Understanding Environmental Complexity (10228.2)
|Available teaching periods
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|Faculty Of Science And Technology
|Academic Program Area - Science
|Level 2 - Undergraduate Intermediate Unit
| Band 2 2021 (Commenced After 1 Jan 2021)
Band 3 2021 (Commenced Before 1 Jan 2021)
This unit is co-taught with Understanding Environmental Complexity G, 10229.
Learning outcomesOn successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
1. Understand a socio-ecological systems approach both locally and globally;
2. Analyse the complexity of a socio-ecological system;
3. Apply reflective and critical thinking to scientific, societal and personal perspectives and understand the constraints on addressing 'wicked problems';
4. Understand the diversity of stakeholders relevant to environmental issues and be able to communicate effectively to these diverse groups, with a particular focus on indigenous perspectives of environmental management; and
5. Work effectively as individuals and teams in conducting investigations and writing reports.
Graduate attributes1. UC graduates are professional - communicate effectively
1. UC graduates are professional - employ up-to-date and relevant knowledge and skills
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 - behave ethically and sustainably in their professional and personal lives
2. UC graduates are global citizens - think globally about issues in their profession
2. UC graduates are global citizens - understand issues in their profession from the perspective of other cultures
3. UC graduates are lifelong learners - adapt to complexity, ambiguity and change by being flexible and keen to engage with new ideas
3. UC graduates are lifelong learners - reflect on their own practice, updating and adapting their knowledge and skills for continual professional and academic development
The unit has been developed from two premises. Firstly, environmental management requires interdisciplinary approaches and capacity, the recognition of ecosystems and landscapes as socio-ecological systems, an understanding of basic ecological knowledge and the scientific method, the capacity to explore and understand complex and ‘wicked’ problems, and skills in developing and implementing adaptive management strategies. Secondly, there is growing recognition that environmental science graduates are employed in a wide range of careers, with some key non-discipline specific skills being project management, interpersonal skills, communication, teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving skills. This unit provides an overview of planning, assessment and management approaches relevant to the Australian environment within a framework of problem solving allied with adaptive management to help students explore and think critically about resource condition and environmental management needs in Australia.
Throughout the unit, you will be required to critically evaluate a wide range of environmental information and use the analysis to make appropriate management decisions. Hence you may find some parts of the course challenging but, having successfully completed it, you will have relevant knowledge and experience for a variety of jobs in the environmental management field. The strategic problem solving and adaptive management approach has been found to benefit former graduates in their professional roles. Environmental science graduates are employed in academic positions and non-academic positions of the government, non-profit and private sectors in roles such as conservation and biodiversity management, environmental consultants, policy, legislation or enforcement officers, or on-ground managers.
Prerequisites24cp unspecified credit points
Incompatible unitsEnvironmental Planning and Assessment G, 8639
Equivalent unitsEnvironmental Planning and Assessment, 6918
Assumed knowledgeGeneral knowledge of environmental issues
|Teaching start date
The following are recommended texts for this Unit:
Molles, M. & Borrell, B. (2016) Environment - Science, Issues, Solutions. Freeman and Co., New York
Braysher, Mike (2017) Managing Australia's Pest Animals. A Guide to Strategic Planning and Effective Management. CSIRO Publishing, Clayton South, Australia
These books are available on short loan from the library or as an e-book, and can be purchased online. They are recommended texts and will provide background reading, but will not be directly referenced in class.
Other readings and material relevant to the lectures and tutorials will be made available through the unit Canvas site.
In addition, the following book is recommended reading:
Stewart, J. & Jones, G. (2003) Renegotiating the Environment. Federation Press, Annandale
Submission of assessment items
Extensions & Late submissions
Submissions will be via an online dropbox in Canvas EXCEPT the poster conference which will be via a face to face conference.
Special assessment requirements
To pass the unit, students must:
- complete all assessment items, and
- have an aggregate mark of 50% or more
Students have a responsibility to uphold University standards on ethical scholarship. Good scholarship involves building on the work of others and use of others' work must be acknowledged with proper attribution made. Cheating, plagiarism, and falsification of data are dishonest practices that contravene academic values. Refer to the University's Student Charter for more information.
To enhance understanding of academic integrity, all students are expected to complete the Academic Integrity Module (AIM) at least once during their course of study. You can access this module within UCLearn (Canvas) through the 'Academic Integrity and Avoiding Plagiarism' link in the Study Help site.
Use of Text-Matching Software
The University of Canberra uses text-matching software to help students and staff reduce plagiarism and improve understanding of academic integrity. The software matches submitted text in student assignments against material from various sources: the internet, published books and journals, and previously submitted student texts.
The contact hours for this unit consist of 24 hours of lectures, 12 hours of practicals. The balance of the workload should be allocated across assessments and the conference.
Inclusion and engagement
If you have any concerns please contact Ross as early in the semester as possible.
Attendance at all scheduled classes is expected. Your participation in class activities will enhance your understanding of the unit content and therefore the quality of your assessment responses. Lack of participation may result in your inability to satisfactorily pass assessment items.
Required IT skills
Students will need basic computer skills in generic programs including web browsers, email and Microsoft Office software. The written reports must be in word processor format, readable by MS Word. All assessment items (apart from the poster) are to be uploaded to the unit CANVAS site.
This unit involves online meetings in real time using the Virtual Room in your UCLearn teaching site. The Virtual Room allows you to communicate in real time with your lecturer and other students. To participate verbally, rather than just typing, you will need a microphone. For best audio quality we recommend a microphone and speaker headset. For more information and to test your computer, go to the Virtual Room in your UCLearn site and 'Join Course Room'. This will trigger a tutorial to help familiarise you with the functionality of the virtual room.
Students will need to meet the costs of printing a scientific poster in A0 format. This cost will not exceed $80 split between a pair of students.
Work placement, internships or practicums
Caveat regarding delivery
Unforeseen circumstances beyond the unit convener's control could result in changes to the mode of delivery of lectures, tutorials, field trips and practicals (where applicable) and assessments. Students will be advised if this occurs and appropriate alternatives will be arranged.