- Class Number 7658
- Term Code 2960
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Dr Matthew Brookhouse
- Dr Matthew Brookhouse
- Alexander Van Der Meer Simo
- Helen King
- Nadir Loonat
- Rachael Lowe
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 22/07/2019
- Class End Date 25/10/2019
- Census Date 31/08/2019
- Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
- Annisa Satyanti
- Eve Cooper
- Louise Blessington
- Shun Deng Fam
Research plays an important role in everyone's life. In the broadest sense we all enjoy the benefits of outcomes from medical and technological research. In environment and sustainability fields, research allows us to identify the sensitivity in climate, human and natural biological systems to external factors; respond to processes that threaten biodiversity and develop management strategies aimed at protecting and restoring ecological communities. Achieving these research outcomes relies upon establishing testable research questions, applying appropriate data collection and analysis methods, critically assessing results as well as effectively communicating the observations.
ENVS1003 uses a problem-focussed approach to introduce fundamental research concepts by exploring how researchers describe and quantify vegetation communities, animal populations as well as human attitudes and behaviour. You can expect to develop skills in ecological measurement and sampling as well as in designing and conducting social research projects. You will also develop analytical skills, including data exploration, as well as effective communication and analysis techniques common to all sciences. The course promotes learning through a combination of lectures as well as field- and computer-based practical exercises. During field-based exercises you will gain first-hand experience in collecting ecological data. We also place great importance upon understanding the role of equity, integrity and ethics plays in professional practice and how these principles intersect with research.
Honours Pathway Option
Subject to the approval of the course convenor, HPO students will be required to demonstrate greater depth in the philosophy and practice of measurement and analysis in the environmental and/or social sciences. This understanding will be facilitated in a small research project conducted under direct supervision of the convenor. HPO students can expect to attend one additional one-hour tutorial session each fortnight, and submit a written report or oral presentation focusing on comparative field-based techniques (10% of overall assessment).
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- understand and interpret quantitative research results reported within scientific literature
- understand the principles of sampling techniques in the environmental and social sciences
- explore and summarise data to identify effects and trends
- demonstrate a capacity to communicate research results effectively to the scientific and non-technical audiences
This course is fundamentally research-oriented. That is, learning is focussed upon research processes. A key to the delivery of this content is the course’s research-led teaching structure. To activate learning of research processes, the course focusses upon current research findings that reflect research within the Fenner School and Research School of Biology. Content is delivered by researchers within the disciplinary fields covered and current research activities and their results form a basis of guest- and convener-delivered lectures. The course is also fundamentally research based. Learning is founded upon inquiry-based learning and encouraging students to act as researchers. To achieve this, current research projects being undertaken by the convener form part of learning activities and students contribute to collection of genuine research data as well as being given the opportunity to participate in research authorship.
Field trips to parts of the Canberra Nature Park, particularly Black Mountain Nature Reserve, will occur during scheduled practical times. Mandatory frog observations will also be conducted during after-hours sessions in Week 9.
Additional Course Costs
No additional costs.
Examination Material or equipment
An undergraduate examination of entire course content emphasising understanding principles and interpreting results will be held during the University’s examination period. In addition to short answer and paragraph based questions, participants are required to reflect upon results of analyses conducted during the last week of teaching. Non-programmable calculators are permitted. Statistical tables will be provided.
No special resources are required.
Learning in this course is supported by a set of recommended reading. From a statistics perspective, reference will be made to sections of Statistics in a Nutshell and Experimental Design and Data Analysis for Biologists. Field survey techniques are supported by sections of Australian Soil and Land Survey, Ecological Census Techniques and Handbook of Biodiversity Methods as well as online sources. I will also draw upon texts on authoring scientific authorship throughout the course. All referenced texts are accessible via the course Wattle site.
David Spiegelhalter's The Art of Statistics is a highly accessible recommended reading for this course.
This course also draws upon an array of research literature (journal articles) and online media. Links to these resources are listed on the course Wattle site and an associated independent Google+ site.
