- Class Number 3213
- Term Code 3230
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Prof James Pittock
- Dr Rebecca Pearse
- 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
- Alexander Cox
- Jozef Meyer
- Louise Blessington
- Melanie Pill
- Shoshana Rapley
This course critically analyses the relationships between people and their environments. It focuses on the big issue facing the globe - the equitable and sustainable use of this planet's resources. This is a core course for understanding key environment and society concepts.
The course examines different ways of conceptualising the nature of resources, the environment and society. The contrasts and connections between scientific and social science theory and methods will be examined. Key factors mediating the inter-relationships between society and environment will be explored including resource use, population and technological change. Other key concepts critically explored will include social justice, equity and sustainability. These issues will be explored through case studies that will include: the role of Indigenous people in resource management, the international dimension of global climatic change, water and land degradation and biodiversity conservation.
The course has a strong skills-based focus with the aim of giving students the research and communication skills required to successfully complete later courses. It is a good course for enhancing skills for students returning to academic study. Particular attention will be given to critical thinking and writing skills. Staff from the ANU Libraries and the Academic Skills and Learning Centre will be involved in this element of the course. Guest speakers will be drawn from the many ANU Colleges and the government, community and business sectors.
Peer learning strategies and an additional, one day field trip are used to extend postgraduate students.
Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- ask good questions of guest speakers and of their peers in classroom settings, and to know what needs to be learned in order to answer these questions
- identify learning resources, and use those resources effectively
- continue inquisitive lifelong learning
- reflect on their own learning, demonstrate high levels of information literacy, and interact with others through communication skills that include speaking, writing and facilitating small groups
- analyse the global dimensions of environment-society issues.
The Kioloa field trip will run in two groups 2-6 April this year and will cost ~$200.
We will also run a field trip to Gurubung Dhaura (Stirling Park) in Canberra Saturday 30 April for Masters students (compulsory) and for those in Canberra who wish to join.
In the event that either it cannot proceed, or you are a remote student, then there are videos available that outline the walks that would have occurred during both field trips.
Please see the trip information page for more information.
Introductory course reading
We don’t prescribe a text book for this course because we want students to engage directly with academic and authoritative government literature so that you develop independent research and analytical skills. The following influential publications involve key concepts and high level analysis of topics in environment and society. We do not directly assess whether you have read these texts but engaging with the concepts and issues they raise are core to doing well in this course. A number of the publications below are related and should be read together, e.g. Rockstrom et al. plus Raworth on a safe and just space for humanity.
Costanza, R., d'Arge, R., de Groot, R., et al. (1997). The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature, 387(6630), 253-260. doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/387253a0
Dovers, S. (2013). The Australian environmental policy agenda. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 72(2), 114-128. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8500.12013
Steffen, W., Richardson, K., Rockström, J., Cornell, S.E., Fetzer, I., Bennett, E.M., Biggs, R., Carpenter, S.R., de Vries, W., de Wit, C.A., Folke, C., Gerten, D., Heinke, J., Mace, G.M., Persson, L.M., Ramanathan, V., Reyers, B. and Sörlin, S. (2015) 'Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet', Science [online]. doi: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1259855
Stern, D. I. (2004). The rise and fall of the environmental Kuznets curve. World Development, 32(8), 1419-1439. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2004.03.004
"The Tragedy of the Commons": The original essay by Hardin and some responses (eg. by Ostrom, a Nobel Prize winner) in Science at: http://www.sciencemag.org/site/feature/misc/webfeat/sotp/commons.xhtml
Turner, G. M. (2008). A comparison of The Limits to Growth with 30 years of reality. Global Environmental Change, 18(3), 397-411. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2008.05.001
The following publications are from Australian and international processes that are authoritative mainly because they involved experts reaching agreement and/or because they are endorsed by governments. They can mostly be accessed on the internet. Many are very long and to get the key information you may just read the summary section:
Bruntland, G. (1987). Our common future: The world commission on environment and development: Oxford: Oxford University Press. http://www.un-documents.net/our-common-future.pdf
IPCC (2014) Climate change 2014 synthesis report, IPCC, Geneva. http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/syr/
Jackson WJ, Argent RM, Bax NJ, Bui E, Clark GF, Coleman S, Cresswell ID, Emmerson KM, Evans K, Hibberd MF, Johnston EL, Keywood MD, Klekociuk A, Mackay R, Metcalfe D, Murphy H, Rankin A, Smith DC, Wienecke B (2016). Overview. In: Australia state of the environment 2016, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra. https://soe.environment.gov.au/theme/overview DOI 10.4226/94/58b65510c633b
National Sustainability Council. (2013). Sustainable Australia report 2013: Conversations with the future Canberra: Australian Government. http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/e55f5f00-b5ed-4a77-b977-da3764da72e3/files/sustainable-australia-report-2013-summary.pdf
Meadows, DH, Meadows, DI, Randers, J, & Behrens III, WW. (1972). The Limits to Growth: A Report to The Club of Rome (1972): Universe Books, New York. (Summary: http://www.ask-force.org/web/Global-Warming/Meadows-Limits-to-Growth-Short-1972.pdf )
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. (2005). Ecosystems and human well-being: synthesis. Washington, DC: Island Press. http://www.unep.org/maweb/documents/document.356.aspx.pdf
Raworth, K. (2012). A safe and just space for humanity. Can we live within the donut? Oxford: Oxfam. http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/dp-a-safe-and-just-space-for-humanity-130212-en.pdf
UNEP. (2012). GEO5. Global Environmental Outlook. Environment for the future we want. Nairobi: United Nations Environment Programme. http://www.unep.org/geo/geo5.asp [GEO6 regional reports were released in 2016]
Recommended background: Make the short walk down to the National Museum of Australia and visit the Old New Land http://www.nma.gov.au/exhibitions/old_new_land/home exhibition.
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:
- written comments
- verbal comments
- feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc
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.
- Lectures will be held on Mondays, 5-6pm in the HC Coombs Lecture Theatre Bldg #9. These will focus on key issues, theories and debates in environment and sustainable development.
- Panel discussions will be held on Tuesdays, 3-5pm in the Copland Lecture Theatre Bldg #25. Normally, the first hour will include presentations by one to three guest experts on their perspectives on key issues. The second hour will be a discussion of the issues with our guest experts.
Both of these venues are dual delivery and offer livestream capability.
Participation and preparation = 10% of assessment. Tute tickets required for entry to shaded tutes.
Remote students are likely to be able to join panel sessions through Zoom. All lectures will be recorded and uploaded on Echo360 on Wattle. There are online tutorials that students can sign up for.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Students should refer to the Wattle site for current delivery information for the course this semester. Monday Lecture 1. Introduction – Ways of seeing the environment Jamie Pittock / Beck Pearse||Tuesday Panel 1. Geography as a way of seeing and changing the world Richard Baker / Jamie Pittock / Beck Pearse Tuesday 1-2 pm Welcome BBQ, Banks Courtyard between buildings 48 and 48A Tutorial 1. Ways of seeing nature|
|2||Monday Lecture 2. Earth system science & planetary boundaries Will Steffen||Tuesday Panel 2. Is environmental science a matter of proof, truth, trust, or culture? Tutorial 2. Science, culture and institutions|
|3||Monday Lecture 3. Sustainable development & institutions Beck Pearse||Tuesday Panel 3. What does sustainable development look like? Tutorial 3. Managing common resources for sustainable development|
|4||Monday Lecture 4. (recording only) Development & the myth of terra nullius Jamie Pittock||Tuesday Panel 4. How do indigenous people and modern nation-states make agreements to manage land? Tutorial 4. Indigenous land management|
|5||Monday Lecture 5. Development & conservation Beck Pearse||Tuesday Panel 5. Are conservation and development always at odds? Tutorial 5. ANU Walking Tour|
|6||Monday Lecture 6. Fire-environment-society Geoff Carey / Marta Yerba||Tuesday Panel 6. How does spatial knowledge contribute to conservation and culturally appropriate sustainable development? Tutorial 6. Field trips and mapping|
|7||Monday Lecture 7. (recording only) Growth, gender, & limits Beck Pearse||Tuesday Panel 7. What are the links between population, growth and environmental change? Tutorial 7. Perspectives on growth and population|
|8||Monday Lecture 8. (recording only) Green economics & valuing nature Beck Pearse||Tuesday Panel 8. How can we best value nature for sustainability? Tutorial 8. Perspectives on the value of nature|
|9||Monday Lecture 9. Governments & environmental politics Jamie Pittock||Tuesday Panel 9. How do governments make environmental decisions? Tutorial 9. Governments, parties, and the public|
|10||Monday Lecture 10. Public policy & administration (Murray-Darling Basin case study) Jamie Pittock||Tuesday Panel 10. What is good environmental management, who does it, and how? (MDB case) Tutorial 10. Reading Murray-Darling Basin institutions: from plans to practice|
|11||Monday Lecture 11. Democracy & environmental conflicts (the cases of coal mining and kangaroos) Beck Pearse||Tuesday Panel 11. Where do dis/agreements stem from and how are they negotiated? Tutorial 11. Why we disagree and the environmental future of democracies|
|12||Monday Lecture 12. (recording only) Green new deals & other big ideas for change Beck Pearse||Tuesday Panel 12. Course conclusion: Optimism in action Jamie Pittock / Beck Pearse Tutorial 12. Student presentations|
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Essay||40 %||27/03/2022||21/04/2022||2, 3, 4|
|Kioloa field trip report||40 %||08/05/2022||20/06/2022||2, 3|
|Class Presentation or Learning Portfolio||10 %||*||*||1, 4|
|Tutorial participation||10 %||*||*||1, 3, 4|
* 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:
- Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure
- Special Assessment Consideration Policy and General Information
- Student Surveys and Evaluations
- Deferred Examinations
- Student Complaint Resolution Policy and Procedure
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 all tutorials. Furthermore, students are expected to have done the reading for tutorials. If you cannot make your tutorial, make arrangements to attend another one that week. Failure to attend more than four tutorials can render you liable to fail the course.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4
Essay (40%, 2500 words)
The purpose of this assessment is to facilitate your understanding of perspectives explaining the causes and consequences of environmental change. Your essay should demonstrate your understanding of relevant key concepts (e.g. planetary boundaries, colonialism, ecological modernity). In developing your answer to one of the questions, you will also defend your view with regard to an alternative perspective and consider relevant social and cultural differences involved in topic.
In formulating you essay, respond to the following question:
Are conservation and development always at odds?
- Your essay should answer the question, haven an introduction, body and conclusion.
- In developing your answer, draw on core readings set for the course, and if you wish, additional academic sources.
- You should also cite relevant course lectures and panels.
- In the course of the essay, consider an alternative perspective, and outline why your view differs and to what extent.
- Clarity of answer to the question;
- Appropriate and critical use of academic literature;
- Reflexive engagement with an alternative perspective;
- Clear and succinct written expression;
- Attention to detail in referencing and citation of ideas in Harvard style.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3
Kioloa field trip report
Fieldtrip report (40%, 2500 words)
Your task is to identify and evaluate a key sustainability issue or issues that you experience on the Kioloa field trip. You should relate this issue or issues to key themes discussed in the course.
The purpose of this assessment is to facilitate your understanding of how environmental decisions are made, and how environmental management is undertaken across a range of different issue areas. You will apply the concepts and explanations for environmental decision-making and management covered in the lectures and panel discussions of weeks 7-12 to the field trip case study.
At Kioloa our field trip will explore ‘through the soles of our feet’ the use and management of many natural resources and the perspectives of different groups in society on what constitutes sustainable environmental management. You have access via Wattle to many data sources regarding people and the environment in the Kioloa region. Please identify one or more key issues, e.g. management of marine resources, forests, kangaroos or forests, conservation of endangered species, or urban development, as the focus of your assignment. You will prepare a map prior to going to Kioloa and should enhance it at Kioloa. You should include a relevant map that you have prepared in your assignment (and other graphics if desired and relevant). A base map is available in electronic and hard copy formats on Wattle. Your evaluation of this issue(s) should include the perspectives of the different stakeholders and some ideas on processes that may best enable societal agreement on future management. E.g. “Permanent local residents may want … yet this conflicts with the views of holiday house owners because …” E.g. “Due to the conflicting views of these stakeholders, the Shire Council should commission an expert panel to work with the stakeholder groups to clarify their issues and …”
- Your report should take the form of a logical and sustained argument in prose that uses a field trip as a case study to explore a generic public policy challenge and recommend one or more changes.
- You must include a map that adheres to academic standards (north arrow, scale, legend / caption).
- You may include photos, figures, tables and references but these are not compulsory.
- The recommended report format is as follows:
o Introduction. Incl question addressed.
o Background. Outline of the sustainability issue and relevant governance options. Include map here.
o Stakeholder perspectives. Discussion of stakeholders and the bases of their common ground, differences.
o Recommendations. Specifying relevant powers and options for governing agencies
o Conclusions. Reflect on what the case study indicates about the processes of environmental management and decision-making.
- In order to pass, all reports should demonstrate engagement with information from the fieldtrip, relevant course readings and lectures.
- Clear answer to the question chosen.
- Argument integrates concepts and well-chosen evidence.
- The report argument links the field trip case study to larger public policy challenges
- The report effectively draws on relevant academic literature and concepts from weeks 7-11
- The report concludes with firm and practical recommendations
- Text is well written with attention to grammar, punctuation and spelling
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1, 4
Class Presentation or Learning Portfolio
Note: Students will be asked to select to undertake either a Class Presentation or submit a Learning Portfolio. Details about each assessment are outlined below with full details available on the Wattle site.
Class Presentation or Learning Portfolio (10%, 8 minute presentation or 1000 words)
The purpose of this assessment is to facilitate the development of skills you need for continued lifelong learning, namely reading, writing and/or speaking in public.
You may choose to submit a 1000-word learning pro or present an 8-minute presentation to class in week 12.
- Your learning diary or presentation should reflect on concepts from at least 3 separate weeks of the course.
- You are free to lay out the diary in any format you like, as long as it is made up of full sentences and paragraphs, with a logical flow of ideas. Your reading diary must do more than summarise readings.
- The diary should reflect on key issues, problems or questions can came up for you in your reading and class discussions. To pass this assessment you need to include some commentary on how your reading was informed (e.g. confirmed, challenged, or changed) by class discussion.
- In order to pass this assessment, your learning diary and presentation should clearly cite key concepts from the readings, lectures or panels.
- Appropriate and critical use of academic literature set for the course;
- Demonstrated ability to unpack and interrogate theory and evidence;
- Demonstrated reflective thinking in response to class discussion;
- Clear and succinct written expression.
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 1, 3, 4
Participation (10%, tute tickets)
The purpose of tutorial ‘tickets’ is to establish expectations about your tutorial preparation and to help you develop your note-taking skills. Attendance and being part of a process of collective listening. and dialogue is the foundation of your contribution to the class. All students are expected to demonstrate respect for the right of all to be heard, and for the spirit of collective inquiry.
- You will receive full marks for participation, if you submit 10 tute tickets on time (i.e. at the beginning of each tutorial) and attend at least 10 tutorials, where you contribute to class discussion on a scholarly and reflexive basis. No late submissions will be accepted.
- Each tutorial ticket must be no longer than 200 words, or half a A4 printed page.
- You must print your notes and present them to your tutor before you enter class. To meet requirements, the tute ticket must contain the following:
- A very brief summary of 1 or 2 key concepts discussed in the reading for that week.
- Reflect on what you learned from the reading with regard to that week’s lecture or the panel session.
- Clearly state 1 question that you have reflected on as a result of the reading, panel or lecture that week.
Tutorial tickets that do not meet these requirements will get 0.
1) Conceptually informed comments and questions shared in tutorial discussion;
2) Clear oral communication including active listening;
3) Respect for others and diversity in the learning environment;
4) Effective participation in impromptu cooperative learning exercises.
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.
All assignments must be submitted on-line via the Wattle course site on the TurnItIn software links before the due date. This is your guarantee that you have submitted the essay by the due time as your time of submission will be recorded on Wattle. TurnItIn checks your submitted text against that of all other students and any document on the internet gobally to ensure originality. This software also enables course staff to provide feedback to students online.
Use the ANU Fenner School’s Harvard style referencing system for your work. A detailed description of this style can be found in the referencing document on Wattle. The ANU Fenner School’s policies of loss of marks for submitting text that is over the word limit or late will apply (-5% per day late). All policies regarding academic honesty, submission of work late penalties and word limits, can be found on Wattle
Assignments cannot be resubmitted on TurnItIn. Your assignment will always have a TurnItIn originality score greater than zero because it will match legitimate text, including the assignment cover sheet, assignment questions, properly referenced quotes and references. Course staff will not penalize you for this. If you have genuinely written the assignment in your own words and properly referenced quotes then you have nothing to worry about.
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 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.
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 returned via Wattle.
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
Resubmission of assignments allowed until 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
Environmental policy linkages between biodiversity, climate, energy, food and water.
Prof James Pittock
Dr Rebecca Pearse