- Class Number 3184
- Term Code 3230
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Prof Michael Ellwood
- Prof Eelco Rohling
- Prof Michael Ellwood
- Prof Nerilie Abram
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 21/02/2022
- Class End Date 27/05/2022
- Census Date 31/03/2022
- Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
- Tiah Penny
This course provides an introduction to Earth Systems Science, a new field of science that investigates how chemical, physical, and biological processes interact to shape and regulate Earth’s environment. If you want to understand the science behind climate change or have been wondering to what extent current global environmental change is being forced by natural processes and human activities, this course is for you.
Students from both science and non-science backgrounds are welcome. In addition, this is a foundation course for students interested in or wanting to pursue earth, marine or water sciences.
‘The Blue Planet’ will build your understanding of how each part of the Earth system - the ocean, land, atmosphere, ice sheets, and Earth’s interior - works and interacts over time. You will learn how energy and matter are transferred around and into/out of the Earth system through the water, carbon, oxygen, nutrient, geologic and solar cycles, and you will be introduced to feedback mechanisms that can amplify or dampen change. A tour of global change through Earth history is used to provide context for understanding the modern Earth, including the scientific evidence for global warming, and for predicting the future path of global warming, ocean acidification and biodiversity loss.
NOTE: Postgraduate students will attend classes with undergraduate students but will be assessed differently.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Use an understanding of the important chemical, physical, and biological processes that occur on Earth to explain the processes that drive large-scale environmental change.
- Critically analyse how the past changes in Earth's environment provide a basis for scientific understanding of human impacts on and interactions with the environment.
- Critically analyse the interactions between the atmosphere, the land, biology and the oceans and how feedback mechanisms operate within the Earth system.
- Work constructively both independently and collaboratively.
- Test hypotheses, design and perform appropriate experiments, collect key observations, critically analyse data and apply quantitative approaches to basic Earth Systems problems.
- Communicate effectively about Earth Systems Science issues and ideas using language that can be understood by the public and scientists.
This course will introduce you to real world problems and give you the opportunity to figure out strategies for solving them. Some practical sessions will allow you to create new knowledge that you can then assess. The field trips will provide the means to apply your knowledge from class to nature.
There will be a 2-day field trip to the Snowy Mountains from March 19-20. Students are required to pay a contribution of $250 towards the cost of the trip.
Payment may be made online at ScienceShop: http://scienceshop.anu.edu.au/ .
Please see the trip information page for more information.
Additional Course Costs
Field trip contribution of $250
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.
- 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
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- online quizes will be marked and returned within a week.
- Informal verbal feedback will be given in tutorial and practical sessions.
- written feedback on the Kosciusko field trip report and presentation will be handed back after the mid-term break. This will include a mark and comments of quality of observations and presentation with suggestions for improvement in future.
- Informal kahoot quizes will be utilised throughout the semester to provide instant feedback on comprehension.
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.
An online practical and tutorial will be scheduled for remote participants.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Introduction to Earth Systems||Practicals and online wattle quiz/short answer questions/tasks|
|2||Earth's Atmosphere - Solar Radiation||Practicals and online wattle quiz/short answer questions/tasks|
|3||Atmospheric Circulation - Moisture & Heat||Practicals and online wattle quiz/short answer questions/tasks|
|4||Ice Sheets & Sea-level||Field trip 19 - 20th March|
|5||Ocean Circulation||Practicals and online wattle quiz/short answer questions/tasks|
|6||Circulation of the solid Earth - Plate Tectonics||Major assessment piece 1, Practicals and online wattle quiz/short answer questions/tasks|
|7||Carbon Cycle I||Practicals and online wattle quiz/short answer questions/tasks|
|8||Carbon Cycle II||Practicals and online wattle quiz/short answer questions/tasks|
|9||Climate Modes & Indicators||Practicals and online wattle quiz/short answer questions/tasks|
|10||Earth system changes through time||Practicals and online wattle quiz/short answer questions/tasks|
|11||The Anthropocene||Practicals and online wattle quiz/short answer questions/tasks|
|12||How and when to achieve Net Zero?||Major assessment piece 2, Practicals and online wattle quiz/short answer questions/tasks|
|13||Exam Block||Final Exam - timetabled centrally, date and time TBC|
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Practicals and online wattle quiz/short answer questions/tasks||40 %||*||*||1,2,3,4,5,6|
|Field Trip Report||10 %||01/04/2022||25/04/2021||1,2,4,6|
|Major assessment 1||15 %||01/04/2022||25/04/2022||1,2,5,6|
|Major assessment 2||15 %||27/05/2022||10/06/2022||1,2,3,5|
|Final Theory Exam||20 %||*||*||1,2,3,5,6|
* 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:
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.
Students are expected to attend lectures and contribute to discussions. When this is not possible students are expected to listen to the audio recording(s) of all lectures. Students are expected to attend lectures and contribute to discussions. When this is not possible students are expected to listen to the audio recording(s) of all lectures.
The final theory exam will be given during the final exam period and will test the entirety of the course. The quizzes will be taken online throughout the course. These exams will test practical learning with examples similar to those given in practicals.
The date range in the Assessment Summary for the end of semester exam indicates the start of the end of semester exam period and the date official end of semester results are released on ISIS. Please check the ANU final Examination Timetable http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/examination-timetable to confirm the date, time and location exam.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6
Practicals and online wattle quiz/short answer questions/tasks
Some of the practicals will have quizzes/short answer questions/tasks that will need to be answered online.
Out of the 12 possible practicals, 8 practicals will count towards the student's final mark.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,6
Field Trip Report
Students will be required to report (online submission) on their observations and interpretations made on the Mt Kosciusko Field Trip over the weekend of March 19-20. The format and style of the report/questions to be answered will be covered explicitly in the tutorials before and after the field trip.
Remote students and students who are unable to attend the field trip will complete an alternative assignment. Please contact the course convenor to arrange this.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,5,6
Major assessment 1
This will be a 1000 (max) word assignment (online submission) that will cover the major components in the Earth System and how they fit together. It will be due before the semester break.
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5
Major assessment 2
This will be a 1000 (max) word assignment (online submission) that will cover the possible Earth System pathways for Australia to achieve Net Zero Plan by 2050 It will be due at the end of the semester.
Assessment Task 5
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5,6
Final Theory Exam
The date range indicates the start of the end of semester exam period and the date official end of semester results are released on ISIS. Please check the course Wattle site and the ANU final Examination Timetable http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/examination-timetable to confirm the date, time and location of the exam.
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.
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.
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 not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
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.
Assignments will be returned in person in class.
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.
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).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students
Prof Michael Ellwood
Prof Eelco Rohling
Prof Michael Ellwood
Prof Nerilie Abram