- Code ENVS6514
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
- ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
- Course subject Environmental Science
- Areas of interest Forestry, Geography, Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Resource Management and Environmental Science
Effective management and conservation of ecosystems requires an ability to quantify what is there and how it is changing; as well as an understanding of the options to manage these ecosystems for sustainability. This course investigates the use of broadly applicable ecological principles and methods to restore or sustainably manage woodland and forest ecosystems. We begin with how desirable objectives for sustainable ecosystem management can be defined, particularly focusing on criteria and indicators, the adaptive management cycle and a precautionary approach. A range of examples including traditional silvicultural and other systems is used to explore how plant community structures and dynamics can be manipulated to achieve management objectives.
The course uses a “hands-on” approach to develop skills in the quantitative assessment, measurement and modelling techniques that are fundamental to assessing the state of an ecosystem. Field exercises are designed to provide experience in assessing whether applied management approaches are leading to the desired changes in system structure and dynamics. The field and applied focus of the course provides experience with the basic quantitative skills that are sought by employers of natural resource management and ecology graduates in areas ranging from hands-on management to policy. Students apply their learning to a management planning task within the major assignment, and deliver the results of their work in a conference-style setting at the end of the semester. Smaller quizzes and reports throughout the course help develop skills to assess and interpret forest and woodland structures and conditions, and to develop solutions for multiple management objectives.
Students may expect to interact with researchers and other professionals from the Fenner School of Environment and Society, Forests NSW, Greening Australia, and the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.
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:
- explain, critique and apply sustainable management concepts, particularly criteria and indicators, the adaptive management cycle and the precautionary principle. (LO1)
- demonstrate a high level of conceptual understanding of measurement and modelling approaches in ecological studies (LO2)
- demonstrate an ability to apply concepts and methods of quantitative analysis, in the context of environmental data (LO3)
- critically assess strategies to manage forest and other ecosystems in response to social, economic and political contexts of management (including biodiversity and carbon sequestration) (Lo4)
- demonstrate a capacity to develop and effectively communicate quantitative outputs and ecosystem management strategies to a scientific/management community. (LO5)
- Computer-based quizzes to demonstrate student learning of underlying theories and practice of ecosystem assessment and management. These quizzes will draw extensively from practical classes (4-6 quizzes, 30% ) [LO 1,3,4]
- A major report on the proposed management of a forest or woodland to meet specified objectives. Students will justify an ecosystem management system and outline a monitoring approach to provide quantitative evidence that the proposed system is meeting the objectives. This assessment requires students to demonstrate ability to integrate knowledge of measurement, modelling and management, in the format of a 2500-word report (40%) [LO 1,2,3,4,5].
- A final examination that demonstrates understanding of ecological assessment and management (30%) [LO 2,3,4].
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60 Contact hours, comprising lectures, practical workshops and field excursions.
Requisite and Incompatibility
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- 6 units
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