• Class Number 1267
  • Term Code 2920
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
  • COURSE CONVENER
    • AsPr Geoffrey Cary
  • LECTURER
    • AsPr Geoffrey Cary
  • DEMONSTRATOR
    • Matthew Gale
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 28/01/2019
  • Class End Date 22/03/2019
  • Census Date 08/02/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 08/02/2019
SELT Survey Results

Fire is pivotal to the functioning of Australian ecosystems. This course explores a range of important themes concerning bushfires in Australian and international environments. The inter-dependent relationship between fire regimes and biota is explored using evidence from experiments and simulation modelling. An exploration of the sensitivity of fire regimes to natural and human factors then provides a context for exploring the likely effects of climate change and other aspects of global change on future bushfire dynamics. Similarly, it provides context for understanding the role of bushfire management, including prescribed burning, in modifying fire regimes. These themes are brought together in an analysis of managing likelihood of adverse outcomes from bushfires, including legal and other societal implications. Key components of the course are insights into ongoing research being undertaken in the Fenner School, the ANU College of Law, the University of Canberra, land management agencies, the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, CSIRO, and an international network of landscape fire modellers.

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. Explain the pivotal importance of fire regimes for the present and future management of natural landscapes

2. Explain methods for exploring fire regime effects including through long-term experiments and landscape simulation

3. Explain how the sensitivity of fire regimes to natural and human factors provides a context for exploring effects of land management, and the likely effects of climate change and other aspects of global change, on bushfire occurrence

4. Explain principles for managing likelihood of adverse outcomes from bushfires, and for understanding subsequent legal and other societal implications of adverse outcomes

5. Acquire, demonstrate and generate knowledge on bushfire dynamics, effects, measurement and management

6. Select and research a relevant topic in depth (e.g. literature analysis, computer modelling)

Research-Led Teaching

Students in ‘Fire in the Environment’ learn about, and engage in, cutting-edge research on fire behaviour, ecology, management and law with leading researchers from ANU, CSIRO and beyond. Students construct simulation models, conduct fire behaviour experiments, analyse long-term fire ecology data sets, and have an opportunity to discuss recent research articles directly with the researchers who conducted the research and wrote the papers.

Field Trips

There are a number of field trips scheduled during the course, usually including on the first day of the course. For all field trips students will require a hat, sunscreen, sturdy/enclosed footwear, appropriate clothing and plenty of water, as well as notebooks, etc. A half-day field trip will involve visiting local bushland areas to explore bushfire management and effects. One of the full-day field trips involves travelling to the Brindabella Range and similar locations to investigate fire and ecological dynamics. There is a half day field trip to look at cultural burning sites around Canberra and another full-day trip is to the CSIRO Ecosystems Sciences Bushfire Group. Students will need to bring lunch and other requirements on the longer field trips. Students should understand that field trips will not arrive back at university before the scheduled time so students need to make appropriate arrangements in advance.


Students with a pre-existing medical condition (or similar), that the course convenor should be made aware of given remote field trip locations, must provide the course convenor with a health management plan so that organisers can: (i) deal with unexpected circumstances; and (ii) make alternative arrangements, if required. If the student’s medical condition is of a confidential nature, please advise the course convenor of this circumstance so that alternative arrangements can be organised.

Additional Course Costs

It is anticipated that there will be no required additional course costs associated with this course, although students may benefit from purchasing books and other reference material to support their learning.

Examination Material or equipment

Permitted materials for quiz: Non-programmable Calculators, Dictionaries for students with written departmental approval only.

Required Resources

Permitted materials for quiz: Non-programmable Calculators, Dictionaries for students with written departmental approval only.

Bradstock, R.A., Gill, A.M. and Williams, R.J. (eds) (2012) Flammable Australia: Fire Regimes, Biodiversity and Ecosystems in a Changing World. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

Staff Feedback

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

1. Verbal feedback on queries and comments in lectures, practicals, reading groups and field trips, including breaks between these activities.

2. Verbal feedback on the mid-block quiz.

3. Written feedback on written reports.

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.

