- Class Number 6519
- Term Code 2950
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Dr David Freudenberger
- Dr Craig Strong
- Dr Craig Strong
- Dr David Freudenberger
- AsPr Philip Gibbons
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 02/09/2019
- Class End Date 07/10/2019
- Census Date 13/09/2019
- Last Date to Enrol 13/09/2019
Environmental science and environmental management professionals need to be able to apply a range of knowledge and skills in a practical context. This course provides hands-on opportunities for you to apply your theoretical understanding to critical observation and measurement of biodiversity, biogeography, landscape ecology, soil-vegetation processes and sustainable land management. You will develop skills in describing soils and landforms, measuring vegetation patterns, identifying habitat features and detecting faunal associations. You will learn to appreciate how soils, landforms, vegetation and fauna should be considered holistically in research and decision-making.
The course is based at the ANU Kioloa coastal campus for five nights in the mid-semester break. You will be contributing to long-term field research informing management decisions across a range of biomes (farmland, forests, coastal and intertidal). The field work is complemented by pre-field trip workshops.
This course develops a diversity of field skills for graduates seeking careers in all fields of natural resource management. It provides important field training for those students concurrently enrolled in ENVS6201 Biodiversity Science: Wildlife, Vegetation and Landscape Ecology and/or ENVS6223 Sustainable Agricultural Systems, for each of which it is strongly recommended.
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. Design sampling strategies and collect a diversity of data that describe the biophysical attributes and processes of ecosystems
2. Critically analyse the strengths and weaknesses of a range of field sampling techniques and survey designs
3. Demonstrate advanced capacity to select appropriate data collection methodology, design appropriate sampling strategies and communicate synthesised findings about ecosystem patterns, processes and resource management impacts to a range of audiences
In this course you will participate fully in the ecological research process beginning with developing research questions and posing testable hypotheses within the context of the impact of land uses on biodiversity function, structure and composition. You will be involved in applying and analysing appropriate field methods within the constraints of the survey designs and available resources. You will be collecting data appropriate for testing a range of hypotheses. We expect the data to be suitable for eventual publication in peer reviewed scientific journal(s).
We will not have time to rigorously analyse the collected data during the Field Course itself. Though you are asked to reflect on some simple summaries of the results (Tables and Figures). The primary focus for the Field School is to experience and reflect deeply upon the ecological research process, rather than the actual results. Those of you taking ENVS2001/6201 (Biodiversity Sciences) will have the opportunity to more fully analyse a data set collected during the second week of the Field School.
All field trips are compulsory, absence from a field trip without a medical certificate will result in a Failure (NCN)
- First week: three field trips to the Mulloon Creek Catchment, NSW (See Google Earth at coordinates: -35.264, 149.604) and Murrumbateman (-34.9912, 149.0358) (See separate daily program document on Wattle.
- Second week: four nights at the ANU Kioloa campus (see Google Earth at coordinates: -35.545, 150.379) See separate daily program document on Wattle.
Additional Course Costs
You are required to pay $400.00 to the ANU Scienceshop by 2 September (see Second Semester Field Trips at: https://scienceshop.anu.edu.au/). This payment covers transport, accommodation and all meals at Kioloa. You will not receive course credits until payment is received.
The required reading list is shown on Wattle, including manuals for various field methods.
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
You will be provided written feedback on your learning journal and research design and oral feedback throughout the field school. Your field work will be under the supervision of experienced field researchers as all times.
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.
|Summary of Activities
|This is an intensive course delivered in-person in Canberra (ACT) and Kioloa (NSW) from 2-13 September 2019.
|Week 1 -- Theme: Soil-landscapes and land use impacts Location: Fenner School of Environment & Society (including field activity in the local region) Please refer to the course wattle site for a detailed program.
|Week 2 - Theme: Biodiversity and impact of land uses Location: ANU Kioloa Campus Please refer to the course wattle site for a detailed program.
|Return of assessment
|Quizzes on required pre-course reading
|Research design – soil-landscapes
|Reflective learning journal
* 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.
No formal exam.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 2,3
Quizzes on required pre-course reading
Quiz 1: 2 pm, Monday 2 September, Fenner Seminar Room (ground floor of Building 141); Value: 10%
Quiz 2: 5 pm, Monday 9 Sept, ANU Kioloa campus (Value 10% )
There are 4 required readings provided on Wattle for the first quiz and 3 for the second quiz.
• I will provide hard copy quizzes with 10 questions each. There will be a combination of multiple choice and short answer. You will have one hour to complete the quizzes
• As much as practical, you will be asked to interpret Figures, Tables and excerpts of text from the readings. For example, The Land Capability document is a large one, so just become familiar with the first 27 pages, particularly Table 2, Figures 3&4, and the photos of land capability classes.
