- Class Number 3097
- Term Code 3330
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Prof James Pittock
- Dr Rebecca Pearse
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 20/02/2023
- Class End Date 26/05/2023
- Census Date 31/03/2023
- Last Date to Enrol 27/02/2023
- Fatima Tanveer
- Joshua Walker
- Alexander Cox
- Louise Blessington
- Xolile Ncube
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. We examine 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. Guest speakers will be drawn from the many ANU Colleges and the government, community and business sectors.
Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates (excluding the tutorial) but are assessed separately.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Analyse the social, cultural and linguistic diversity in environment-society relations in Australia and the world.
- Evaluate critically and apply different perspectives about the causes and consequences of environmental change.
- Explain and evaluate different ideas behind environmental policy and governance arrangements.
- Demonstrate a capacity to evaluate and respond constructively to different viewpoints.
- Conduct independent research on environmental issues drawing on relevant geography and environmental studies literature.
- Produce a high standard of written material, demonstrating independent research skills.
Attending one field trip is compulsory. The 3 day Kioloa field trip will run in two groups 1-5 April this year and will cost ~$200. We will also run a one day field trip to Gurubung Dhaura (Stirling Park) in Canberra Saturday 25th March for Masters students (compulsory) and for those who cannot travel.
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
Working on environmental issues requires you to read across a range of inter/disciplinary fields. We don’t prescribe a text book for this course because we want students to engage directly with a diverse set of perspectives and epistemologies so that you develop independent research and analytical skills.
The following influential publications involve key concepts and high level analysis of topics dealing with interconnected environment and social issues. 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.
Earth system science
Rockström, Johan, Will Steffen, Kevin Noone, Åsa Persson, F Stuart Chapin, Eric F Lambin, Timothy M Lenton, Marten Scheffer, Carl Folke & Hans Joachim Schellnhuber (2009), 'A safe operating space for humanity ', Nature, 461(7263): 472-475.
Steffen, Will, Katherine Richardson, Johan Rockström, Sarah E Cornell, Ingo Fetzer, Elena M Bennett, Reinette Biggs, Stephen R Carpenter, Wim de Vries & Cynthia A de Wit (2015), 'Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet ', Science, 347(6223): 1259855.
Steffen, Will, Paul J Crutzen & John R McNeill (2007), 'The Anthropocene: are humans now overwhelming the great forces of nature ', AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, 36(8): 614-621.
Head, Lesley & Pat Muir (2004), 'Nativeness, invasiveness, and nation in Australian plants ', Geographical Review, 94(2): 199-217.
Head, Lesley (2007), 'Cultural ecology: The problematic human and the terms of engagement ', Progress in Human Geography, 31(6): 837-846.
Howitt, Richard & Sue Jackson (1998), 'Some things do change: Indigenous rights, geographers and geography in Australia ', The Australian Geographer, 29(2): 155-173.
Biology and human ecology
Hardin, Garrett (1985), 'Human ecology: the subversive, conservative science ', American Zoologist, 25(2): 469-476.
Turner, Graham M. (2008), 'A comparison of The Limits to Growth with 30 years of reality ', Global Environmental Change, 18(3): 397-411.
Ekins, Paul (1993), '‘Limits to growth’and ‘sustainable development’: grappling with ecological realities ', Ecological Economics, 8(3): 269-288.
Wright, Sarah, Kate Lloyd, Sandie Suchet-Pearson, Laklak Burarrwanga, Matalena Tofa & Country Bawaka (2012), 'Telling stories in, through and with Country: engaging with Indigenous and more-than-human methodologies at Bawaka, NE Australia ', Journal of Cultural Geography, 29(1): 39-60.
Watson, Irene (2018), 'Aboriginal relationships to the natural world: Colonial ‘protection’of human rights and the environment', Journal of Human Rights and the Environment, 9(2): 119-140.
Langton, Marcia & Zane Ma Rhea (2005), 'Traditional indigenous biodiversity-related knowledge ', Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 36(2): 45-69.
Redclift, Michale. & Colin Sage (1998), 'Global environmental change and global inequality ', International Sociology, 13(4): 499-516.
Buttel, Frederick H (2003), 'Environmental sociology and the explanation of environmental reform ', Organization & Environment, 16(3): 306-344.
Pellow, David N & Hollie Nyseth Brehm (2013), 'An environmental sociology for the twenty-first century ', Annual Review of Sociology, 39: 229-250.
Policy and public administration
Dovers, Stephen R (2000), 'On the contribution of environmental history to current debate and policy ', Environment and History, 6(2): 131-150.
Ross, Adrew & Stephen Dovers (2008), 'Making the harder yards: environmental policy integration in Australia ', Australian Journal of Public Administration, 67(3): 245-260.
Papadakis, Elim & Richard Grant (2003), 'The politics of 'light handed regulation': new environmental policy instruments in Australia ', Environmental Politics, 12(1): 25-50.
