Environmental Forensic Science (8248.2)
|Available teaching periods
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|Faculty Of Education, Science, Technology & Maths
|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 outcomes1. Express an opinion in the field of environmental forensic science, in the form of a written case report, with confidence and clarity. Environmental forensic scientists are often called to give evidence in court.
2. Collate, analyse, manipulate, evaluate, interpret and present information and numerical data from environmental forensic case studies. As an environmental forensic scientist, you will be called upon to write reports that could be used as court records or form the basis for prosecution.
3. Select and use appropriate information and communication technology to retrieve, manipulate and present data from environmental forensic case studies. This will include the use of spreadsheets and digital outputs from analytical instruments.
4. Implement and evaluate strategies for the resolution of problems in environmental forensic science. You will need to select appropriate analytical techniques to examine evidence.
5. Work with others as part of a group. You will need to allocate tasks among group members to complete a case report for an environmental forensic case study.
6. Have the ability to cope with uncertainty. Expert opinion in a court room is always challenged and you will need to be able to communicate uncertainty in your findings.
7. 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-ofcustody requirements for handling of exhibits.
8. Accept service to the community as the primary purpose for a professional life in environmental forensic science. Your role as an environmental forensic scientist is ultimately to protect the natural environment for the benefit of the community.
9. Have an understanding of how to apply your knowledge and abilities to many different contexts and fields. The skills of an environmental forensic scientist are transferrable to many problems of environmental protection.
10. Be confident in yourself and your own skills and knowledge. You may need to be able to provide evidence in court and convince a jury of your competence.
Graduate attributes1. UC graduates are professional - employ up-to-date and relevant knowledge and skills
1. 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 - work collaboratively as part of a team, negotiate, and resolve conflict
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 - take pride in their professional and personal integrity
2. UC graduates are global citizens - think globally about issues in their profession
2. UC graduates are global citizens - adopt an informed and balanced approach across professional and international boundaries
2. UC graduates are global citizens - make creative use of technology in their learning and professional lives
2. UC graduates are global citizens - behave ethically and sustainably in their professional and personal lives
3. UC graduates are lifelong learners - reflect on their own practice, updating and adapting their knowledge and skills for continual professional and academic development
3. UC graduates are lifelong learners - evaluate and adopt new technology
|Teaching start date
None - Recommended texts may be found on the Moodle site for this Unit. They are available from the University of Canberra Library as electronic resources and some are available as hard copies on short (7 day) loan. There are also some useful journal articles available on eReserve.
Submission of assessment items
Extensions & Late submissions
Late submission of assignments
Late submission of assignments without an approved extension will result in the assignment not being marked and zero being recorded for that particular assignment. In extenuating circumstances a late submission may be considered upon the production of supporting documentation and at the discretion of the unit convener.
Extensions: Extensions must be applied for before the due date
Students can apply for an extension to the submission due date for an 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
The Academic Integrity Module (AIM) must be completed in order to pass this unit. To
access the AIM site, click on the link to the Academic Integrity Module (AIM) on your
personal Moodle site. Work through the module and tackle the self-test questions as you go.
Then, go to the APA quiz. You need to reach a score of at least 17/20 in order to pass the AIM
module. This score does not contribute to the final grade for this unit.
You will not be permitted to perform laboratory work until you have completed a laboratory
safety induction. In the laboratory, it is essential that you be alert to the potential danger of
chemicals to which you may be sensitive. For example, if you should experience symptoms
such as dizziness, headaches, a dry or sore throat, stinging or burning sensation in the eyes,
fatigue or loss of concentration, you must inform a staff member and leave the laboratory
immediately (you may need to go to the University Health Centre if symptoms persist).
An aggregated mark of 50 % is required to pass the unit.
The unit convener reserves the right to question students orally on any of their submitted
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 workload for this Unit consists of 5 contact hours (2 hour lecture plus 3 hour lab) per
week over 12 weeks for a total of 60 contact hours. The remaining 90 hours should be
apportioned according to the weighting for each assessment item. For example, the wiki, case
files and court reports are all worth 20 % of the final assessment and therefore should each
account for 18 hours outside of contact hours.
Your participation in both lectures and laboratory practicals 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.
All aspects of lectures and laboratory work are assessable. No exemptions, special
consideration or revision of lecture material will be granted for a student who does not attend a lecture or laboratory class without a medical certificate or statutory declaration outlining
sufficient reason for non-attendance. Acceptance of such a reason is at the discretion of the
Laboratory work will be performed in groups and it is the responsibility of group members to
ensure that laboratory work is shared. This is particularly relevant to Learning Outcome 5.
Required IT skills
Basic word processing and internet skills are assumed. Some basic knowledge of spreadsheets is required (eg. Microsoft Excel).
A laboratory coat, safety glasses and USB digital data storage device is required for all
laboratory work. These can be purchased from the UC campus shop.
Work placement, internships or practicums
Learning in this unit will be integrally linked to experiences in professional contexts.
Foundation of Unit
This unit involves research-led education and/or work-integrated learning. There are active
researchers delivering this unit who are able to engage students in deep and active learning
and transmit to students their passion for the research they are carrying out.
Provision of information to the group
Notifications through the Moodle Announcements Forum or the Moodle 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 Moodle website (Moodle forum messages are also emailed to student email addresses only). Students should ensure they check their student email regularly. The Moodle 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).