Principles of Ecology (6920.4)
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|0.125||3||Faculty Of Education, Science, Technology & Maths|
|Discipline||Study level||HECS Bands|
|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)
Learning outcomes1. a foundation understanding of ecological theory at the organism, population and community levels.
2. basic skills for ecological investigation, including the identification of organisms, collection of data and scientific report writing.
3. a familiarity with the patterns of biological diversity and processes generating them in parts of Australia.
4. well-developed scientific thinking and writing skills.
Graduate attributes1. UC graduates are professional - communicate effectively
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 - display initiative and drive, and use their organisation skills to plan and manage their workload
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
1. UC graduates are professional - employ up-to-date and relevant knowledge and skills
1. UC graduates are professional - work collaboratively as part of a team, negotiate, and resolve conflict
3. UC graduates are lifelong learners - reflect on their own practice, updating and adapting their knowledge and skills for continual professional and academic development
By the end of their course, graduates will have developed skills and attributes in:
- Communication. The ability to present knowledge, ideas and opinions effectively and communicate within and across professional and cultural boundaries – through development of both oral and written communication skills; presentation of reasoned argument.
- Analysis and Inquiry. The ability to gather information, and to analyse and evaluate information and situations in a systematic, creative and insightful way – through scientific data collection and analysis using modern computer assisted approaches.
- Problem solving. The ability to apply problem-solving processes in novel situations; to identify and analyse problems, and then formulate and implement solutions.
- Working independently and with others. The ability to plan their own work, be self-directed; and use interpersonal skills and attitudes to work collaboratively – team work is important in this unit and the major project in this unit is undertaken through work group.
- Professionalism and social responsibility. The capacity and intention to use professional knowledge and skills ethically and responsibly for the benefit of others and the environment – through an improving ability to develop new ideas, resourcefulness and leadership, to act responsibly and ethically.
PrerequisitesConcepts in Biology and Plants and Animals.
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Krebs, C.J. (2009). Ecology: The Experimental Analysis of Distribution and Abundance. (6th Ed.) Addison-Wesley, New York.
Engleberg, I.N. and Wynn, D.R. (2010). Working In Groups: Communication Principles and Strategies. 5th Edn. Allyn & Bacon, Boston.
Attiwill, P. and Wilson, B. (eds.) (2003). Ecology: An Australian Perspective. Oxford, South Melbourne.
Begon, M., Townsend, C. and Harper, J. (2006). Ecology: From Individuals to Ecosystems. 4th Edn. Blackwell, Oxford, UK.
Gurevitch, J., Scheiner, S.M. and Fox, G.A. (2006). The Ecology of Plants. 2nd Edn. Sinauer Associates Inc., Massachusetts, US.
Other readings will be available on the Unit Moodle website and eReserve.
Link to search page for Unit Readings (print materials)
Link to search page for eReserve (electronic materials)
Submission of assessment items
Extensions & Late submissions
Note – group work
Because this unit contains a considerable proportion of group work, students are required to complete the record of work – group member contribution form for each group assessment. These forms can be used to adjust the marks of individual group members up or down based on the contribution made by the group member. This will be explained in more detail in class when assignments are given out and in the assignment sheets.
The unit is structured to enable students to demonstrate their full range of skills in depth of understanding and breadth of knowledge of the subject matter covered during the unit. Grades take into account the degree to which students demonstrate their ability to (i) think conceptually, (ii) analyse and solve problems, and (iii) investigate, interpret and create linkages across the various topics covered in the Unit. Students wishing to attain a high grade (e.g. D or HD) need to demonstrate broader and more in-depth understanding of the subject matter than that presented in class (i.e. in lectures). Students are also expected to draw on their prior academic knowledge and experiences when in preparing their assignments for this unit and the final exam.
Further information about marking criteria (including marking rubrics) will be provided on the Unit's Moodle website. Feedback on all assessment items will also be provided in a timely and constructive manner.
Students are expected to keep a copy of their assignment until the grades have been finalised.
Extensions must be applied for before te due date:
Students can apply for an extension to the due date for submission of an assessment item on the grounds of illness or other unavoidable and verifiable personal circumstances. Documentary evidence will be required before for an extension can be granted. It should be noted that such documentation will be considered but will not guarantee that the application will be successful. The Unit Convenor will decide whether to grant an extension and the length of the extension. Requests for extensions must be submitted prior to the due date of the assessment item.
Responsibility for understanding
If there is any doubt about the requirements of any particular assignments or assessment procedure, the onus for clarifying the issue rests with the student who should contact the Unit Convenor or tutor. It is the responsibility of students to ensure that they are correctly enrolled in the unit and that the Unit Convenor or tutor and Student Administration have their correct contact details.
Provisions will be made for students who are unable to sit the end of semester examination and produce appropriate medical certificates or other documentation. In the event a student misses the end of semester examination due to illness or other exceptional circumstances, the procedures outlined on MyUC must be followed (including submitting deferred application form within 3 days of scheduled exam to the Examinations Office).
Special assessment requirements
To pass the Unit students must have an aggregate mark of 50% or more and pass the final theory exam.
Student's marks for group assignments may be changed (up or down) based on their contribution to the group assignment (see above).
Supplementary assessment will usually only be offered to students who have failed a single unit in their final semester with a final mark between 45-49%. (The unit must be required for course completion).
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.
Inclusion and engagement
It should be noted that this Unit contains a high level of field-work including a 4-day field class in a remote location. In addition, this field work component covers a wide range of ecological sampling methods and the identification of plant and animal species in the field. As the field class involves 3 nights away, you must let Dr Paul Downey (Unit Convener) know of any dietary restrictions/requirements or any other issues which may affect your ability to undertake field work, before the end of Week 5.
Students are expected to participate in all lectures and practical/laboratory classes in this unit. Lectures and practical classes are designed to provide the information needed to pass the Unit. The 4-day field class/trip is mandatory. If you have a concern about your participation in the field class/trip, for example, that relates to a health problem or disability or extenuating personal circumstances, please speak to the Unit Convenor Dr Paul Downey as soon as possible, preferably before the end of Week 5.
Required IT skills
Knowledge of Word, PowerPoint and Excel software programs is required.
Students are expected to purchase the textbook by Krebs (2009) (available from the UC Co-op Bookshop). This textbook will also be used in later Ecology Units.
Students will need to pay the University Cashier (via an on-line link provided) for field class accommodation (shared cabins) prior to departing for the field class (i.e. before Friday of Week 7 –1st April 2014). The estimated cost is $40-50.00 per night for three nights (total estimated cost is $120-$150). Please note these costs are approximate values. Students will need to self-cater during the field class. Further information and final costs of accommodation will be provided in class during Week 6.
Work placement, internships or practicums
Learning in this unit will be integrally linked to experiences in professional contexts.
In all cases of absence, sickness or personal problems it is the student's responsibility to ensure that the Unit Convenor is informed. The minimum participation requirement must be met in order to pass the unit (regardless of supporting documentation).