2 hr of lectures + ~2 to 4 hr of prac classes during weeks 2-7 and 9. There is a compulsory 7 day field trip during the mid-session break from 16-22 September. Lecture slides and related material are provided on the unit website just before the lecture. Lectures will be recorded. You are expected to participate in full and to the greatest of your ability. This includes reading the literature, web materials, and completing the assessment tasks to a standard that you would expect to provide to an employer or relevant external body.
ENVS338 is a field and practical intensive unit. We aim to give you the field experience and hands on application to knowledge and theory learnt in class. The objective is to prepare you with skills for the workplace – it is not a content driven course; instead we use content to illuminate skills, practice, method and approach, all of which you will require when working. Content can change constantly in the workplace and you will need flexibility to deal with new or variable content and situations.
Weekday and mid-session fieldwork
We run practical classes in the laboratory or field in the weekly classes and a longer mid-session field trip – all of which are compulsory. Assessment tasks are framed partly around the lectures but mainly around the practical and field components. A few notes about working in the field;
Weather - We do not normally cancel field trips for bad weather (except at contaminated sites - but we can cross that bridge when we come to it). You must be prepared to work in the rain and sun with the appropriate clothing, and avoid dehydration, heat or cold.
Transport - In the practical classes, you must provide your own. On the longer mid-session break field trip, transport will be supplied.
Cost - Transport is provided by the University on the mid-session field work. All other costs on the mid-session field work (e.g. accommodation, food) are yours. During weekday field work, we expect that you can carpool or provide your own transport.
Food - On the mid-session field work, we will stay at or near delightful Bathhurst (200 km west of Sydney) and Crookwell (234 km southwest of Sydney). Most supplies can be purchased at those towns. For those with special food requirements, taking some food out of Sydney is advisable.
Accommodation - On the mid-session field trip will be organised by you. There are various options around Bathurst and Crookwell, but almost certainly a motor inn or country pub. Shared rooms will save on cost, as will camping grounds. We are happy to drive around to a couple of places to pick up people.
Personal field equipment - Each student should bring the following on each field trip;
- Boots; No sandals or thongs in the field. Doesn't have to be steel caps, just sturdy boots. NO BOOTS = NO FIELDWORK.
- Water bottle (full, of course! - we suggest 2 L/day) & food for each day.
- Inclement weather gear (we go irrespective of the weather). An umbrella is sometimes good to write notes under. Warm clothing, sunscreen.
- Hat - NO BASEBALL CAPS. Really. NO BRIMMED HAT = NO FIELDWORK.
- Waterproof (or waterproof bag) field note book and writing implements.
- Calculator, hand lens, reconnaissance maps and readings.
- WHS equipment, including compulsory hi-vis clothing, will be supplied by MQU. If you have your own, preferred hi-vis clothing, please bring it.
Website - Practical material and important messages will be available on www.mq.edu.au/iLearn
Class times and locations:
- Lectures - Fridays, 0900 - 1100 h, 4 Western Road (W5C) Room 303.
- Practicals - Fridays, 1100-1500 h, 3 Innovation Road (EMC2), G220. Pracs may move between various labs so watch the iLearn unit website for advice, before each class.
Recommended resources - Reading suggestions will be provided, mainly from the scientific literature, on an ongoing basis – see unit website.
WORKLOAD REQUIREMENTS AND COURSE RUBRIC
Workload for units at Macquarie University is based on a minimum of 3 hours per credit point per week to receive a Pass grade. For ENVS338 this means you are expected to work at least 9 hours per week on this unit to receive a Pass grade. Obviously this is dependent on the speed at which you learn and your ability to study effectively. You will find you need to spend extra time on different parts of the course content. Depending on when assignments are due, this workload will be spread over the session. It is critical that you manage your time effectively and work progressively towards assignment submissions well in advance. A guide of hours required to receive a Pass grade is outlined below. However, keep in mind, grades are awarded on a demonstration of understanding and ability not on effort!
||Per teaching week
||Hours per session
|Mid-session field trip
||7 days @ 7 h/day
|Total for semester
|Per week (15 weeks)
- ANSWERING THE QUESTION THAT IS ASKED with a well-developed discussion of the topic, and its implications, that places the topic in a broader context.
- Appropriate use and citation of a wide range of relevant literature, including texts, research papers, and grey literature (if required).
- Demonstrating good planning with a clear structure, headings, and a logical argument based firmly on the literature cited.
- Presenting a legible paper with correct grammar and spelling, and correct use of professional terminology as appropriate. Submissions must not be hand written.
- Using correct SI units and correct abbreviations.
- Referring to figures and tables in the text, with full and appropriate titles on each figure and table, irrelevant material omitted, sources given.
- Citing references acceptably, correctly and consistently in the text as well as in the reference list, no abbreviations, correct citation of chapters in edited books.
- Staying within the word limit.
If you experience difficulty achieving a good standard in your written presentation, please talk to us. The University offers a variety of remedial writing courses and sources of advice that may help you. We emphasise the necessity for clear writing and its importance in your performance assessment.
Assessment of assignments will be based on the Macquarie University scale High Distinction (HD), Distinction (D), Credit (Cr), Pass (P) and Fail (Fail). The markers may choose to further refine these grades by use of a “+” or “-“ to indicate work towards the top or the bottom of each grade’s band of marks. Feedback will also come in the form of comments written on each assignment or emailed directly to you, as well as general commentaries directed to the entire class after all marked assignments have been returned (typically in class or via an email list).
In ENVS338 we expect quality in your assignments and a level of knowledge and comprehension of course content that demonstrates what you have learnt throughout your degree and which sets the foundations for a career in this field. Grades for the unit as a whole will be awarded according to the following general criteria (course rubric).
Level of attainment
Has not yet reached the desired standard. Limited understanding of required concepts and knowledge.
A Fail grade would be given.
Has reached basic academic standards. Work has limited translation of concepts and procedures to new contexts unless aided.
A Pass grade would be awarded.
Has completely reached the standards expected. Can work independently in new contexts, adapting procedures to meet the context. Demonstrates awareness of own limitations. A Credit grade would be awarded.
Has gone beyond the expected standards. Exhibits high levels of independence and can use concepts to generate new ways of completing procedures. Can engage in productive critical reflection.
A grade of Distinction or High Distinction would be awarded.