• Class Number 4319
  • Term Code 3150
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr David Freudenberger
    • Dr Craig Strong
    • Dr David Freudenberger
    • Dr Cara Moore
    • Prof Saul Cunningham
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 03/09/2021
  • Class End Date 17/12/2021
  • Census Date 24/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 07/09/2021
SELT Survey Results

Environmental science and environmental management professionals need to be able to apply a range of knowledge and skills in a practical context. This course provides hands-on opportunities for you to apply your theoretical understanding to critical observation and measurement of biodiversity, biogeography, landscape ecology, soil-vegetation processes and sustainable land management. You will develop skills in describing soils and landforms, measuring vegetation patterns, identifying habitat features and detecting faunal associations. You will learn to appreciate how soils, landforms, vegetation and fauna should be considered holistically in research and decision-making.

The course is based at the ANU Kioloa coastal campus for five nights in the mid-semester break. You will be contributing to long-term field research informing management decisions across a range of biomes (farmland, forests, coastal and intertidal). The field work is complemented by pre-field trip workshops.

This course develops a diversity of field skills for graduates seeking careers in all fields of natural resource management. It provides important field training for those students concurrently enrolled in ENVS6201 Biodiversity Science: Wildlife, Vegetation and Landscape Ecology and/or ENVS6223 Sustainable Agricultural Systems, for each of which it is strongly recommended.

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. Design sampling strategies and collect a diversity of data that describe the biophysical attributes and processes of ecosystems
  2. Critically analyse the strengths and weaknesses of a range of field sampling techniques and survey designs
  3. Demonstrate advanced capacity to select appropriate data collection methodology, design appropriate sampling strategies and communicate synthesised findings about ecosystem patterns, processes and resource management impacts to a range of audiences

Research-Led Teaching

In this course you will participate fully in the ecological research process beginning with developing research questions and posing testable hypotheses within the context of the impact of land uses on biodiversity function, structure and composition. You will be involved in applying and analysing appropriate field methods within the constraints of the survey designs and available resources. You will be collecting data appropriate for testing a range of hypotheses. We expect the data to be suitable for eventual publication in peer reviewed scientific journal(s).

We will not have time to rigorously analyse the collected data during the Field Course itself. Though you are asked to reflect on some simple summaries of the results (Tables and Figures). The primary focus for the Field School is to experience and reflect deeply upon the ecological research process, rather than the actual results. Those of you taking ENVS2001/6201 (Biodiversity Sciences) will have the opportunity to more fully analyse a data set collected during the second week of the Field School.

Field Trips

All field trips are compulsory, absence from a field trip without a medical certificate will result in a Failure (NCN)

  • All field trips will be within an hours drive of Campus. On most days there will be a field trip, often leaving Fenner Field Services at 8 am, returning by 5 pm.
  • Unlike previous years, the field trip to the ANU Kioloa Coastal Campus will not be possible. Rather a 'virtual' field trip will be available on-line with links to wildlife survey data captured shortly before the Field School.

In the event that restrictions persist into late November/early December please be advised that the School is committed to deliver the content and allow all enrolled students to complete the course this year. While we hope to be able to take students out into the field as a group by late November- early December in the event that this is not possible the Week 2 content will be adjusted so that field-based learning is delivered to smaller COVID safe groups or - as a very last resort – entirely by way of online delivery. 

Examination Material or equipment

There is no final (formal) exam, but rather a range of assessments described in detail on Wattle.

Required Resources

Personal Protective Equipment: sturdy shoes, rain pants and jacket, hat (high visibility vests will be provided)

Recommended student system requirements 

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

Staff Feedback

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

You will be provided written feedback on your learning journal and research design and oral feedback throughout the field school. Your field work will be under the supervision of experienced field researchers as all times.

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 This is an intensive course delivered in two session: Week 1: 6-10 September Week 2: 22-29 November or 6-10 December (*) (*) Week 2 content will be delivered twice to accommodate any enrolled student who has a clash with another intensive course from 22-26 November.
2 Week 1 - Theme: Ecological studies Location: Kioloa virtual field trip (fully online)
3 Week 2 -- Theme: Soil-landscapes and land use impacts Location: Daily field trips from Fenner School of Environment & Society, Please refer to the course wattle site for the full program. Please refer to the Field Trips section of this summary for additional advice about contingency planning relating to delivery of the Week 2 content.

