Environmental and Forensic Geochemistry (10002.2)
|Available teaching periods||Delivery mode||Location|
|View teaching periods|
|0.125||3||Faculty Of Science And Technology|
|Discipline||Study level||HECS Bands|
|Academic Program Area - Science||Level 3 - Undergraduate Advanced Unit|| Band 2 2021 (Commenced After 1 Jan 2021)
Band 3 2021 (Commenced Before 1 Jan 2021)
Learning outcomesOn successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
1. Express an extended knowledge of geochemistry and its practical application in resource exploration, environmental assessment and monitoring and forensic applications (graduates need to understand complex natural systems);
2. Demonstrate knowledge of current sampling and analytical techniques for geochemical exploration, forensic environmental casework and pollution monitoring and rehabilitation (graduates need to use up to date methods);
3. Demonstrate practical skills in filed sampling, sample preparation and analysis of appropriate sample media (graduates need to be hands on);
4. Apply skills in comprehensive use and assessment of spatial geochemical data, including quality assessment and quality control (graduates often work with large data sets and maps and does need to be confident statisticians and GIS users);
5. Express an opinion in the field of environmental forensic science, in the form of a written case report, with confidence and clarity (graduates are often called to give evidence in court);
6. Work with others as part of a group (students will need to allocate tasks among group members to complete a case report for the environmental forensic case study);
7. Demonstrate the ability to cope with uncertainty (an expert opinion in a courtroom is always challenged and you will need to be able to communicate uncertainty in your findings);
8. Act responsibly, ethically and with integrity in the context of environmental forensic science (court room evidence must be as unbiased as possible with rigorous chain-of custody requirements for handling of exhibits); and
9. Demonstrate confidence in themselves and their own skills and knowledge (graduates may need to be able to provide evidence in court and convince a jury of their competence).
Graduate attributes1. UC graduates are professional - communicate effectively
1. UC graduates are professional - display initiative and drive, and use their organisation skills to plan and manage their workload
1. UC graduates are professional - employ up-to-date and relevant knowledge and skills
1. UC graduates are professional - take pride in their professional and personal integrity
1. UC graduates are professional - use creativity, critical thinking, analysis and research skills to solve theoretical and real-world problems
1. UC graduates are professional - work collaboratively as part of a team, negotiate, and resolve conflict
2. UC graduates are global citizens - adopt an informed and balanced approach across professional and international boundaries
2. UC graduates are global citizens - behave ethically and sustainably in their professional and personal lives
2. UC graduates are global citizens - communicate effectively in diverse cultural and social settings
The unit is based on a Problem Based Learning philosophy. This implies that students get ample opportunity to develop many of the graduate attributues mentioned above, especially teamwork, effective communication, organizational skills, critical thinking, adaptation to complexity and most importantly display initiative and time management to complete the casework on time.
Prerequisites8043 Analytical Chemistry.
- 8248 Environmental Forensic Science AND 8100 Applied Geochemistry.
Equivalent units8248 Environmental Forensic Science AND 8100 Applied Geochemistry.
Assumed knowledgeBasic statistics.
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UC online books that are relevant for the unit are:
- Elements of Geochemistry, Geochemical Exploration and Medical Geology, by K. R. Randive, Copy on unit Canvas site under literature.
- An introduction to forensic geoscience by Elisa Bergslien. Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.
- Introduction to environmental forensics 2nd (free via UC Sciencedirect) or 3rd Edition / edited by Brian L. Murphy, Robert D. Morrison. Academic Press
- Introduction to data analysis with R for forensic scientists by James Curran. CRC Press.
- Applied Spatial Data Analysis with R. by Bivand et al, Springer 2013
- Analyzing compositional data with R. by Van Den Boogaart, K. Gerald. Springer 2013
- Applied Geochemistry: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/08832927
- Journal of Geochemical Exploration: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03756742
- Science of the Total Environment: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00489697
- Forensic Chemistry http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/24681709
- Forensic Science International http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03790738
- Science and Justice http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/13550306
- Journal of Forensic Sciences http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1556-4029
- Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tajf20
Many other reading materials will be on the unit's UCLearn site either as files or Internet links.
Submission of assessment items
Extensions & Late submissions
All assessment items must be uploaded to Canvas except for the Case File and/or Laboratory notebook.
Students will be asked to confirm the following online declaration at the point of submission.
I certify that:
- the attached assignment is my own work and no part of this work has been written for me by any other person except where such collaboration has been authorised by the lecturer/s concerned;
- material drawn from other sources has been fully acknowledged as to author/creator, source and other bibliographic details according to unit-specific requirements for referencing; and
- no part of this work has been submitted for assessment in any other unit in this or another Faculty except where authorised by the lecturer/s concerned.
NOTE: The first page of each assessment submission should include the following information:
- Student Name:
- Student ID:
- Assessment Name:
- Date of Submission:
- Word Count:
- Page count:
- Each page shoud have a page number
- Any individual assigment file submitted should have a student ID and last name inthe filename: "Topic1_UXXXXXX.pdf"
- Any group assigment submission should have the Team number included in the file name: "Team1_draft_introductionandmethods.pdf"
- Do not submit items for example as "Finalreport.pdf" or "assignment.pdf". Files named in this manner will not be assesed.
