Students

GEOP8085 – Environmental Decision Making

2021 – Session 1, Fully online/virtual

Notice

As part of Phase 3 of our return to campus plan, most units will now run tutorials, seminars and other small group activities on campus, and most will keep an online version available to those students unable to return or those who choose to continue their studies online.

To check the availability of face-to-face and online activities for your unit, please go to timetable viewer. To check detailed information on unit assessments visit your unit's iLearn space or consult your unit convenor.

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor, lecturer
Fiona Miller
Contact via Email
By appointment only
Credit points Credit points
10
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MEnv or MEnvEd or MEnvMgt or MEnvStud or MEnvPlan or MPlan or GradCertEnvPlan or MSusDev or MWldMgt or MPPP or GradDipEnv or GradCertEnv or GradCertSusDev or GradDipSusDev or MConsBiol or GradDipConsBiol or MDevStud or MMarScMgt or MSc in (Biodiversity Conservation or Remote Sensing and GIS)
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This unit engages with sustainable, ethical and justice dimensions of environmental decision making. Through a series of case studies of environmental decision making and planning contexts at local, city-wide, regional and wider scales students gain an understanding of how diverse values, power and knowledge influence environmental decision making and planning. The unit provides students with appropriate knowledge and professional skills to work towards more sustainable, ethical and just environmental decision making through its focus on critical thinking, communication, research and negotiation skills, and appreciation of cultural differences and ethics.

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

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Apply an advanced understanding of theoretical and practical approaches to environmental decision making.
  • ULO2: Identify and critically evaluate how diverse values, power and knowledge influence environmental decision making.
  • ULO3: Critically analyse how environmental decision making can contribute to more sustainable, ethical and just environmental contexts.
  • ULO4: Demonstrate advanced research skills by identifying and evaluating information on factors that influence environmental decision making.
  • ULO5: Communicate clearly and negotiate effectively on environmental decision making.

General Assessment Information

Assignment Submission All students must keep an electronic copy of all assignments (preferably as a PDF) submitted for assessment. All assignments must be submitted via Turnitin. You will be able to access the result of the Turnitin scan and be able to review your assignments in light of this result. Not everything that Turnitin picks up as comparable to other work is plagiarised. Use this process constructively to ensure you are referencing correctly and effectively. Instructions for submitting assignment to Turnitin can be found at: http://mq.edu.au/iLearn/student_info/assignments.htm

Late Penalties and Grading Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – two (2) marks out of 100 will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted more than seven (7) days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline. No late submissions will be accepted for timed assessments – e.g. quizzes, online tests.

Each assignment will be marked and commented upon before it is returned to you. Feedback will include a mark, a grade, extensive in-text comments, overall comments and a detailed rubric. 

Further Guidance on Assessments More detailed instructions, rubrics and marking criteria for all assessments, as well as some samples of assessments, will be available on iLearn.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Case study research essay 40% No Week 6, Thursday 1 April 2021 (midnight)
Reflective journal of change 40% No Week 11, Thursday 20 May 2021 (midnight)
Presentation and poster on environmental decision making 20% No Weeks 12 and 13 (inclass, online)

Case study research essay

Assessment Type 1: Essay
Indicative Time on Task 2: 30 hours
Due: Week 6, Thursday 1 April 2021 (midnight)
Weighting: 40%

A 3000 word research essay of a case study of a particular environmental decision making context. The essay seeks to encourage students to apply critical theory to analyse the sustainable, ethical and justice dimensions of a particular environmental decision making.


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Apply an advanced understanding of theoretical and practical approaches to environmental decision making.
  • Identify and critically evaluate how diverse values, power and knowledge influence environmental decision making.
  • Critically analyse how environmental decision making can contribute to more sustainable, ethical and just environmental contexts.
  • Demonstrate advanced research skills by identifying and evaluating information on factors that influence environmental decision making.
  • Communicate clearly and negotiate effectively on environmental decision making.

