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ENVS834 – Environmental Research Report

2018 – S1 Evening

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Professor
Vladimir Strezov
Contact via 9850 6959
E7A 5.10
Imogen da Silva
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
(Admission to MEnv or MSc) and 16cp at 800 level
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
ENVS834 Environmental Research Report is the independent research unit in which students conduct research on a specific topic within the subject area of environmental sciences. The identification of the subject is to be negotiated with the unit supervisor prior to commencement of the unit and a workplan signed by the student, supervisor and the Head of the Department. Students will work individually under the supervision of a member of staff and/or a suitably qualified external professional. With ENVS834 students will gain in-depth understanding of the research methods applied to the selected environmental science research subject, conduct research project through evaluation of published data or by conducting original experiments. The students will also present the research outcomes to audience specialised in the field.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

  1. Ability to design an individual research project
  2. Develop understanding in specific experimental and/or analytical methods applicable for environmental science research
  3. Collect experimental data by applying research methodology or gather the data from secondary published sources
  4. Critically evaluate and synthesize the data to achieve the research objectives
  5. Effectively communicate the scientific outcomes both verbally and in writing
  6. Ability to scope a research project within budget allocation

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Review of research methods 30% No Week 5 (28 March 2018)
Presentation of project plan 20% No Week 12&13 (30/05 & 6/06 2018)
Research Report 50% No Week 13 (8 June 2018)

Review of research methods

Due: Week 5 (28 March 2018)
Weighting: 30%

Students should select a topic for the environmental research report. In this assessment at least 3 different research techniques and methods used to conduct the research investigations for the selected topic should be reviewed and compared. A 2,000 word assignment should be written which demonstrates the working principles of the selected methods.

The assessment criteria is:

Assessment criteria

Possible

Description

  • Clearly articulates aims and scope of review
  •  Accurately and succinctly describes objectives and outcomes of review literature

20

Analysis

  • Contribution of reviewed literature
  • Evidence evaluated critically
  •  Strengths and weaknesses clearly identified

50

Presentation

  • Well-planned review with clear structure, sub-headings and logical argument firmly based on the literature cited
  • Well written paper formatted for effective communication with correct grammar and spelling and correct use of professional terminology as appropriate
  •  Literature correctly cited and full bibliographic details provided

30

Penalty: Late Submission (10% per day)

 

Section totals

100


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Ability to design an individual research project
  • Develop understanding in specific experimental and/or analytical methods applicable for environmental science research
  • Critically evaluate and synthesize the data to achieve the research objectives
  • Effectively communicate the scientific outcomes both verbally and in writing

Presentation of project plan

Due: Week 12&13 (30/05 & 6/06 2018)
Weighting: 20%

Individual 10 minute class presentations of the literature review and design of a 1 year original project plan, which will include a timeline and budget. The plan should contain justification of the selected methods and how they will be applied for the project timeline and a project budget of $5,000. The students are expected to participate to the class discussions during all presentation nights.

The assessment criteria is:

Assessment criteria

Possible

Project development

  • Quality of research and project development
  •  Appropriate justification of the budget
  • Justification of the selected research methods

15

Design, visual aids and presentation

  • Structure, logic, effectiveness and originality
  • Clear text and illustrations
  •  Facing audience and presentation with impact

3

Participation to class discussions

2

Total

20


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Ability to design an individual research project
  • Develop understanding in specific experimental and/or analytical methods applicable for environmental science research
  • Collect experimental data by applying research methodology or gather the data from secondary published sources
  • Critically evaluate and synthesize the data to achieve the research objectives
  • Effectively communicate the scientific outcomes both verbally and in writing
  • Ability to scope a research project within budget allocation

Research Report

Due: Week 13 (8 June 2018)
Weighting: 50%

Students should select a research topic of choice, and perform original research or review of relevant state of information in peer-reviewed literature or high level scientific reports. The topic of choice can be based on a case study, evaluation of institutional practice, empirical investigation, or a critical review of the science, policy or practice by different institutions either nationally or globally.

The assessment criteria will be the same as in the Review of research methods assignment.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Ability to design an individual research project
  • Develop understanding in specific experimental and/or analytical methods applicable for environmental science research
  • Collect experimental data by applying research methodology or gather the data from secondary published sources
  • Effectively communicate the scientific outcomes both verbally and in writing

Delivery and Resources

Delivery

Date

Time

Location

Session

28 February

6pm-8pm

EMC G230

Unit introduction

Unit objectives and assessment

Introduction principles to literature review

7 March

8pm

by email

Research topic selection

14-21 March

by appointment

TBC

Consultation

28 March

8pm

iLearn

Assignment on review of research methods due

4-11 April

 

 

Individual research, consultation by email

2-23 May

by appointment

TBC

Consultations

30 May

& 6 June

 

 

Presentations of project plans

8 June

8pm

iLearn

Research report assignment due

Students are expected to allocate 12 hours per week of their workload towards this unit to successfully deliver the assignments.

Students are free to make appointment any time for discussion.

Resources

Students are expected to source original peer-reviewed literature relevant for their topic of choice for the methodological review and research report. The databases used to search literature are:

Macquarie University Library http://multisearch.mq.edu.au/

ISI Web of Knowledge http://isiknowledge.com/

Scopus http://www.scopus.com/home.url

Science Direct http://www.sciencedirect.com/science

Google Scholar https://scholar.google.com.au/

 

Example journals where high impact articles in the discipline of environmental sciences are published:

Environmental Science and Technology

Environmental Health Perspectives

Remote Sensing of Environment

Energy and Environmental Science

Global Environmental Change

Science of the Total Environment

Environmental Pollution

Atmospheric Environment

Journal of Environmental Management

Environment International

Environmental Research Letters

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Undergraduate students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/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/study/getting-started/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 - 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 outcome

  • Effectively communicate the scientific outcomes both verbally and in writing

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

  • Effectively communicate the scientific outcomes both verbally and in writing
  • Ability to scope a research project within budget allocation

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 outcomes

  • Ability to design an individual research project
  • Critically evaluate and synthesize the data to achieve the research objectives
  • Ability to scope a research project within budget allocation

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

  • Ability to design an individual research project
  • Develop understanding in specific experimental and/or analytical methods applicable for environmental science research
  • Collect experimental data by applying research methodology or gather the data from secondary published sources

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

  • Ability to design an individual research project
  • Develop understanding in specific experimental and/or analytical methods applicable for environmental science research
  • Collect experimental data by applying research methodology or gather the data from secondary published sources
  • Critically evaluate and synthesize the data to achieve the research objectives

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

  • Ability to design an individual research project
  • Develop understanding in specific experimental and/or analytical methods applicable for environmental science research
  • Collect experimental data by applying research methodology or gather the data from secondary published sources
  • Critically evaluate and synthesize the data to achieve the research objectives