Raworth, Kate (2017), Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think like a 21st-century Economist , London: Penguin.
Costanza, Robert, Ralph d'Arge, Rudolf de Groot, Stephen Farber, Monica Grasso, Bruce Hannon, Karin Limburg, Shahid Naeem, Robert V O'Neill & Jose Paruelo (1998), 'The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital' , Ecological Economics, 25(1): 3-15.
Stern, David I (2004), 'The rise and fall of the environmental Kuznets curve ', World Development, 32(8): 1419-1439.
Government and international organisation reports
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:
WCED (1987), Our Common Future, World Commission on Environment and Development, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
IPCC (2014) Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report , IPCC, Geneva. The 6th Synthesis report is coming in March.
Australian Government (2021). Australia State of the Environment 2021 , Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra.
National Sustainability Council. (2013). Sustainable Australia Report 2013: Conversations with the Future Canberra , Australian Government.
Meadows, DH, Meadows, DI, Randers, J, & Behrens III, WW. (1972). The Limits to Growth: A Report to The Club of Rome , Universe Books, New York.
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. (2005). Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis . Washington, DC: Island Press.
Raworth, Kate. (2012). A Safe and Just Space for Humanity. Can We Live Within the Donut? Oxford: Oxfam.
UNEP. (2012). GEO5. Global Environmental Outlook. Environment for the future we want. Nairobi: United Nations Environment Programme.
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). 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.
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||Introduction – Ways of seeing the environment Tuesday 21 February||Tutorials run in week 1. Required reading Measham, Tom & Richard Baker (2005), 'Combining people, place and learning', in M. Keen, V.A. Brown & R. Dyball (eds), Social Learning in Environmental Management: Towards a Sustainable Future, Abingdon: Routledge.|
|2||The myth of terra nullius & Australia's development Tuesday 28 February||Required reading ?Langton, Marcia (1996), 'What do we mean by wilderness?: Wilderness and terra nullius in Australian art [Address to The Sydney Institute on 12 October 1995.]', The Sydney Papers, 8(1): 10-31. Watson, Irene (2014), 'Re-centring First Nations knowledge and places in a terra nullius space', AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, 10(5): 508-520.|
|3||Earth system science & planetary boundaries Tuesday 7 March||Required reading Steffen, Will, Wendy Broadgate, Lisa Deutsch, Owen Gaffney & Cornelia Ludwig (2015), 'The trajectory of the Anthropocene: The great acceleration', The Anthropocene Review, 2(1): 81-98. Castree, Noel (2015), 'The Anthropocene: A primer for geographers', Geography, 100(2): 66-75.|
|4||Sustainable development & institutions Tuesday 14 March||Required reading Hardin, Garrett (1968), 'The tragedy of the commons', Science, 162(1243-1248). Dietz, Thomas, Elinor Ostrom & Paul C Stern (2003), 'The struggle to govern the commons', Science, 302(5652): 1907-1912.|
|5||Conservation, inequalities & trade-offs Tuesday 21 March||Required reading Hirsch, Paul D, William M Adams, J Peter Brosius, Asim Zia, Nino Bariola & Juan Luis Dammert (2011), 'Acknowledging conservation trade-offs and embracing complexity', Conservation Biology, 25(2): 259-264. Fletcher, Robert (2012), 'Using the master's tools? Neoliberal conservation and the evasion of inequality', Development and Change, 43(1): 295-317.|
|6||Maps and fieldwork Tuesday 28 March||Required reading Hazen, Helen D & Leila Harris (2006), 'Power of maps: (Counter) mapping for conservation', ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies,, 4(99-130). Katz, Cindi (1994), 'Playing the field: Questions of fieldwork in geography', The Professional Geographer, 46(1): 67-72.|
|7||Growth & limits Tuesday 18 April||Required readings Forsyth, Tim (2016), 'Population and natural resources', In Richardson, D et al (eds) International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment and Technology: People, the Earth, Environment and Technology, New York: Wiley. pp. 1-6. Victor, Peter (2010), 'Questioning economic growth', Nature, 468(7322): 370-371.|
|8||Government decision-making Recorded lecture (Anzac day)||Required reading Dovers, Stephen (2013), 'The Australian environmental policy agenda', Australian Journal of Public Administration, 72(2): 114-128. Gauja, Anika (2015), 'The state of democracy and representation in Australia', Representation, 51(1): 23-34.|
|9||Green economics & valuing nature Tuesday 2 May||Required reading Raworth, Kate (2017), 'Why it's time for Doughnut Economics', IPPR Progressive Review, 24(3): 216-222. Spash, Clive L & Tone Smith (2019), 'Of ecosystems and economies: Re-connecting economics with reality', real-world economics review, 87: 212-229.|
|10||Democracy & environmental rights Tuesday 7 May||Required reading Dryzek, John S (1992), 'Ecology and discursive democracy: Beyond liberal capitalism and the administrative state', Capitalism Nature Socialism, 3(2): 18-42. Eckersley, Robyn (2005), 'Environment rights and democracy', in D. Bell, L. Fawcett, R. Keil & P. Penz (eds), Political Ecology: Local and Global, London: Routledge.|
|11||Policy implementation in the Murray Darling Basin Tuesday 16 May||Required reading Connell, Daniel. (2011) 'Water reform and the federal system in the Murray-Darling Basin', Water Resources Management, 25: 3993-4003. Alston, Margaret, Kerri Whittenbury, Deb Western & Aaron Gosling (2016), 'Water policy, trust and governance in the Murray-Darling Basin', Australian Geographer, 47(1): 49-64.|
|12||Review - hope in action Tuesday 23 May||No tutorials|
Students will need to register for a weekly tutorial (starting Week 1) on MyTimetable.