The course makes use of Microsoft Excel and JMP (SAS) for data analysis and Statistics-focussed learning. JMP has an excellent user interface and reports statistics in a comprehensive and comprehensible fashion. Course participants will receive direct instruction for both programs. JMP is available on all machines in the ANU's Info Commons machines (Mac and Windows), including those within the University's Colleges. Many on-campus Info Commons rooms are open 24 hours. Home access to a current version of JMP can be gained by either downloading a free 30-day trial or purchasing a six-month or twelve-month licence.
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- Written comments, marked rubrics and verbal discussion on assignments;
- Verbal feedback to the whole class on field exercises, data outcomes, analysis tasks, quiz answers exercises and on assignments;
- General online feedback on quizzes
- Additional, individual feedback on request.
ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.
Honours-Pathway and Advanced-Studies (HP/AS) activities, comprising active research opportunities conducted under direct supervision of the course convener, complement the content delivered in this course. Students wishing to participate in HP/AS activities must express their interest within the first two weeks of the semester.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Lectures Introduction: nature of research and research skills; Statistics - moving beyond numbers; course outline - what to expect. Vegetation description and survey: keys issues and attributes; linking individuals, ecosystems and landscapes. Practical None scheduled. Tutorial None scheduled.|
|2||Lectures Survey methods: plots, points and transects; introduction to survey data; considerations in selecting a method. Fauna survey: detectability; direct observation and trapping; indirect survey techniques and limitations; animal welfare. Practical Vegetation composition I: species and structure (Black Mountain). Tutorial Introduction to ENVS1003: statistics and statistics anxiety; reading academic papers.|
|3||Lectures Data: introduction to data; basic summary; error; distributions; graphics (including introduction to JMP). Sampling and estimation: populations and sampling bias; point and interval estimates; central limits theorem. Practical Vegetation composition II: canopy cover (Black Mountain). Tutorial Research authorship: conceptual/theoretical frameworks; identifying research questions and hypotheses.||Quiz Wattle-based quiz reflecting Week 1-3 lecture and practical content as well as recommended reading during.|
|4||Lectures Confidence intervals: z and t distributions and tables; understanding standard error (SE); n and a; calculation. Experimental design: controlling variability and applying treatments; replication and scale; confounding non-treatment effects; RCTs; outline of Shinrin-yoku assessment task. Practical Summarising and displaying vegetation data I (computer labs). Tutorial Research authorship: reviewing literature; referencing.|
|5||Lectures Hypothesis testing: the null hypothesis; t-critical vs t-calculated; the value of p; two- and one-tailed tests. Surveying people: designing surveys and questions; controlling bias. Practical Summarising and displaying vegetation data I (computer labs). Tutorial Developing research questions and treatments (Shinrin yoku).||Quiz Wattle-based quiz reflecting Week 3-5 lecture and practical content as well as recommended reading during|
|6||Lectures Ethics in social surveys. Indigenous engagement in research. Practical Kangaroo pellet counting. Tutorial Designing a treatment and survey I: concepts.||Written assessment research-focussed introduction to study of vegetation classification in Black Mountain Nature Reserve.|
|7||Lectures Two-sample tests I: type I and II error, unequal variance; practice example. Two-sample tests II: equal variance; dependence; practice example. Practical Design and management of field experiments (Sparrow Hill). Tutorial Designing a treatment and survey II: presentation.||Presentation outline and critique of survey (Shinrin yoku)|
|8||Lectures Hypothesis testing in practice. Logical fallacies and cognitive bias in research. Practical Hypothesis testing in practice I: kangaroo estimation (computer lab). Tutorial Statistics support session - Q&A.||Research plan Shinrin-yoku randomised controlled trial.|
|9||Lectures ?2: observations vs expectations; contingency analyses. ANOVA: variance components; f tables and tests. Practical Hypothesis testing in practice II: hypothesis testing (computer lab). Tutorial Research authorship: presenting results and structuring a discussion.|
|10||Lectures Linear relations I: r and ?; regression. Linear relations II: data transformation; parameter estimation; assumptions; residuals. Practical Frog observation (holiday-affected scheduling; 6-10pm). Tutorial Effects testing (ANOVA).|
|11||Lectures The limits of null-hypothesis significance testing. Research ethics: equity; modern academic challenges; competing objectives. Practical Testing for effects within varying environments I: river flow/cloud seeding (computer lab). Tutorial Linking ANOVA and regression.||Written assessment academic paper focussed on study of vegetation classification in Black Mountain Nature Reserve.|
|12||Lectures Social and environmental research case study I: understanding livelihoods. Social and environmental research case study II: tree death in the Australian Alps. Practical Testing for effects within varying environments II: kangaroo culling (computer lab). Tutorial Exam strategies and wrap up.||HPO/AS reflection/report|
Please register via course Wattle site.
