local citizens our graduates will be aware of indigenous perspectives and of the nation's historical context. They will be engaged with the challenges of contemporary society and with knowledge and ideas. We want our graduates to have respect for diversity, to be open-minded, sensitive to others and inclusive, and to be open to other cultures and perspectives: they should have a level of cultural literacy. Our graduates should be aware of disadvantage and social justice, and be willing to participate to help create a wiser and better society.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Assessment tasks

  • Sustainability essay
  • Participation and engagement

Learning and teaching activities

  • During the 'Politics, people and the environment' module, there will be a mixture of online preparatory activities and on campus face-to-face activities. These will be set out on iLearn and contribute to your Participation and Engagement grade.

Socially and Environmentally Active and Responsible

We want our graduates to be aware of and have respect for self and others; to be able to work with others as a leader and a team player; to have a sense of connectedness with others and country; and to have a sense of mutual obligation. Our graduates should be informed and active participants in moving society towards sustainability.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Carry out independent research in environmental management and the practical applications of that research.

Assessment tasks

  • Sustainability essay
  • Participation and engagement

Learning and teaching activities

  • During the 'Politics, people and the environment' module, there will be a mixture of online preparatory activities and on campus face-to-face activities. These will be set out on iLearn and contribute to your Participation and Engagement grade.

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Apply knowledge of concepts and integrated discipline approaches at multiple scales to manage Australia’s environmental futures
  • Explain the physical, social and political drivers and their interrelationships associated with contemporary environmental management challenges
  • Carry out independent research in environmental management and the practical applications of that research.
  • Write for different target audiences and critically read, think about, interpret and evaluate environmental and social science data.

Assessment tasks

  • Sustainability essay
  • Briefing report
  • Participation and engagement

Learning and teaching activities

  • During the 'Politics, people and the environment' module, there will be a mixture of online preparatory activities and on campus face-to-face activities. These will be set out on iLearn and contribute to your Participation and Engagement grade.

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Our graduates will have enquiring minds and a literate curiosity which will lead them to pursue knowledge for its own sake. They will continue to pursue learning in their careers and as they participate in the world. They will be capable of reflecting on their experiences and relationships with others and the environment, learning from them, and growing - personally, professionally and socially.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Explain the physical, social and political drivers and their interrelationships associated with contemporary environmental management challenges

Assessment tasks

  • Sustainability essay
  • Participation and engagement

Learning and teaching activities

  • During the 'Politics, people and the environment' module, there will be a mixture of online preparatory activities and on campus face-to-face activities. These will be set out on iLearn and contribute to your Participation and Engagement grade.

Changes from Previous Offering

This unit has been redesigned from previous offerings. It now includes an introduction module on environmental  law and policy and an corresponding assessment task to integrate this knowledge within a coupled natural and human environmental lens.

Assessment Submission and General Assessment Criteria

Assessment submission

This unit uses electronic submission and marking. The required format and mode of submission is as follows. Note: there is no requirement to submit hard copies as well. Further details on how to use Turnitin will be provided separately.

Assessment 1 Mapping and data analysis - to be submitted through Turnitin (See iLearn for the relevant Assessment Link)

Assessment 2 Sustainability Essay - to be submitted through Turnitin (See iLearn for the relevant Assessment Link)

Assessment 3 Briefing Report - to be submitted through Turnitin (See iLearn for the relevant Assessment Link)

Assessment 4 Participation and Engagement 

 

General assessment criteria

The general assessment criteria that is used to examine the overall attainment of knowledge, skills and abilities includes the following, where the level of achievement is expected to be at the standard of a post-graduate student in each of the criteria. GradeMark Rubrics will be used to mark and grade parts A and B of the Final Report.

