- Class Number 8039
- Term Code 2960
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- AsPr Cristopher Brack
- AsPr Cristopher Brack
- 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
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)
Field trips will include longer term research sites and the ANU Research Forest at the National Arboretum, Canberra were research-led and adaptive management will be explored. Relevant experts will also be able to work with students to explore the issues raised by current research.
There are no overnight field trips required as a component of this course.
Additional Course Costs
There are no additional costs required as a component of this course.
Field-work will required appropriate clothing: closed-in shoes/boots; wind/rain proof outer garments.
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
Feedback to individual questions in the computer-based quizzes will be available via the Wattle system after the quizzes are closed, while email to the ANU provides email address will be used to provide more general feedback within 2 weeks.
Students will be given feedback on their presentation and major report via an email summary of their individual work.
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.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||The following schedule is indicative. Students should refer to the course Wattle site throughout the semester for the most current information particularly in relation to field activity. Week 1 Introduction: Setting out what goals are; how do you know you have achieved a goal (indicators and criterion). Check out theoretical and practical indices that demonstrate progress, e.g. The Montreal Process; Criteria and Indicators in Australia (PDF). Check out The Conversation article on Ecosystem Collapse NB: Activities in Week 1 will be delivered virtually i.e. accessed via the course Wattle site.||Complete the Compulsory Forms Quiz: Introduction and basic understanding Introductory Fieldwork: Setting and achieving goals for a variety of environments.|
|2||Week 2 Stand dynamics and forest Succession Review the concepts of Disturbance, Tree Species and Forest Type Patterns and Eucalypt growth stages. Consider especially what evidence could you look for and what effects may the Disturbance cause. Think about dynamics in grasslands of the ACT. A skim through Lowland Native Grasses in ACT Technical Report 8 will help get the most of the field trip.|
|3||Week 3 & 4 ?Disturbance and Regeneration A review of the Notes on major NSW Forest Types will be very useful to improve species identification. Maybe too a look at the History of Black Mountain. Consider the following questions:What is the Congruence between natural and human forest disturbance. What is the role of Disturbances and structural development of natural forest ecosystems? Check out the Measuring groups of trees if not familiar with stand basal area, and view https://youtube/0ZrsPcGJ3jM?list=UUs0I6E6rIWhuSypHFIx1SXA A spectrum of human induced disturbance The concepts of single tree selection and Australian Group Selection ; (Video: AGS ); Seed tree (Video: SeedTree ); Clearfelling (Video: Clear Fall ) Resistance and Resilience||Fieldwork: options include Grasslands, woodlands and forests: Discussions include - Adaptive management of a rare and endangered ecosystem and reading the history of an ecosystem; considering how that limits options for management and determines future pathways. Quiz (TBC) integrating previous 3 weeks field trips.|
|4||Week 5 Expanding field of study to include Rivers, banks and catchment: https://www.environment.act.gov.au/cpr/conservation_and_ecological_communities/ aquatic_species_and_riparian_zone_conservation_strategy Chapter 1 in the above link might at least be a good start to show you the context of this week's activity. Other Chapters good too!||Field trip: Assessment and management of the Murrumbidgee River (inland water)|
|5||Week 6 ?Biodiversity and management for the development of hollows or specific structure. If not familiar with basic tree and forest measurement techniques (especially the use of hypsometers and dendronometers), check out the Single Tree Measurements textbook. Review the techniques for Measuring groups of trees and Notes on major NSW Forest Types. Active Management: Planting new species and Thinning. Tree competition and manipulation through Thinning Powerpoint: ENVS3014 10 Mine Rehab Lecture||Field trip: (Optional) Quantifying the structure and management opportunities in Tallaganda State Forest and National Park|
|6||Week 7 ?Planning interventions to achieve an objective. Powerpoint: ENVS3014-Management Planning||Mid-semester take home quiz (TBC in week 1,2)|
|7||Week 8 ?Social, abiotic and biotic issues, and how to overcome some of them. Listen to the background/context of the Arboretum (A Love affair with trees). Consider the potential of the species planted and the challenges of the site and its management.|
|8||Week 9 ?Regression and allometry - to predict how things relate and change (to assist in assessment). If you have forgotten your background statistics, how about a refresher: Revision of Excel and simple statistics. Revision of population distributions and descriptions. Revision of predictive statistics - confidence limits around true mean values.||Computer lab: Optimal planning exercise. Considering the impact of quantitative assessment choices on optimal management planning.|
|9||Week 10 Conference - poster and oral presentations|
|10||Week 11 In class exam for ENVS3014 (UG only)|
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Quizzes with marks||30 %||22/07/2019||25/10/2019||1,3,4|
|Major Project||40 %||07/10/2019||11/10/2019||1,2,3,4,5|
|Project demonstrating greater depth||30 %||31/10/2019||16/11/2019||1,2,3,4,5|
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
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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.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,4
Quizzes with marks
Quizzes will include data or observations made during the field trips, and the students will be expected to interpret this data and make relevant comments on integrating the observations and findings into the course content.
Quizzes will provide feedback on the individual questions including whether the calculated had been made correctly and the dominant features of the observations included.
Word limit (where applicable): Quizzes may include multiple choice, calculations and short answers. Suggested word length for short answers will be included for each question however there will not be any specific deduction for answers which are longer than the suggested length.
Value: 30% total for all quizzes
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
The Major Project is made up of two components - a written report (30%) and a Poster / Oral presentation (10%). As a guide, the Major Project will consider at least the following parts: An overview of the ecology of your chosen type.
Outline past management, including both indigenous and non-indigenous human impacts, and the legacy of these impacts in terms of the current condition and structure of the community.
Current management, stakeholders, goals, issues. Assessment of the range of management actions/alternatives, with a clear conclusion of proposed actions (in relation to clearly defined criteria and indicators of ecologically sustainable forest management).
Both types of presentation (Poster and Oral) will be judged on the effectiveness of the narrative (telling a story that provides a synthesis of information and not just a list of facts or factoids), and communication to the audience (effective use of space on posters or images during oral; clear delivery without cluttering, etc). The written report provides an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of the assessment and management of a student-selected forest ecosystem or other biome.
Suggested sizes: A1-sized poster; 15 minute Oral; 2500 words written report. (NOTE: Either the Poster OR Oral presentation, not both).
Value: 40% overall (10% for Oral/Poster presentation, 30% for Written Report
The first component of this assessment task (Poster or presentation) is due in the second last week of teaching term (Course conference).
The second component of this assessment task(the written report) is submitted at the end of the teaching semester (25th October)
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
Project demonstrating greater depth
Project demonstrating greater depth
A Project to be agreed between the Convenor and each student which provides the opportunity to demonstrate greater or deeper understanding of the issues of ecological assessment and/or management. Students will usually select a case study of interest and a specific issue to explore in detail. Output from this Task will be agreed between the supervisor and has commonly included a written report (about 2-3000 words) or convening a 30-45 minute tutorial (with allocated pre-reading and activities).
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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.
No submission of Quizzes or Oral/Poster presentation without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If Quiz is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
Late submission of Major Written Report without an extension is 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.
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.
Feedback to individual questions in the computer-based quizzes will be available via the Wattle system after the quizzes are closed, while email to the ANU provided email address will be used to provide more general feedback within 2 weeks. Students will be given feedback on their presentation and major report via an email summary of their individual work.
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
Re-submission of assignments is not proposed.
Distribution of grades policy
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Measurement and management for forests and woodlands
AsPr Cristopher Brack