These readings provide important context for your field work. For example, the Read et al (2016) paper is an example of applying the Landscape Function Analysis methodology. You will be trained and will apply this in the field during the first week.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3
Due: Friday morning 13 September (ANU Kioloa)
Task A: Group reflections (20%) (15 minutes max presentation time)
This presentation is based on your group’s collective reflections over the two weeks of field trips. These reflections can help guide the development of your individual learning journals (assessment task 4 described below). A computer projector will be available, but PPT slides are not required (though usually useful!) Be creative; your group may wish to include imagery (including camera trap photos), sounds, poetry, artwork, data, music, etc
Your group presentation can include reflections on:
1. What kinds of research questions have these field experiences raised?
2. What kinds of research hypotheses might you be able to test with the data you’ve collected?
3. What are some of the pitfalls and limitations of the field research process you’ve been experiencing?
5. What was inspiring and why? What was a drag, and why?
Task B – Data management (10%)
You will be assessed on the rigour and completeness of your collective management of data. The following data sets must be submitted to Wattle or included on Google Doc spreadsheets. It is the responsibility of each Group member to ensure these data sets are submitted.
Mulloon Creek & Clonakilla Winery, (week 1; submit on Wattle)
o Landscape function analysis (LFA) spreadsheets
o Mulloon LFA transects
o In dry forest
o In introduced pasture
o Mulloon soil profile descriptions and photos
o LFA assessments of brushpiles established September 2017
o LFA assessments of before and after new brushpiles constructed Sept 2018.
o Clonakilla Winery
o Soil profile descriptions
o Soil profile photo
o Soil samples
ANU Kioloa Campus (week 2; Google doc spreadsheets)
o Camera trapping results
o Vegetation Structure
o Invertebrate diversity (pitfall traps)
o Number of ticks
o Inter-tidal surveys
Field Data Books
o All written field data sheets are placed in your Group’s field binder (white)
Where an assignment is formed of a number of activities, the date range indicates the due date for the first component and the return date of the final component. Further information is provided in the assessment section of the class summary, and details are provided on the course wattle site.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 3
Research design – soil-landscapes
Due: 9 Sept, 11 pm
This is an exercise in rapid research design – an important way of learning and discovery. Prepare a brief report (2-3 pages, dot points are fine) with the following headings (in bold) and content:
1. Context – what’s the socio-environmental issue, problem, challenge your research outline addresses that is relevant to the first week of field trips (one paragraph or a few dot points)
2. Research Question - Develop a focused research question that you find most interesting and relevant to what you’ve heard, seen and done over the first week of field trips. You are allowed only ONE research question, but TWO sub-questions is ok (but one over-arching question is OK if narrow enough).
3. Hypotheses - Based on this question and what you’ve learned in this course and others, pose 1-3 testable hypotheses (predictions) of what the answer to your question might be.
4. Data requirements: Explain what data you would need to collect to test your hypotheses. Data can include what you’ve already collected this week. It is ok to suggest additional data you may need to rigorously test your hypotheses.
5. Survey design: How many sites would you need, and why that many? How do you define a site? How many visits to a site? How many transects or plots would you need?
6. Methods: Finally, what data collection methods would your research plan use to collect the data necessary to test you hypotheses?
I have provided an example on Wattle based on a study completed by one of my Honours Students
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 3
Due: 11 September ( to be presented at the ANU Kioloa campus)
Prepare and present a 10-15 minute presentation (PPT slides please) on a wildlife species of particular interest and concern to you. I suggest you use the outline for Assessment 3 above. The objective of this assessment is to think about how you would learn more about a species of particular interest to you.
Rubric: I will use the same rubric as shown for Assessment 3.
Assessment Task 5
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3
Reflective learning journal
Due: 24 Sept, 11 pm
Word Count: Maximum = 3000, preferred = 2000-2500 words
Provide reflections on what you saw, heard and learned during the two weeks in the field. Feel free to include photos and/or sketches – be creative. This is NOT a day to day diary of what you did, but I suggest you keep daily ‘field notes’ and use them to help inform and develop your key learnings and reflections. I encourage you to reflect upon your experience of the research process we’ve ‘dropped’ you into. How is the research process a deeply social one?
You are required to reflect on the summarised results on at least ONE type of survey from either week. Summarised data (Excel Tables or Figures) will be available on Wattle by 15 September, 10 pm. What do you think the results show in regards to the purpose of the survey? How reliable are these data? How would you improve the data and your interpretation of it?
I welcome constructive criticism of the course. Negative reflections on the course are fine, but explain why they are negative. Reflect why a particular task or experience was negative or positive. How did others respond to the same situation? Suggestions for improvements are most welcome.
All journals will be assessed by just David Freudenberger.
The rubric below provides you some additional guidance of what I’m looking for.
Also see this website for some general guidance in reflective writing.
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: The written assignments (Research Design and Learning Journal) must be 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.
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.
Written comments on your Research Design and Learning Journals will be shown on your document submitted through Turnitin, remember to click on ‘GradeMark’. Marks for other assignments will be shown on the Wattle Grade book. Remember, the marks shown on Wattle are only indicative of your final mark. All marks are reviewed and occasionally adjusted by the Fenner Examination Committee.
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
Due to time constraints, there is no capacity to resubmit assignments.
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).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students
Dr David Freudenberger
Environmental forestry, ecological restoration, mine site rehabilitation
Dr Craig Strong
Dr Craig Strong
Dr David Freudenberger