Extensions: Extensions must be applied for before the due date
Students can apply for an extension to the submission due date only for an individual assessment item on the grounds of illness or other unavoidable and verifiable personal circumstances. Documentary evidence will be expected for an extension to be granted.
It should be noted that such documentation will be considered but will not guarantee that the application will be successful. The Unit Convener will decide whether to grant an extension and the length of the extension.
Responsibility for understanding
If there is any doubt with regard to the requirements of any particular assignments or assessment procedure, the onus for clarifying the issue rests with the student who should contact the unit Convener or tutor. Further, it is the responsibility of students to ensure that they are correctly enrolled in the unit and that the tutor and Student Administration have their correct contact details.
Special assessment requirements
In order to obtain a pass grade or better, for this unit you must:
• attempt all assessment items; and
• achieve 49.50% average or higher for the individual assignments (Mid Semester Test and research topic essays); and
• achieve 49.50% average or higher as an individual for the group assignments (report drafts, final report and presentation).
If you meet the conditions for a pass, your grade will be awarded as follows:
• HD 84.50 – 100%
• DI 74.50 – 84.49%
• CR 64.50 – 74.49%
• P 49.50 – 64.49%
• non-attempted assessment items will receive a mark of 0%, and will result in failure of the unit (as all assessments must be attempted)
• non-attempted research topic assays covered by a medical certificate will be omitted in the calculation of the average and total mark.
• See also section 6c for non-attendance penalty marks and participation bonus marks.
Supplementary assessment will only be offered to students who have failed a single unit in their final semester with a final mark between 45-49% and the unit is required for course completion. Refer to the UC Supplementary Assessment Policy.
The total workload for this unit is 150 hours. The contact time for this unit consists of a 2-hour tutorial each week and a 3.5-hour practical OR a 2-hour tutorial lecture and a 45 min tutor group session on alternate weeks. Thus the total formal contact time equates to 44 hours. The tutor group participation will require at least 5 hours per week of self-study (30 hours in total). The remaining hours should be apportioned according to the weighting for each assessment item. For example, the total Expert Witness Report with drafts is worth 40% (5% + 5% + 30% ) of the final assessment and therefore it should be expected to account for at least 40 hours outside of direct contact hours. As all assessment items are related or overlap in content there will be some efficiency in time use but to achieve top marks for this unit students should plan to need the full 150 hours of commitment, as the unit is designed with those 150 hours of commitment in mind (not less!).
Note that extra laboratory time might be needed to complete the casework outside of the normal contact hours due to equipment availability and this can be negotiated with the convener.
Where possible the lecturers will endeavour to record relevant parts of the tutorials when suitable and possible for revision purposes. Students should not expect that everything is recorded and it is recommended to arrange a notetaker if expected to be absent for medical reasons or equivalent.
Inclusion and engagement
Due to the nature of group submissions no submission extensions will be given for any group submissions.
Penalty marks for non-attendance
As the tutorials, team meetings and laboratories are compulsory the following rules for absence and late arrival without documentation will applied:
- -5%: for absence or late arrival for 2 or more tutorials and additional -5% for each subsequent absence or late arrival,
- -5%: for absence or late arrival for 1 team meeting and failing the unit if absent or late for 2 or more team meetings,
- -5%: for absence or late arrival for 1 lab, additional -10% for a subsequent absence or late arrival and failing the unit if absent or late for 3 or more labs.
Late arrival is defined as not being present at the start of an activity, e.g. 8:30am Tuesday morning for Tutorial.
For absence with medical certificate or equivalent the following rules will be applied:
- Student to withdraw from the unit if absent for 3 or more laboratories, or else fail the unit.
- Student to withdraw from the unit if absent for 3 or more supervised team meetings, or else fail the unit
Bonus marks for leadership and peer support:
To promote leadership and peer support the following "Prizes" will be available at the sole discretion of the convener:
• Up to +5%: "Conveners Prize": for a student that provides an extraordinary contribution to management of sampling, sample prep, data collection and alike.
• Up to +5%: "Best Mate Prize": for a student that provides an extraordinary contribution to helping struggling class mates academically.
Required IT skills
Solid word processing, spreadsheet, referencing and internet skills are assumed. Some experience with the "R" statistical programming environment is assumed. Students that have no experience with "R" are expected to teach themselves "R" using existing online material before the unit. Please contact the Convener for advice.
A laboratory coat is required for all laboratory work. Laboratory coats can be obtained from the UC Union Shop (located on campus in the Hub) and from stores such as Bunnings or Workin' Gear (Fyshwick).
It is expected that students have, or have access to, their own laptop or computer.
Work placement, internships or practicums
Simulations and Virtual WIL
Notifications through the Canvas Announcements Forum or the UCLearn Discussion Forums are deemed to be made to the whole class. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that they check for announcements on the Unit's UCLearn website (UCLearn forum messages are also emailed to student email addresses only). Students should ensure they check their student email regularly. The Canvas discussion forums will be checked by staff regularly.
Use of student email account
The University Email policy states that "students wishing to contact the University via email regarding administrative or academic matters need to send the email from the University account for identity verification purposes". Therefore all unit enquiries should be emailed using a student university email account. Students should contact email@example.com if they have any issues accessing their university email account.
In all cases of absence, sickness or personal problems it is the student's responsibility to ensure that the unit Convener is informed. The minimum participation requirement must be met in order to pass the unit (regardless of supporting documentation).