- Class Number 4255
- Term Code 3350
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Prof Saul Cunningham
- Dr Leah Moore
- Prof Saul Cunningham
- Shoshana Rapley
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 04/09/2023
- Class End Date 01/10/2023
- Census Date 08/09/2023
- Last Date to Enrol 08/09/2023
To work effectively as a professional in environmental science and environmental management you need 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 four nights during the second week of the mid-semester break, as well as day long field trips from the ANU Canberra campus during the first week. 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 mandatory field training for those students concurrently enrolled in ENVS2001 Biodiversity Science: Wildlife, Vegetation and Landscape Ecology. Students enrolled in ENVS2023 Sustainable Agricultural Systems are strongly encouraged to consider enrolling in this course.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Collect a diversity of data that describe the biophysical attributes and processes of ecosystems.
- Recognise and understand strengths and weaknesses of a range of field sampling techniques and survey designs.
- Demonstrate a capacity to choose appropriate data collection methodology, design appropriate sampling strategies and communicate findings about ecosystem patterns, processes and resource management impacts.
In this course you will participate fully in the ecological research process beginning with developing research questions and posing testable hypotheses in the context of the impact of landscape processes 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 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.
This intensive course is structured around field trips. For week one we will do field trips in the Canberra region, focusing on landscapes and soils. Week two will be spent at the Kioloa Coastal Campus (staying for 4 nights), focusing on assessing biodiversity. There are additional field trip fees of $420 applicable to participation in this course (payment to ANU Science Shop).
Please see the CoS Field Trip page for more information.
All field trips are compulsory, absence from a field trip without a medical certificate will result in a Incomplete Fail (NCN) result.
Additional Course Costs
There are additional field trip fees of $420 applicable to participation in this course (payment to ANU Science Shop).
Examination Material or equipment
There is no final (formal) exam, but rather a range of assessments described in detail on Wattle.
Personal Protective Equipment:
- Students need to provide sturdy shoes, rain pants and jacket, hat.
- The School will provide High visibility vests.
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.
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:
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.
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.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||This is an intensive course delivered in two sessions:Week 1: 4-8 SeptemberWeek 2: 11-15 SeptemberThe first week we will do field trips in the Canberra region, focusing on landscapes and soils. The second week will be spent at the Kioloa Coastal Campus (staying for 4 nights), focusing on assessing biodiversity.|
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Quiz on pre-course reading||20 %||04/09/2023||07/09/2023||2,3|
|Reflective learning journal||30 %||02/10/2023||02/11/2023||2, 3|
|Group data analysis and reflections||20 %||15/09/2023||02/11/2023||1,2,3|
|Group data management||10 %||15/09/2022||02/11/2023||1,2,3|
|Research reports||20 %||09/10/2023||02/11/2023||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 Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:
- Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure
- Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure
- Special Assessment Consideration Guideline and General Information
- Student Surveys and Evaluations
- Deferred Examinations
- Student Complaint Resolution Policy and Procedure
- Code of practice for teaching and learning
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.
All field trips are compulsory. Absences require a medical certificate. Attendance is taken at each field location.
No formal exam.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 2,3
Quiz on pre-course reading
The quiz (multiple choice or short answers) is based on material provided on Wattle
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3
Reflective learning journal
Word Count: Maximum = 3000
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 we suggest you keep daily ‘field notes’ and use them to help inform and develop your key learnings and reflections. We encourage you to reflect upon your experience of the research process we’ve dropped you into. We also expect you to reflect on how the issues we addressed in our field research are relevant to people and to solving practical problems.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3
Group data analysis and reflections
You will be assigned to teams at the beginning of the course. Each team will deliver a 15-minute presentation focusing on one of the research questions examined during the field work. Presentations will be 15 minutes long and delivered on the final day of the course.
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3
Group data management
You will be assigned to teams at the beginning of the course. In your team you will be required to manage the data for one of the research questions examined during the field work.
Your data will be used by others in the course and contribute to long-term monitoring.Your group will be assessed on the rigour and completeness of your data management.
Assessment Task 5
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3
Prepare and submit a technical report, exploring themes of the course (ie landscapes and biodiversity). Each report should focus on one of the research questions examined during the field work. The report must present an examination of field collected data. You will be required to compile (summarise) this data and reflect on what it means ecologically. Technical reports are a common format in many environmental science jobs. You will be provided with model report that indicates typical format and style.
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: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Access 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
Ecology, conservation, biodiversity
Prof Saul Cunningham
Ecology, conservation, biodiversity
Dr Leah Moore
Ecology, conservation, biodiversity
Prof Saul Cunningham