Other Information

Reports should include Harvard style, in-text, referencing. See: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/learning-development/academic-integrity/style-guides

 

You may wish to adopt a specific variation of this style, as required by the International Journal of Wildland Fire. See ‘References’ section of the journal’s instructions to authors:

http://www.publish.csiro.au/wf/forauthors/AuthorInstructions#17

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Lectures: Introduction; Attributes of species; Plant community dynamics; Vital Attributes; Animals and fire; Bushfire law; Managed fire in California and Australia; Prescribed burning effectiveness. Practical exercises: Banksia simulation modelling practical (I); Long-term fire ecology experiment practical. Reading discussions: Fire in the earth system; Bushfire ecology; Bushfire law; Prescribed burning effectiveness. Field trips: Local area; Brindabella Range; Aboriginal knowledge field activity. These activities relate to assessment items 1, 2 and 3
2 Assessment item: Mid-block quiz; Written report. Lectures: Factors associated with house loss in wildfires; Minimising likelihood of adverse outcomes; Fire regimes climate change and carbon; Bushfires & genetic diversity; Remotes sensing of bushfire fuel; Advanced bushfire behaviour prediction; Bushfire arson; Bushfire recovery. Practical exercises: Banksia simulation modelling practical (II); Bushfire fuel dynamics analysis. Reading discussions: Fire regimes and global change; Bushfires and carbon dynamics; The worldwide “wildfire problem. Field trips: CSIRO Bushfire research group, Canberra, including research update presentations and practical activities. These activities relate to assessment items 2 and 3
3 Examination period – N/A
4 Indicative schedule only. May be rearranged due to weather considerations or availability of contributors, particularly those responsible for bushfire operations.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Mid-block Quiz 20 % 11/02/2019 18/02/2019 1, 2, 3, 4
Written Report 35 % 20/02/2019 21/03/2019 1, 2, 5
Graduate Research Paper 45 % 08/03/2019 10/04/2019 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Policies

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.

Participation

Students must attend and participate in 80% of reading discussions, as confirmed by a record of attendance. Students must also submit via wattle a concise ‘results’ sheet (Banksia simulation modelling or Long-term fire ecology experiment) for the alternative practical to that written up and submitted for assessment Task 2.

Examination(s)

Not applicable.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 11/02/2019
Return of Assessment: 18/02/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Mid-block Quiz

Word limit (where applicable): Not applicable

Value: 20%

Presentation requirements: Students must write quiz answers in legible handwriting

Estimated return date: Approximately one week after quiz.

Hurdle Assessment requirements (where applicable): Not applicable

Individual Assessment in Group Tasks (where applicable): Not applicable

Assessment Task 2

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 20/02/2019
Return of Assessment: 21/03/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 5

Written Report

Students are required to choose either the ‘Long-term fire ecology experiment’ or the ‘Banksia simulation modelling’ practical and submit a 2000 word report, worth 35% of the course assessment, by the date indicated in the course assessment outline. In either case, reports should be written in a traditional scientific format with an introduction stating an objective, a methods section, a results section, a discussion and a conclusion.


Reports should contain key figures that demonstrate important aspects of the methods and results. Data should be reported in tables or graphs. Reports should also contain considerable referencing to key literature, not only to equations and data provided in the practicals, but also to demonstrate that you have explored aspects of the practical beyond the activities undertaken in class.


Estimated return date: Approximately four weeks after submission date

Hurdle Assessment requirements (where applicable): Students must submit via wattle a concise ‘results’ sheet (Banksia simulation modelling or Long-term fire ecology experiment) for the alternative practical to that written up and submitted for this assessment item.

Individual Assessment in Group Tasks (where applicable): Not applicable

Assessment Task 3

Value: 45 %
Due Date: 08/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 10/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Graduate Research Paper

Word limit (where applicable): 3,000 words

Value: 45%


Presentation requirements:

The Graduate research paper takes the form of an analysis of literature (3,000 words) on a topic agreed with the course convenor. The paper can take a form suitable for an academic-style analysis of literature, or a conference paper, or a well-referenced government report. Being a literature analysis, reports should contain considerable referencing to key literature, including literature beyond that presented in course materials.


Estimated return date: Approximately four weeks after submission date

Hurdle Assessment requirements (where applicable): Not applicable.

Individual Assessment in Group Tasks (where applicable): Not applicable

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

Written reports 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.

Hardcopy Submission

Not applicable.

Late Submission

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure.


In the event of extenuating circumstances only, 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.

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

Comments on written reports will be returned electronically, unless advised otherwise.

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

Not applicable.

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 Geoffrey Cary
(02) 6125 0059
geoffrey.cary@anu.edu.au

Research Interests


Research interests include evaluating fire management and climate change impacts on fire regimes using landscape-scale simulation and statistical modelling, ecological investigation of interactions between fire and biota from genes to communities, empirical analysis of house loss in wildland fire, and laboratory experimentation of fire behaviour.

AsPr Geoffrey Cary

Friday
AsPr Geoffrey Cary
(02) 6125 0059
geoffrey.cary@anu.edu.au

Research Interests


AsPr Geoffrey Cary

Friday
Matthew Gale
matthew.gale@anu.edu.au

Research Interests


Matthew Gale

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