General Assessment Criteria

Expectation of achievement at the post-graduate level

  • Addressing the task that is specified (or answering the question that is asked) for each assessment, including staying within the word limit unless otherwise specified.
  • Students are able to complete the assessments as instructed.
  • Demonstration of knowledge and research skills through written material and verbal presentations.
  • Students have engaged in the subject matter and task.
  • Students can show understanding of the topic through an analysis and well-developed discussion of the topic.
  • Demonstration of independent thinking through written material and verbal presentations.
  • Students are able to demonstrate in-depth thinking through discussion that places the topic in the broader context.
  • Students are able to demonstrate initiative and independent contributions through new ideas.
  • Appropriate use and citation of a wide range of relevant literature, including scientific research papers and reports. Citation of references within the text and reference list is correct and consistent, with no abbreviations.
  • Students will undertake thorough literature searches and demonstrate appropriate selection of relevant articles in support of their arguments.
  • Demonstration of good planning with a clear structure, headings, and a logical argument based firmly on the literature cited.
  • Students are able to structure written (and verbal) work to convey ideas clearly and logically.
  • Presentation of legible work with: correct grammar and spelling, correct use of professional terminology as appropriate, and correct use of SI units, abbreviations and acronyms.
  • Students will submit work that is presented in a professional manner.
  • Figures, tables and other supporting information are legible and necessary, with reference to these in the text. Full and appropriate captions are included on each as well as the source where relevant.
  • Students are able to use figures and tables to summarise or present information and data effectively.
  • Effective communication of research outcomes.
  • Students are able to get their message across clearly and concisely.

 

Field work, health and safety

There maybe opportunities to visit sites on or off campus as part of the tutorial program.

The safety of you and those around you is our highest priority. Consequently, ALL participants in fieldwork activities are obliged to work and behave appropriately in the field, and to take care to protect their own health, safety and welfare and that of fellow fieldwork participants. You are required to follow instructions from the Fieldwork Leader at all times.

Prior to the fieldwork, you must let the Fieldwork Leader know of any allergies, special dietary requirements or medical considerations that may affect your ability to participate in fieldwork. You will need to complete a declaration of a known medical condition form, outlining a treatment plan for your condition. Details of your responsible next of kin must also be provided incase of emergencies.

You are required to wear and carry clothing and footwear as appropriate to the fieldwork situation. Your Fieldwork Leader will advise you as to what these are prior to the fieldtrip. Irrespective of the activity, footwear must be worn. For terrestrial fieldwork, ankle to knee protection must be worn either in the form of either long trousers or gaiters. For marine fieldwork, appropriate clothing to protect against sunburn and exposure should be worn. For all fieldwork activities, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and items to protect against unexpected weather changes, such as rain & cold, are strongly recommended. The Fieldwork Leader reserves the right to exclude anyone that is ill-equipped from the activity.

If you are taking any medication, please ensure that you take sufficient supplies with you on the field trip. The University’s staff are unable, by law, to provide this to you. This includes pain relief, such as panadol or nurofen, cold and flu medication and anti-histamines for allergies.

If you need to leave the field location for any reason prior to completion of the scheduled activities, you must first inform the Fieldwork Leader. In the event of illness or injury, please let the Fieldwork Leader know immediately. All injury’s or incidents must be reported via the on-line reporting system: http://www.ohs.mq.edu.au/form5a.php

Alcohol is a significant contributing factor in many incidents and acts of prejudicial conduct. Alcohol must not be consumed when undertaking fieldwork activities or when using a motor vehicle/machinery. After-hours consumption of alcohol is at the discretion of the Fieldwork Leader. Anyone acting irresponsibly or in any way deemed to be a danger to themselves or others by the Fieldwork Leader will be required to leave the field trip, return to Sydney at their own expense and report to the Head of Department. The consequences of this may include exclusion from the Unit of study or your Degree program.

For more information, contact:

Russell Field

Fieldwork Manager (Dept of Environmental Sciences)

Macquarie University NSW 2109.

(W) 98508341

 

Unit Homepage

This unit has a home page that can be accessed through the Macquarie University online facility (ilearn.mq.edu.au). It contains the usual discussion page, mail page and lecture notes page. As the semester progresses, it will be used to circulate data and other materials related to the course, field trips and assessments.