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Online quiz||5 %||11/08/2019||12/08/2019||1,2|
|Online quiz||5 %||25/08/2019||26/08/2019||1,2,3|
|Vegetation report (Part I): Introduction||15 %||01/09/2019||16/09/2019||2,4|
|Shinrin-yoku survey design||10 %||20/09/2019||23/09/2019||2,4|
|Shinrin-yoku research plan||15 %||29/09/2019||13/10/2019||2,3,4|
|Online quiz||5 %||13/10/2019||14/10/2019||1,3,4|
|Vegetation report (Part II): Research article||25 %||20/10/2019||04/11/2019||1,2,3,4|
|Final examination||20 %||31/10/2019||28/11/2019||2,3,4|
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:
The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.
Moderation of Assessment
Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.
Students are to note that mandatory frog observations will also be conducted during after-hours sessions in Week 9.
This course includes a final examination. Students are permitted to bring a calculator and the results of their analyses from practicals in week 12.
Please note, that where a date range is used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams, the due date and return date indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held and results returned to the student (official end of Semester results released on ISIS). Students should consult the course wattle site and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2
Wattle-based quiz reflecting lecture content and recommended reading during Weeks 1 to 3
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3
Wattle-based quiz reflecting lecture content and recommended reading during Weeks 3 to 5. Part of this quiz will be marked manually. Post-marking feedback will be useful for integration into Task 6.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 2,4
Vegetation report (Part I): Introduction
Research-focussed introduction to aspect-related vegetation classification in Black Mountain Nature Reserve. Submissions will need to propose research hypotheses that are informed by an appropriate conceptual/theoretical framework and brief literature review. Post-marking feedback will be useful for integration into Task 6.
Optional: Completed methods sections may also be submitted for feedback, but will not contribute to marking.
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 2,4
Shinrin-yoku survey design
Survey design aimed at assessing impacts of designed Shinrin-yoku study.
Assessment Task 5
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4
Shinrin-yoku research plan
Research plan for a randomised controlled trial (RCT) aimed at testing the effects of Shinrin yoku on university students. Including a clearly defined research question;
sampling strategy aimed at confounding sources of variance; treatment and blinding; discussion of assessment metrics and ethics statement.
Assessment Task 6
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,4
Wattle-based quiz focussed on methods covered during weeks 6-9 with particular reference to kangaroo pellet data collected during previous field practicals.
Assessment Task 7
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
Vegetation report (Part II): Research article
Scientific article focussing on aspect-related classification of vegetation in Black Mountain Nature Reserve. Reports are expected in the form of a 2500-word journal article for Wildlife Research. The report will be supported by feedback on earlier assessment tasks (Tasks 2 and 3)
Assessment Task 8
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4
Examination of entire course content. The exam questions will place emphasise on understanding concepts and principles and interpretation of results. In addition to short answer and paragraph based questions, you will be required to write a research abstract (200-300 words) based upon the results of analyses conducted during practicals in week 12.
The date range in the Assessment Summary indicates the start of the end of semester exam period and the date official end of semester results are released on ISIS. Please check the ANU final Examination Timetable http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/examination-timetable to confirm the date, time and location exam.
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Assignments are submitted using Turnitin in the course Wattle site. You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records.
For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.
Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request it in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.
Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.
Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.
Extensions and Penalties
Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.
Resubmission of Assignments
Resubmission of assignments is not permitted.
Distribution of grades policy
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Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.
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Natural Resource Management, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Plant Physiology, Archaeological Science, Terrestrial Ecology, Tree Nutrition And Physiology, Landscape Ecology, Forestry Sciences
Dr Matthew Brookhouse
Dr Matthew Brookhouse
Shun Deng Fam
Alexander Van Der Meer Simo