Tutorial Registration


Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Quiz on pre-course reading 10 % 22/11/2021 30/11/2021 2,3
Group Work 30 % 29/11/2021 03/12/2021 1,2,3
Kioloa virtual field trip 40 % 11/09/2021 24/10/2021 3
Reflective learning journal 20 % 03/12/2021 15/12/2021 1,2,3

* 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.


All field trips are compulsory. Absences require a medical certificate. Attendance is taken at each field location.


No formal exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 22/11/2021
Return of Assessment: 30/11/2021
Learning Outcomes: 2,3

Quiz on pre-course reading

Due: 2 pm, Monday 22 November Value: 10%

The quiz (multiple choice or short answers) is based on 4 required readings and a video provided on Wattle

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 29/11/2021
Return of Assessment: 03/12/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Group Work

Due: Monday morning 29 November

You will be assigned to groups of 4-5 students on Monday 22 November

Task A: Group data analysis and reflections (15%) (15 minutes max presentation time)

Details are provided on Wattle including assessment rubric

Task B – Data management (5%)

Your group will be assessed on the rigour and completeness of your management of data. Details on Wattle. Your data will be used by others in the course and contribute to long-term monitoring at ANU's Kioloa Coastal Campus.

?Due dates included in this summary reflect students in Group A (22-26 November) of the second week of delivery. Students participating in Group B (6-10 December) are asked to consult with the assessment schedule on the Course WATTLE site for due dates. They will be relative to those indicated for Group A.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 11/09/2021
Return of Assessment: 24/10/2021
Learning Outcomes: 3

Kioloa virtual field trip

Due: 11 Sept, 11 pm

Modern ecological research includes data collected remotely (e.g. by satellites or drones) and field data collected by a range of specialists and often over a number of years. You will be provided such a range of data for assessing long-term impacts of different land uses at ANU's Kioloa coastal campus, including insects you will be required to sort to Class. A detailed report pro forma will be provided on Wattle. You will be required to compile (summarise) this data and reflect on what it means ecologically. Research is often done in small teams, so you have a choice of submitting your report with another classmate, or by your self.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 03/12/2021
Return of Assessment: 15/12/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Reflective learning journal

Due: 3 December, 11 pm

Word Count: Maximum = 3000, preferred = 2000-2500 words

Provide reflections on what you saw, heard and learned during the two weeks in the field. Feel free to include photos and/or sketches – be creative. This is NOT a day to day diary of what you did, but I suggest you keep daily ‘field notes’ and use them to help inform and develop your key learnings and reflections. I encourage you to reflect upon your experience of the research process we’ve ‘dropped’ you into. For example, how is the research process a deeply social one? I also expect you to reflect on the conservation issues we addressed in our field research.

This assessment is further described on Wattle including examples and marking rubric.

Due dates included in this summary reflect students in Group A (22-26 November) of the second week of delivery. Students participating in Group B (6-10 December) are asked to consult with the assessment schedule on the Course WATTLE site for due dates. They will be relative to those indicated for Group A.

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

Online Submission: The written assignments (Research Design and Learning Journal) must be 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

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 take-home 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

My written comments will be shown on your document submitted through Turnitin, remember to click on ‘GradeMark’ to see the comments. Marks for other assignments will be shown on the Wattle Grade book.

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

Due to time constraints, there is no capacity to resubmit assignments.

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).

Dr David Freudenberger

Research Interests

Ecological restoration, environmental forestry, conservation

Dr David Freudenberger

By Appointment
Dr Craig Strong
+61 2 6125 6683

Research Interests

Dr Craig Strong

Dr David Freudenberger
0447 434 761

Research Interests

Dr David Freudenberger

By Appointment
Dr Cara Moore

Research Interests

Dr Cara Moore

Prof Saul Cunningham
+61 2 6125 4588

Research Interests

Prof Saul Cunningham

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