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Learning Outcomes|
|Field trip report (5000 words)||40 %||26/05/2023||2.3.4|
|Tutorial notes and questions||20 %||*||1,2,3,4|
|Tutorial quizzes||40 %||*||2,3,4|
* 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 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.
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.
There are no exams
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 2.3.4
Field trip report (5000 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.
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 about 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 evaluation should demonstrate your understanding of key themes emerging from the lectures, panels, and tutorials during the course (e.g. the debate on the tragedy of the commons, or on progress). However, you should not comment on each lecture, panel and tutorial but key issues that you feel emerged across these different classes, relevant to sustainability at Kioloa.
The assignment is to be referenced using Harvard style. 10% lee way will be given on the word count. The word count excludes your reference list.
- Key sustainability issues identified and well evaluated
- Evaluation draws on and demonstrates knowledge of key course concepts and peer-reviewed literature
- Stakeholder perspectives are well identified
- Practical processes for developing collective agreement on future management are described
- High quality annotated Kioloa plan map
- Nicely crafted report structure with coherent flow of ideas
- Well-written with no major grammar, punctuation or spelling errors
- Accurate referencing applied in Harvard style
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
Tutorial notes and questions
Due: during weekly tutorials
Students will sign up for this task in weeks 1 and 2. It's your responsibility to make sure you sign up for a week and to liaise with the other students working on that week too. Your tutors will assist.
Between weeks 2 and 11, 2-3 students will develop a 2-page 'tutorial paper' synthesising what you learned about the lectures and readings set for that week. The purpose of this exercise is to develop your reading and note-taking skills.
You will be marked on your tutorial paper. But to pass this assessment, you and the other student(s) submitting tutorial papers that week should work together on a short presentation that summarises key learnings for the week + poses 2-3 questions for class discussion. Your tutor will help your group facilitate discussion of your questions. The purpose of this component of the assessment is to help you develop your communication and listening skills and working with others to facilitate dialogue and shared understanding.
Further instructions for the tutorial paper
Your tutorial paper should be an individual submission and cover the entire week's content (readings, lectures and any discussion or other activities in the Tuesday lectures).
You are free to lay out the tutorial paper in any format you like, as long as it is made up of full sentences and paragraphs, with a logical flow of ideas. Your tutorial paper must do more than summarise readings. You should use the writing to interrogate the ideas and issues discussed that week.
Use reflective prose and key quotes and terms from the lectures and readings to discuss the key ideas your learned about. Use the 2 pages to compare differences in the perspectives, ideas and methods the people you have learned from present with. Comment on their key arguments and insights, how use evidence and interpret environmental issues. Comment on your perspective in relationship to the ideas. Has your view changed in response to a lecturer or a paper? How? If the information is old news or not convincing for you, what are the more important questions and ideas that should be discussed in your view?
Finish your tutorial paper with 2 questions for the class to discussion.
Further instructions about the class presentation task.
You will have 10 minutes as a group to make a brief presentation in class about your interpretation of the week's lecture and reading content. Use maximum three slides to summarise the ideas and issues discussed. Then present 2-3 questions to help open up discussion for class.
Your questions can be quite wide-ranging and the class won't have time to discuss all of them. Your tutor will help you and the class figure out what theme and question they will discuss immediately after your presentation.
The presentation is not marked, but the tutorial paper will be.
- Cogent summary of the scholarship and authors being discussed
- Accurate use of sources, with well-chosen quotes
- Insightful commentary on different concepts and methods
- Reflexive questions to help engage an audience
- Text is well written with attention to grammar, punctuation and spelling
- Accurate Harvard referencing
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4
Due: During weekly tutorials
Students will be required to complete a series of quizzes in-class during Weeks 2-11. Please see Wattle for further information.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
Environmental policy linkages between biodiversity, climate, energy, food and water.
Prof James Pittock
Dr Rebecca Pearse