• Class Number 8795
  • Term Code 3060
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Philip Gibbons
    • Dr Catherine Ross
    • Matthew Chard
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 27/07/2020
  • Class End Date 30/10/2020
  • Census Date 31/08/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 03/08/2020
SELT Survey Results

Conserving biodiversity in the face of pressures such as habitat loss, invasive species 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, invasive species and climate change.

• Management actions that 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: (a) the involvement of working professionals; (b) a series of field-based workshops; and (c) 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:

  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 in different settings.
  4. Develop appropriate policy options for conserving biodiversity in different settings.
  5. 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 applied exercises in most weeks and involve researchers and professional staff from other organisations in the course.

Field Trips

There is no field trip scheduled for this year, but students will be asked to undertake some self-directed field trips outdoors.

Additional Course Costs


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 (for self-directed field exercises)


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
  • 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 Why conserve biodiversity? Assessment is indicative only subject to agreement from the class
2 Threatened species Workshop 1 assignment
3 Habitat loss Workshop 2 assignment
4 Climate change Workshop 3 assignment
5 Protected areas Workshop 4 assignment
6 Individual assignment work Blog assignment
7 Conservation on private land Workshop 5 assignment
8 Fire and biodiversity Individual section of consultancy report
9 Invasive species Workshop 6 assignment
10 Group consultancy work and presentation to client Group consultancy report
11 Monitoring and evaluation Workshop 7 assignment
12 Evidence-based conservation and revision for exam

Tutorial Registration

Not required

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Workshop assignments 30 % 10/08/2020 02/11/2020 1,2,3,4,5
Interviews or work experience and blog 15 % 07/09/2020 21/09/2020 1,2,3,4,5
Consultancy - individual contribution 15 % 05/10/2020 19/10/2020 1,2,3,4,5
Consultancy - group report 10 % 19/10/2020 02/11/2020 1,2,3,4,5
Exam 30 % 05/11/2020 03/12/2020 2,3,4,5

* 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 Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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 workshop assignment if you participated in the workshop.


See Assessment Task 5

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 10/08/2020
Return of Assessment: 02/11/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Workshop assignments

There are a total of 7 workshop assignments that are due the Monday after each workshop and you are marked on your best 6 of the 7 assignments. You must participate in 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 due date is for the first assignment and the return date is for the last assignment. The assignments will be marked and returned within 1 week after submission. Further details can be found on the Wattle site for this course.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 07/09/2020
Return of Assessment: 21/09/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Interviews or work experience and blog

Gaining practical experience and networking are critical if you wish to seek employment, whether in this discipline or another. All undergraduates must therefore either interview a biodiversity conservation professional via video or complete at least one day (or 7 hours) of biodiversity conservation-related work experience during, or immediately prior to, the semester. The interview or work experience can be with PhD candidates, academics, government and non-government organisations, private companies or volunteer groups in any part of Australia or overseas, but cannot be associated with your family farm or business. You must organise your interview or work experience independently, as communicating in an appropriate way with professional people is an important skill you must develop. We provide a list of potential contacts on Wattle but you are welcome to find your own. You must post a reflective blog about your interview or experience that will appear on the course blog. More details are provided in the Wattle site. The due date is when the blog is due. Further details can be found on the Wattle site for this course.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 05/10/2020
Return of Assessment: 19/10/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Consultancy - individual contribution

You must work as part of a small team to produce a consultancy report for an external client. This exercise reflects 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. We will provide a list of clients. This exercise is divided into two components: an individual contribution and a group report. This due date is for the individual report. Further details can be found on the Wattle site for this course.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 19/10/2020
Return of Assessment: 02/11/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Consultancy - group report

You must work as part of a small team to produce a consultancy report for an external client. 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. We will provide a list of clients. This exercise is divided into two components: an individual contribution and a group report. This due date is for the group report. Further details can be found on the Wattle site for this course.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 05/11/2020
Return of Assessment: 03/12/2020
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4,5


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. Further details can be found on the Wattle site for this course.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

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) 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 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. Extensions may be granted 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).

Prof Philip Gibbons
(02) 6125 2562

Research Interests

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

Prof Philip Gibbons

Dr Catherine Ross
+61 2 6125 4882

Research Interests

Dr Catherine Ross

Matthew Chard

Research Interests

Matthew Chard

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