Students

GEOP8050 – Attitudes to the Environment

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
Jessica McLean
Credit points Credit points
10
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MEnv or MEnvEd or MEngMgt or MEnvMgt or MEnvPlan or MPlan or GCertEnvPlan or MEnvStud or MIntRel or MMarScMgt or MSusDev or GradDipEnv or GradDipSIA or GradCertSIA or GradCertSusDev or GradDipSusDev or MConsBiol or GradDipConsBiol or GradDipIntRel or MDevStud or MSc in (Biodiversity Conservation or Remote Sensing and GIS or Environmental Health) or PGDipSc in Biodiversity Conservation
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This unit explores the ways in which humans think about nature and environment and how these ideas are formed. Given the diversity of environmental challenges that have emerged from contemporary human-nature relations there is an urgent need to explore the role that human attitudes to nature have had in contributing to these crises, and how changes in attitudes may provide some solutions. To explore these issues this unit draws from social constructionism, environmental ethics and political ecology to explore how ideas about nature and environment are created and contested. The first section of the unit looks at contemporary approaches to nature, their history and complexity. The second section explores environmental ethics and the challenges they pose to these dominant understandings of humans and nature. The final section analyses environmental ethics in society-exploring their relevance to environmental politics and our everyday ways of life.

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: Identify the core ethical principles of different eco-philosophical approaches
  • ULO2: Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the importance of engaging with environmental attitudes in addressing environmental issues
  • ULO3: Analyse contemporary environmental issues from a variety of ethical standpoints in order to identify conflicts and solutions.
  • ULO4: Reflect on and develop personal environmental attitudes and specify their relevance to practice
  • ULO5: Demonstrate and communicate ethical solutions to contemporary environmental challenges

General Assessment Information

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. The criteria and standards for each assignment will be made available via iLearn.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Eco-philosophy demonstration 40% No Start in class week 8 and continue until week 12
Critical reflective writing task 40% No Friday 28 May 5pm
Short case study 20% No Friday 19 March 5pm

Eco-philosophy demonstration

Assessment Type 1: Demonstration
Indicative Time on Task 2: 30 hours
Due: Start in class week 8 and continue until week 12
Weighting: 40%

 

Students will develop an activity either in class or online that demonstrates understanding and ability to communicate eco-philosophies by analysing a contemporary environmental issue. The aim is to demonstrate how eco-philosophies can be applied to a group learning context. Students are encouraged to be creative and use unconventional presentation techniques such as debates, role plays, audience interaction or skits. Alongside the demonstration, students will submit a written reflection (500 words).

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Identify the core ethical principles of different eco-philosophical approaches
  • Demonstrate and communicate ethical solutions to contemporary environmental challenges

Critical reflective writing task

Assessment Type 1: Reflective Writing
Indicative Time on Task 2: 35 hours
Due: Friday 28 May 5pm
Weighting: 40%

 

A 2000 word essay drawing out personal reflections on environmental attitudes supported by relevant eco-philosophical literature.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the importance of engaging with environmental attitudes in addressing environmental issues
  • Analyse contemporary environmental issues from a variety of ethical standpoints in order to identify conflicts and solutions.
  • Reflect on and develop personal environmental attitudes and specify their relevance to practice

Short case study

Assessment Type 1: Case study/analysis
Indicative Time on Task 2: 20 hours
Due: Friday 19 March 5pm
Weighting: 20%

 

A 1000 word case study that critically analyses how nature is socially constructed in contemporary society. Case studies should draw on one or more examples from advertising, websites, media, novels, official documents, film, television.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Identify the core ethical principles of different eco-philosophical approaches
  • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the importance of engaging with environmental attitudes in addressing environmental issues

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

The unit will be taught through 13 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 3 hours long and involve a mix of activities including lectures and discussion-based activities (debates, Q&A, role play). Classes are delivered online throughout the semester. 

The total workload for the unit is estimated to be 150 hours.

GEOP8050 will make use of web-based teaching support through iLearn. Students will require access to the internet and regular contact with the unit’s iLearn site where all key components of the unit will be stored, including links to readings (via Leganto), and assessment submission links. To complete assignments students will need access to basic word processing programmes, access to library resources, and internet access to submit assignments via iLearn. Some students may wish to use powerpoint or prezi for online presentations.

Unit Schedule

 

Week Topic Assessments/Teacher

Rethinking nature: Introducing eco-philosophies

1 Introduction Dr Jess McLean
Nature and Indigenous viewpoints Dr Jess McLean
3 Western views of nature Dr Jess McLean
4

Anthropocentric environmentalism

Short case study due 

A/Prof Andrew McGregor

5 Biocentrism and animal rights   A/Prof Andrew McGregor
6 Ecocentrism and deep ecology   A/Prof Andrew McGregor
7 Feminist views of nature Dr Jess McLean
mid-semester break
8 Digital natures

Eco-philosophy demonstrations begin 

Dr Jess McLean

Environmental attitudes in society
9 Assessing environmental attitudes Dr Jess McLean
10 Environmental politics and activism Dr Jess McLean
11 Environmental justice Dr Jess McLean
12 Neoliberal natures

Critical reflective writing task due

Dr Jess McLean

13 Future natures Dr Jess McLean

 

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 timing of the Short Case study assessment due date has been brought forward by one week.

'Digital natures' is now offered in 2021, replacing the week 'More-than-human' week from 2020.