• Class Number 8814
  • Term Code 3060
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Cristopher Brack
    • AsPr Cristopher Brack
  • 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

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.

This course is co-taught with undergraduate students but assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. explain, critique and apply sustainable management concepts, particularly criteria and indicators, the adaptive management cycle and the precautionary principle.
  2. demonstrate a high level of conceptual understanding of measurement and modelling approaches in ecological studies
  3. demonstrate an ability to apply concepts and methods of quantitative analysis, in the context of environmental data
  4. critically assess strategies to manage forest and other ecosystems in response to social, economic and political contexts of management (including biodiversity and carbon sequestration)
  5. demonstrate a capacity to develop and effectively communicate quantitative outputs and ecosystem management strategies to a scientific/management community.

Research-Led Teaching

Field trips will be replaced by virtual tours and interviews with experts, which 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.

Field Trips

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.

Staff Feedback

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.

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 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 virtual 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 Virtual 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! Virtual 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 Virtual Field trip: 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. Optimal planning exercise. Considering the impact of quantitative assessment choices on optimal management planning.
9 Week 10 Virtual Conference - poster and oral presentations
10 Major report

Tutorial Registration


Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Quizzes with marks 30 % 1,3,4
Major Project 40 % 1,2,3,4,5
Project demonstrating greater depth 30 % 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


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.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
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

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Major Project

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

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
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).

Due: Same due date as assesssment task 2.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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. 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

Re-submission of assignments is not proposed.

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 Cristopher Brack

Research Interests

Measurement and management for forests and woodlands

AsPr Cristopher Brack

Thursday 15:00 17:00
AsPr Cristopher Brack
+61 2 6125 4882

Research Interests

AsPr Cristopher Brack

Thursday 15:00 17:00

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