Reflective journal of change

Assessment Type 1: Reflective Writing
Indicative Time on Task 2: 31 hours
Due: Week 11, Thursday 20 May 2021 (midnight)
Weighting: 40%

Environmental decision making occurs at many scales, including at the individual scale. Over the course of the unit students are asked to commit to making a change in one aspect of their life that contributes to more sustainable, ethical and just environmental outcomes. Students will regularly contribute to a journal and discuss in class/online their environmental decision making and what personal, political and structural processes enable and constrain their contribution to change.


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Apply an advanced understanding of theoretical and practical approaches to environmental decision making.
  • Identify and critically evaluate how diverse values, power and knowledge influence environmental decision making.
  • Critically analyse how environmental decision making can contribute to more sustainable, ethical and just environmental contexts.
  • Communicate clearly and negotiate effectively on environmental decision making.

Presentation and poster on environmental decision making

Assessment Type 1: Presentation
Indicative Time on Task 2: 11 hours
Due: Weeks 12 and 13 (inclass, online)
Weighting: 20%

Based on readings, plus additional research, students will make a presentation and produce a poster on some aspect of environmental decision making.


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Apply an advanced understanding of theoretical and practical approaches to environmental decision making.
  • Identify and critically evaluate how diverse values, power and knowledge influence environmental decision making.
  • Critically analyse how environmental decision making can contribute to more sustainable, ethical and just environmental contexts.
  • Demonstrate advanced research skills by identifying and evaluating information on factors that influence environmental decision making.
  • Communicate clearly and negotiate effectively on environmental decision making.

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Learning Skills Unit for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

Delivery The unit is structured around weekly themes. Each week students are expected to complete the assigned readings for that theme prior to class, and engage in online discussions, activities and reflections to deepen their learning. The classes each week are approximately 3 hours long and involve a mix of activities including lectures, student-led workshops and discussion-based activities (debates, Q&A, role play). Classes are delivered online throughout the semester. Students are also expected to contribute brief postings online and to constructively engage with others' postings.

Workload Expectation GEOP8085 uses a combination of lectures and tutorial classes with a number of role-play and web-based learning opportunities. It is expected that all students in the unit will both participate and contribute to classes, including completing the required readings and participating in class discussions. Students are expected to frequently access material online and participate in online discussions.

Technology Used and Required GEOP8085 provides all students with significant web-based support using iLearn, Macquarie University’s learning management system. If you need help with iLearn please refer to http://www.mq.edu.au/iLearn/student_info/index.htm or contact the unit convenor as soon as possible. The unit website will be maintained regularly, providing you with copies of lecture PowerPoint slides and digital audio recordings of the lectures via Echo360. The unit's readings are accessed via Leganto.

Unit Schedule

Wk

Date

Lectures

Workshops

Module I – Introduction to environmental decision making for sustainable, just and ethical outcomes

1

26/2

Introduction to the unit –approach, guiding principles and content.

Self introductions, expectations and study skills

2

5/3

Theories and approaches to environmental decision making

Justice, values and knowledge in environmental decision making.

Module II - Decision making for sustainable and just resource use

3

12/3

Extractive industries

Role of assessment

4

19/3

Water justice

Indigenous-led approaches to water and decolonisation

5

26/3

Environmental justice – Pollution, waste and recycling

Exposure and consumption

Module III - Decision making to anticipate and respond to environmental extremes

6

2/4

No class due to Good Friday holiday

 

~ Recess ~

7

23/4

Heat

Heatwave planning – risk and vulnerability assessment

8

30/4

Fire

Preparedness, recovery and reconstruction

Module IV - Decision making to adapt to uncertain futures

9

7/5

Planning for sea level rise

Negotiating planned retreat

10

14/5

Loss and damage

Contested values

Module V Decision making for just transitions

11

21/5

Emissions and energy

Calculating emissions

12

28/5

Mobility and transport

Student presentations

Module VI – Review and Conclusions

13

4/6

Conclusion – Environmental decision making for justice

Student presentations

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

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

To find other policies relating to Teaching and Learning, visit Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au) and use the search tool.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/admin/other-resources/student-conduct

Results

Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) 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 or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@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 help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

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

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@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.

Changes from Previous Offering

The due date of research essay task has been brought forward by one week.

The length of time students undertake the change project for the Reflective Journal of Change assessment task has been shortened.