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GEOP705 – Understanding Climate Change Policies, Management and Adaptation

2017 – S2 Evening

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Maartje Roelofsen
Contact via Email
W3A 433
Tuesdays by appointment
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MRes
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
Global climate change is one of the important issues facing humanity in the 21st century. The ability to mitigate or adapt to projected climate change depends on developing an integrated perspective on the physical, biological, biogeochemical, socio-economic and cultural factors that influence the climate system. This unit focuses on the legal and socio-economic frameworks for understanding mitigation and adaptation to climate change, and covers (a) the legal and regulatory frameworks for climate change, (b) technological and economic strategies for climate mitigation, (c) risk management, (d) the ethical context of climate change specifically with respect to sustainability and cultural diversity and (e) climate-change governance. It also examines human adaptation to climate change from a diversity of perspectives. It will provide students with the background to critically evaluate the complex interactions that influence human responses to climate change and our ability to change future climate trajectories through political, economic and legislative means. The course is taught by a team of internationally renowned experts drawn from the University's Concentration of Research Excellence (CORE) in Climate Futures.

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. Demonstrated understanding of current progress on climate change policy, particularly in regards to mitigation and adaptation opportunities
  2. Ability to compare and contrast different approaches to climate change from perspectives of equity and justice
  3. Ability to identify diverse ethical, political, social and economic influences on human responses to climate change
  4. Demonstrated understanding of the scalar dimensions of human responses to climate change
  5. Ability to conceptualise and promote a research project oriented towards improving climate resilience
  6. Ability to work collaboratively and as part of a team on climate related issues

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 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
Climate Policy Development 10% Fri 18 Aug 2017
Mitigation strategies 40% Fri 27 Oct 2017
Climate resilience conference 40% Tue 7 Nov 2017
Participation 10% All semester

Climate Policy Development

Due: Fri 18 Aug 2017
Weighting: 10%

Create a 2-page Information Sheet that outlines the evolution of climate policy in a country of your choice. Identify the key actors, events and influences that have shaped policy in that country. 

In your information sheet, you are encouraged to consider: 

  • Current targets and goals to address climate change; 
  • Key climate change policies, programs and institutions; 
  • Comparisons with other countries;
  • Participation in international forums and agreements; 
  • Influential domestic organisations and actors; 
  • Barriers to progress; and
  • Socio-cultural, economic and ethical contexts that influence climate policy development and implementation.

The Information Sheet is expected to be delivered in a way that would effectively inform a general audience as to the state of play for climate change policy development in your country of choice. You are expected to draw from academic (e.g. academic journal articles) as well as non-academic sources (e.g. government and non-government policy documents, reports, media coverage, etc.).

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Demonstrated understanding of current progress on climate change policy, particularly in regards to mitigation and adaptation opportunities
  • Ability to compare and contrast different approaches to climate change from perspectives of equity and justice
  • Ability to identify diverse ethical, political, social and economic influences on human responses to climate change
  • Demonstrated understanding of the scalar dimensions of human responses to climate change

Mitigation strategies

Due: Fri 27 Oct 2017
Weighting: 40%

One of the key challenges for those working on climate change is communicating complex concepts and initiatives to different audiences. There are two submissions required for this assignment.

Task 1: An individual e-presentation script (1,000-word script - 20%)

Task 1 of this assignment is an individual task. You are required to prepare a 1,000-word script, which will provide an outline of the e-presentation that you will create with a team (see task 2). This script will be formatted in an AV script. A detailed explanation of what should be included in the script will be given in class during week 6. Your script is due in week 8 and should then be shared with the team members you will be working with on task 2 (see below). Each team will either a) self-select one of the team member’s scripts, or; b) decide to combine elements from their scripts to make into the finished e-presentation.

Please note that all individual scripts are also expected to be submitted to the Unit Convenor via email in week 8. This component will comprise 50% of your mark for this assignment (individual).

Task 2: Group e-presentation on mitigation strategies (7 minutes - 20%)

Task 2 requires you to work in a small group (between 4 and 6 people) and create an e-presentation oriented at promoting a particular mitigation strategy of your choice to a general audience (i.e. something that might be posted on youtube or a website with important and valuable information about climate change, for example).  

The e-presentation should be no more than 7 minutes long and can take the form of a podcast, digital story, video, slowmation, blended media or narrated powerpoint. The e-presentation should explain the mitigation strategy and provide convincing arguments for its adoption.

If you are not already familiar with e-presentations, this assignment will require you to develop some technical communication skills and have access to presentation software (such as powerpoint, imovie or windows movie maker). A workshop will be held in week 6 and help with this, however, you are also expected to develop these skills through accessing other helpful information in your own time such as online forums and training modules. A valuable website which contains much of the information you require is - http://www.digiexplanations.com/. Also, Lynda.com is available to all Macquarie students.

Please note that this task is expected to be submitted to the Unit Convenor via email. In addition, each team is required to email the Unit Convenor outlining the contribution of individual team members (the format for this will be clarified in class). This component will comprise 50% of your mark for this assignment (group). The presentations will be shown in class and be followed by a public question and answer session (week 12).


