• Class Number 8507
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Philip Gibbons
    • Catherine Ross
    • Matthew Chard
  • 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
SELT Survey Results

Conserving biodiversity in the face of pressures such as land clearing, pest plants and animals and climate change is a challenge facing land managers and policy-makers globally. In this course we explore options for conserving biodiversity. We draw on land managers from different organisations to contribute to the course and prepare students for future employment in this field.

Specifically we investigate:
• Key threats to biodiversity, including habitat modification and loss, unsustainable resource use, introduced species and climate change.
• Management actions that are used to mitigate threats to biodiversity, including selecting nature reserves, connectivity and wildlife corridors, ecosystem restoration and control of pest plants and animals.
• Policies to conserve biodiversity including financial incentives, market-based instruments (e.g. biodiversity offsetting), ecological triage and adaptive management.

There is an emphasis on inquiry-based learning. That is, relating relevant concepts and techniques to real-world situations through: (1) the involvement of working professionals; (2) a series of field-based workshops; and (3) an optional field trip to Booderee National Park on the south coast of New South Wales, where we survey fauna as part of a long-term monitoring program and hear from traditional land managers.


Learning Outcomes

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:
  1. Articulate why society strives to conserve biodiversity.
  2. Identify key threats to biodiversity.
  3. Evaluate which management options are likely to be effective for conserving biodiversity across a wide range of different settings.
  4. Develop appropriate policy options for conserving biodiversity in different settings.
  5. Develop innovative strategies for conserving biodiversity.
  6. Communicate informed critique or analysis of biodiversity conservation policy and practice across a range of mediums.

Research-Led Teaching

There is an emphasis on practical and inquiry-based learning. We undertake field exercises in most weeks and involve researchers and professional staff from other organisations in the course.

Field Trips

There is a field trip from 23-25 August to Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay, where you will experience mammal trapping, spotlighting and Indigenous land management in an inspirational environment. The trip is not compulsory, but highly recommended. Cost will be approximately $180.

Additional Course Costs

The optional field trip to Booderee National Park is approximately $180.

Examination Material or equipment

The final examination is conducted online via Wattle so access to a computer and secure internet connection is required.

Required Resources

Sturdy shoes, hat, rain jacket, clipboard, water bottle.

Camera, binoculars, laptop computer

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • we provide feedback for every question in workshop assignments along with generic feedback to the class, including the mean mark
  • for written assignments we provide edits and comments on your report, feedback against each of the marking criteria and generic feedback to the class including the mean mark
  • students can book sessions with the lecturer or demonstrators, either as an individual or group, to receive feedback on their draft consultancy assignments in Week 7
  • lectures and demonstrators are available by appointment throughout the semester.

Student Feedback

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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 This is an indicative only and may change. A detailed course outline will be available in Wattle. A detailed schedule of due dates for assessment items will be available in Wattle.
2 Week 1 Outline of course. Why conserve biodiversity?
3 Week 2 Threats to biodiversity Workshop 1 assignment
4 Week 3 Habitat loss Workshop 2 assignment
5 Week 4 Climate change Workshop 3 assignment
6 Week 5 Protected areas & field trip
7 Week 6 Off-reserve conservation Workshop 4 assignment
8 Week 7 Feedback on draft assignments Blog assignment
9 Week 8 Invasive species Workshop 5 assignment
10 Week 9 Fire Workshop 6 assignment
11 Week 10 Evidence-based conservation policy Consultancy report and presentations
12 Week 11 Monitoring and evaluation Workshop 7 assignment
13 Week 12 What does effective biodiversity conservation look like & review for exam

Tutorial Registration

Not required

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Workshop assignments 30 % 05/08/2019 31/10/2019 1,2,3,4,5,6
Tutorial facilitation 15 % 07/08/2019 17/10/2019 1,2,3,4,5,6
Consultancy report 25 % 07/10/2019 21/10/2019 2,3,4,5,6
Exam 30 % 31/10/2019 28/11/2019 2,3,4,5,6

* 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:

Assessment Requirements

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.


There is no mark for participation, but you can only submit a practical assignment if you attended the practical in person.


See Assessment Task 4

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 05/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 31/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Workshop assignments

There are a total of 7 workshop assignments that are due the week after each workshop and you are marked on your best 6 of the 7 assignments. You must attend the workshop to submit the associated assignment. A detailed description of each workshop will be provided. All workshop assignments must be completed online in Wattle.

The date range for these tasks indicates the approximate due date for the first assignment and the approximate return date for the last assignment. The marked assignments will be returned within 1 week after submission. Further details can be found on the Course Wattle site.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 07/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 17/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Tutorial facilitation

Postgraduate students work in groups of 2-3 to facilitate one tutorial throughout the semester based on one of the topics we cover in the course. You will be able to select a topic (and date) to facilitate via Wattle. More details about this assignment will be available in Wattle. The date range for this assessment task indicates the date of the first and last tutorial in the semester that will be facilitated. Feedback will be returned within one week of the relevant tutorial.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 07/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 21/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4,5,6

Consultancy report

You must work as part of a small team to produce a consultancy report for an external stakeholder. This exercise mimics what I have done many times throughout my career and what many of you will be required to do at some point in your careers. This exercise will help you develop important skills that employers seek such as an ability to work as part of a team, research skills, problem-solving and written and oral communication that you can add to your CV. I will provide a list of consultancies from which to choose. You will be marked based on your individual contribution, the group report and presentation to stakeholders. The due date is when the individual contribution and group report are due.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 31/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4,5,6


There is an exam at the end of the semester during the examination period that is undertaken online via Wattle, so you don't have to be on campus. The exam is based on material in preparatory exercises (i.e., reading material), lectures and practicals. It is open book. There will be a revision session in Week 12 and a practice exam to help you prepare. The exam is scheduled during the examination period by ANU timetabling. The due date is the first day of the examination period and the return date is when semester grades are posted.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

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. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

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.

Late Submission

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.

Referencing Requirements

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.

Returning Assignments

All assignments are marked in Wattle. A notification will be sent via email when assignments have been marked.

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

In exceptional circumstances the convenor will allow an assignment to be re-submitted, but this must be negotiated in person with the course convenor.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

AsPr Philip Gibbons
6125 2562

Research Interests

Environment Policy, Forestry Fire Management, Environmental Impact Assessment, Conservation And Biodiversity

AsPr Philip Gibbons

Monday 10:00 11:00
Catherine Ross
+61 2 6125 4882

Research Interests

Catherine Ross

Matthew Chard

Research Interests

Matthew Chard

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions