• Class Number 4634
  • Term Code 3350
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Larissa Schneider
    • Dr Saul Guerrero
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 01/07/2023
  • Class End Date 30/09/2023
  • Census Date 21/07/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 21/07/2023
SELT Survey Results

This course will be occasionally scheduled to offer one-off opportunities to study under visiting experts, or to showcase a new teaching area. Information on the particular topic offered under this course will be outlined in the ‘Other Information’ section, including topic title, the topic convenor, and an indication of workload and indicative assessment. Classes in this course may cover emerging issues and provide an opportunity for students to learn about events, places, peoples and forms of knowledge in Asia and the Pacific, ranging from the local to the global. Topics may focus on particular societies and states, localities, or trans-regional issues. Many of the topics will build on the concepts and methodological tools presented in discipline courses, and give an in-depth understanding of how they are applied, and critiqued, in specific contexts.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. demonstrate understanding of major issues and concepts associated with the Asia-Pacific region or a subregion of Asia and the Pacific;
  2. evaluate and apply these concepts;
  3. critically evaluate approaches to the study of Asia and the Pacific;
  4. demonstrate effective communication skills.

Research-Led Teaching

Lab work will be conducted in this course

Field Trips

Visit to a jeweller in Cook to watch metalsmithing.

Additional Course Costs

Transport to the jewellery in Cook.

Examination Material or equipment

lake sediments and tree rings

Required Resources

A reading list will be made available on Wattle before course commencement.

A reading list will be made available on Wattle before course commencement.

Staff Feedback

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

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
10 Course Topic/Title: Pollution in past societies: the science and history that shaped the modern world Course Description: Pollution of the environment is coeval with humankind. Even early humans polluted the environment, when they lit a fire. This intimate relationship between humans and pollution makes it a necessity for archaeologists to understand how humans have used, adapted to, altered and are in turn affected by our environment. How has pollution affected the development of human society? How have people shaped their environments to deal with pollution? What makes the idea of one pollutant wrong/bad and another okay in different social spaces. Metal Pollution by Past Societies studies these questions through the use of scientific techniques to analyse landscapes, sites, soils, plants and animals, in order to tackle past metal pollution in an historical context. The aim is to provide students with a solid foundation of the interpretation of human-environment interactions in the past and the present, looking forward to how we may have to change our thinking in the future. The course will provide students with practical experience in archaeological science techniques to track past metal pollution in the environment and pinpoint its sources from ancient times. It will focus primarily on the legacy pollution from the Chinese Empire, the Incas, and modern colonisation, allowing discussions on wider theoretical questions beyond these societies. Learning Outcomes: On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to: 1) Describe the social and cultural mechanisms driving environmental metal pollution. 2) Link metallurgical techniques used to extract metals in the past to the type of pollution generated. 3) Understand the importance of metals to past cultures: for the Incas, Mayas, in the Chinese Empire and in modern colonisation. 4) Interpret the results of archaeological and palaeoecological dating methods, both calibrate radiocarbon dates and 210Pb dating. 5) Identify and describe the processes of pollution, transport, deposition and sedimentation 6) Apply geochemical and ecological proxies to reconstruct past environmental conditions. 7) Critically evaluate the impacts of social, political and technological changes on the history of metal pollution, and critically interpret how these aspects of human life have affected the climate and environment. Note: although some chemistry will be explained in the lectures, no major knowledge in chemistry is required for this course. Chemistry will be taught briefly, only to allow an understanding of the metallurgical processes used by ancient cultures. Assessment Summary: The course grade will based on points given for the online quizzes, case study paper presentation, and for the final report, per the following: 1. Online Quizzes 30% 2. Case study presentation 30% 3. Final tutorials’ report 40% Online quizzes: Online quizzes will be made available at the end of each day. You will have two days to complete each in turn. They should serve to consolidate what you have learnt in the lectures. Note that quizzes will be graded. Case Studies: Copies of scientific articles for student’s case study presentations will be delivered via Wattle and via email. Each student will choose a paper on a first-come, first-served basis. You are encouraged to read other articles related to the topic for your presentation. Feel free to approach Larissa to ask questions or further understand the topic of your case-study. She is very excited about the topic of this course and is supportive of students who want to make the most of it. Your presentation will be graded based on four major aspects: Content & Organization You should try to present at least the major aspects of your case study. We do know it is difficult to present every detail of the paper in 20 minutes, but the significant details (crucial to your paper) should be included. The organisation of your presentation should demonstrate a certain logic. In other words, it should be coherent and cohesive in a way that one segment naturally and logically leads to another. Make the case study’s argument forceful, then, contextualise it (needs and context analysis, for example), support it with evidence (research findings and interpretations, for example), show the logical steps that lead to the arguments (for example, setting up objectives, analysing findings, drawing conclusions). It is important to explain how the study was conducted, but there is no need to go deep into methods. Presentation Demeanour How you “act” and “behave” yourself in front of your audience will directly affect your oral presentation. The most important thing is: do not present for presentation’s sake; present to convince your audience. Therefore, show your knowledge and your enthusiasm! A dry, boring presentation where you show no interest in what you are talking about will convince and persuade no audience. Do not do anything that may distract your audience. Visuals Visuals are an essential part of an effective presentation. You can use any program (available at the ANU computers) you consider appropriate to design your visuals (e.g. PowerPoint, Word, etc.) You can have an introductory visual (in which you introduce the project title), an outline visual (which overviews the presentation), and whatever visuals you need to highlight the main points of your talk. Time limit Your presentation should be somewhere around 15 minutes, give or take a few. Being excessively over or under the limit will affect your grade. Minimum: 10 minutes Maximum: 20 minutes Audience: Larissa and your classmates Final report submission: Your report should be submitted as a word file online, using Turnitin (on Wattle). Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Note: Practical exercises and case-study presentations are expected to be delivered during classes. If the course has to be changed fully to an online platform (e.g. due to COVID, bushfires) then practical exercises will be expected to be uploaded on Wattle and study-case presentation will be delivered via Zoom. More information will be given by the convenor, if changing to online platform is required.

Tutorial Registration

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Quiz 30 % Quiz
Case Study 30 % Case Study
Final Report 40 % Final report

* 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 Integrity 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 Skills website. 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.


80% participation is expected


The assessment will be conducted by Larissa

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: Quiz


Quizzes will be released every afternoon with questions from the day classes.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: Case Study

Case Study

Students will present a case study on pollution by past societies. This task will be 30% worth.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: Final report

Final Report

Students will write a final report about the lab and field work activities.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • 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.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

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.

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 Larissa Schneider

Research Interests

Dr Larissa Schneider - environmental scientist

Dr Saul Guerrero - environmental historian

Dr Larissa Schneider

By Appointment
Dr Saul Guerrero

Research Interests

Dr Saul Guerrero

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