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Demonstrated understanding of current progress on climate change policy, particularly in regards to mitigation and adaptation opportunities
  • Ability to compare and contrast different approaches to climate change from perspectives of equity and justice
  • Ability to identify diverse ethical, political, social and economic influences on human responses to climate change
  • Demonstrated understanding of the scalar dimensions of human responses to climate change
  • Ability to conceptualise and promote a research project oriented towards improving climate resilience
  • Ability to work collaboratively and as part of a team on climate related issues

Climate resilience conference

Due: Tue 7 Nov 2017
Weighting: 40%

For this assessment task, you are invited to give a 5-10 minute oral presentation (weighting 20%) and publish a 2,000-word fully-referenced essay (weighting 20%) in the proceedings of a conference workshop entitled 'Pathways towards ethical and just climate-resilient futures'.  

You must submit via email a one-paragraph abstract (max. 250 words) to the Unit Convenor for approval at least 2 weeks prior to the conference. You are encouraged to respond creatively to the conference theme. In your response you should outline a potential research project that could be completed in the second year of your MRes degree. It can be a fictional project or be related to what you actually intend to do. It is important the project has a clear aim and methods and draws upon current research in the field. Some topics you might like to consider are:

 

  • Ethical dimensions of a particular adaptation strategy;
  • Human and non-human climate justice issues;
  • Climate vulnerabilities;
  • Preparing for climate disasters;
  • Building capacities in people and places; 
  • Promising strategies and initiatives from around the world.

Please note that your topic must be different to your mitigation strategies e-presentation topic.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Demonstrated understanding of current progress on climate change policy, particularly in regards to mitigation and adaptation opportunities
  • Ability to compare and contrast different approaches to climate change from perspectives of equity and justice
  • Ability to identify diverse ethical, political, social and economic influences on human responses to climate change
  • Demonstrated understanding of the scalar dimensions of human responses to climate change
  • Ability to conceptualise and promote a research project oriented towards improving climate resilience

Participation

Due: All semester
Weighting: 10%

If we are to address the challenges of climate change it is important that we act as informed and involved citizens. This means participating in climate change debates effectively both face-to-face and online. This final assessment task requires your active participation in class and in the online discussion forum (via iLearn) and is aimed at developing your communication skills, both in person and online via iLearn, enabling you to actively participate in climate change discussions, advocacy and action out in the broader community.  Your contribution to class and the online discussion forum will be assessed over the entire semester. This is not a matter of being the loudest voice in class but rather a matter of engaging insightfully and effectively with the issues being discussed. 

Participation will be assessed across the whole semester in terms of: 

  • Class attendance (5%)
  • Class participation (5%) (including online discussion forum via iLearn)

You are expected to come to class prepared to contribute to class discussion which will take place each week sometime after the lecture. This means that you are expected to have prepared for class as requested by the guest lecturer (this may vary from week to week and will be posted on iLearn via an announcement close to a week in advance) including carefully and critically attending to the set readings.

Based on the set readings, you are expected to prepare two questions that would guide a class discussion following each guest lecture. The two questions have to be submitted to the discussion forum on iLearn prior to class. Each week a number of people will be called upon randomly (on the spot) to co-lead a discussion, making use of the submitted questions prepared by fellow students. Each person will be allocated 5 minutes presentation time. You are expected to co-lead a class discussion at least once over the semester. In addition, you are expected to contribute critically during class discussion and the online discussion forum. You will be assessed according to the quality of your contribution over the whole semester. If for some reason you do not get a chance to say much in class, you will still be able to achieve a good grade through class attendance and participation in the online discussion forum.  

The intention is for the co-leaders to facilitate an impromptu and fluid group discussion based on the set readings by making insightful and critical comments, and posing questions to the class. You may like to consider:  

  • What questions the readings either together or separately raised for you?
  • What you found interesting?
  • What you found helpful and not so helpful?
  • What you think was missing (if anything) and what could have been done better?
  • How did these papers compare to the lecture content and academic literature covered to date i.e. similar or opposing views, aims, methods etc.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Demonstrated understanding of current progress on climate change policy, particularly in regards to mitigation and adaptation opportunities
  • Ability to compare and contrast different approaches to climate change from perspectives of equity and justice
  • Ability to identify diverse ethical, political, social and economic influences on human responses to climate change
  • Ability to conceptualise and promote a research project oriented towards improving climate resilience
  • Ability to work collaboratively and as part of a team on climate related issues

Delivery and Resources

This unit will be taught on Wednesday evenings between 6 and 9pm, and led by climate change experts from across the university. All relevant information to prepare for class will be available on iLearn. Students are expected to undertake Required Readings and come to class prepared (as per iLearn announcements).

The reading list will be announced via iLearn.

Unit Schedule

Week / date Theme Lecturer Lecture Topic
1 - 2 Aug Introduction Maartje Roelofsen The ethics of climate change
2 - 9 Aug Mitigation strategies Andrew McGregor

Mitigating emissions from agriculture and forests

3 - 16 Aug Mitigation strategies Jon Symons From innovation-led mitigation to climate interventions
4 - 23 Aug Law, policy and institutions Lesley Hughes Climate change: Australian attitudes, policies and institutions
5 - 30 Aug Mitigation strategies James Hazelton Financing, accounting for and trading carbon
6 - 6 Sep Training Michael Rampe E-presentation training for assessment 2
7 - 13 Sep Mitigation strategies Sara Fuller Grassroots mitigation strategies: community action and behaviour change
Mid-semester break      
8 - 4 Oct Mitigation strategies Martin Rice Climate change and renewables in Australia
9 - 11 Oct Adaptation Fiona Miller Introducing adaptation: vulnerability, resilience and equity
10 - 18 Oct Adaptation Peter Davies Local government and adaptation planning
11 - 25 Oct Adaptation Richie Howitt Indigenous dimensions of adaptation
12 - 1 Nov Adaptation Kirsty Davies The Warming War
13 - 8 Nov Conclusions Conference Workshop on pathways towards ethical and just climate resilient futures

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

PG - Discipline Knowledge and Skills

Our postgraduates will be able to demonstrate a significantly enhanced depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content knowledge in their chosen fields.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrated understanding of current progress on climate change policy, particularly in regards to mitigation and adaptation opportunities
  • Ability to compare and contrast different approaches to climate change from perspectives of equity and justice
  • Demonstrated understanding of the scalar dimensions of human responses to climate change

Assessment tasks

  • Climate Policy Development
  • Mitigation strategies
  • Climate resilience conference
  • Participation

PG - Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Our postgraduates will be capable of utilising and reflecting on prior knowledge and experience, of applying higher level critical thinking skills, and of integrating and synthesising learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments. A characteristic of this form of thinking is the generation of new, professionally oriented knowledge through personal or group-based critique of practice and theory.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrated understanding of current progress on climate change policy, particularly in regards to mitigation and adaptation opportunities
  • Ability to compare and contrast different approaches to climate change from perspectives of equity and justice
  • Ability to identify diverse ethical, political, social and economic influences on human responses to climate change
  • Demonstrated understanding of the scalar dimensions of human responses to climate change
  • Ability to conceptualise and promote a research project oriented towards improving climate resilience

Assessment tasks

  • Climate Policy Development
  • Mitigation strategies
  • Climate resilience conference
  • Participation

PG - Research and Problem Solving Capability

Our postgraduates will be capable of systematic enquiry; able to use research skills to create new knowledge that can be applied to real world issues, or contribute to a field of study or practice to enhance society. They will be capable of creative questioning, problem finding and problem solving.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrated understanding of current progress on climate change policy, particularly in regards to mitigation and adaptation opportunities
  • Ability to compare and contrast different approaches to climate change from perspectives of equity and justice
  • Ability to identify diverse ethical, political, social and economic influences on human responses to climate change
  • Ability to conceptualise and promote a research project oriented towards improving climate resilience
  • Ability to work collaboratively and as part of a team on climate related issues

Assessment tasks

  • Climate Policy Development
  • Mitigation strategies
  • Climate resilience conference
  • Participation

PG - Effective Communication

Our postgraduates will be able to communicate effectively and convey their views to different social, cultural, and professional audiences. They will be able to use a variety of technologically supported media to communicate with empathy using a range of written, spoken or visual formats.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Ability to conceptualise and promote a research project oriented towards improving climate resilience
  • Ability to work collaboratively and as part of a team on climate related issues

Assessment tasks

  • Mitigation strategies
  • Climate resilience conference
  • Participation

PG - Engaged and Responsible, Active and Ethical Citizens

Our postgraduates will be ethically aware and capable of confident transformative action in relation to their professional responsibilities and the wider community. They will have a sense of connectedness with others and country and have a sense of mutual obligation. They will be able to appreciate the impact of their professional roles for social justice and inclusion related to national and global issues

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrated understanding of current progress on climate change policy, particularly in regards to mitigation and adaptation opportunities
  • Ability to compare and contrast different approaches to climate change from perspectives of equity and justice
  • Ability to identify diverse ethical, political, social and economic influences on human responses to climate change
  • Ability to conceptualise and promote a research project oriented towards improving climate resilience
  • Ability to work collaboratively and as part of a team on climate related issues

Assessment tasks

  • Climate Policy Development
  • Mitigation strategies
  • Climate resilience conference
  • Participation

PG - Capable of Professional and Personal Judgment and Initiative

Our postgraduates will demonstrate a high standard of discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgment. They will have the ability to make informed choices and decisions that reflect both the nature of their professional work and their personal perspectives.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Ability to conceptualise and promote a research project oriented towards improving climate resilience

Assessment tasks

  • Mitigation strategies
  • Climate resilience conference
  • Participation