• Class Number 2971
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Alison Behie
    • Dr Cynthia Parayiwa
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
    • Alannah Pearson
SELT Survey Results

This course provides an overview of the types of environmental disasters that commonly affect both human and non-human primates. When considering humans alone, the course will examine the effect of environmental disasters cross-culturally by comparing victimology along with how different populations have prepared for, responded to and recovered from past disasters. The course will then expand on this through cross-species comparisons with the way other primates respond to and recover from the same (or similar) disasters. This course will also consider the role of disaster relief agencies in different cultural contexts and will use information learned from historical disasters to discuss what the expected impact of current environmental disasters may be.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Place the concept of disasters in both historical and current perspectives and recognize factors that influence preparedness and both the short and long-term response to environmental disasters;
2. Compile information from a variety of academic resources to identify common themes in long-term population responses to disasters across cultures and across species and understand how and why responses are similar or different;
3. Analyze existing disaster relief plans; and
4. Use historical examples to predict how populations may be expected to respond to current natural disasters and use this information to determine possible effective relief plans.

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Whether you are on campus or studying remotely, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos 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/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

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
1 Introduction to disasters and hazards
2 vulnerabilities
3 Primates online tutorial activity
4 Short term responses in humans
5 Short term responses in primates
6 Midterm Midterm
7 Long term responses in humans
8 Long term responses in primates
9 Relief agencies online tutorial activity, Essay proposal
10 Case study
11 Conservation issues
12 Adaptations to stochastic environments online tutorial activity, Final essay

Tutorial Registration

my timetable

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Midterm 20 % 1,4
Essay proposal 5 % 1,2
Essay 30 % 2
Tutorial Presentation 20 % 3
online tutorial activities 20 % 5
Tutorial participation 5 % 6

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic 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.


Tutorial participation will be assessed at 5% of the final grade. This will be assessed on contributions made to group discussions throughout the in class tutorials.


There will be a take home midterm in week 6.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,4


There will be one test held during semester (20%). This test will be a

will be a take home test released on wattle at 9am Wednesday 24 April and due 9am Wednesday 26 April via a turnitin link on wattleYou will be able to use lecture notes and readings but are NOT permitted to discuss the test or answers with anyone else. 

Assessment Task 2

Value: 5 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Essay proposal

The proposal should be 250 words (not including references) and explains what the student has chosen for a term paper topic. The proposal should include the paper topic as well as what the main focus of the paper will be. It should also include a list of at least 3 academic references that will be used in the paper

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 2


The term paper is due on Monday 22 May 2022 (submitted electronically to wattle) and must be 2000 words (not including references). There will be two options for your term paper (you must write on either topic 1 OR topic 2 NOT both):


1.     Short and long term responses of humans (and where applicable non-human primates) to environmental disasters. Students will select one way that environmental disasters are known to impact population health/dynamics (examples include: stress levels, disease dynamics, reproduction rates, poverty levels and unemployment etc.) and explore how this is affected by different types of disasters and how the response varies across cultures and species. For example, if you chose to examine stress responses following environmental disasters then you would examine how stress levels change in different populations following a variety of environmental disasters and what impact this has on recovery patterns in both the short and the long term. Be sure to include comparisons across cultures and species.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 3

Tutorial Presentation

In the first week of tutorials (week 2 of the course), tutorials will be broken into smaller research groups to begin preparing a presentation of a natural disaster case study. Each group will be assigned a type of disaster (earthquake and tsunami, hurricane or cyclone, drought, fire, tornado, volcano etc.) and will then be responsible for choosing a historical account of their specific disaster (for example, if you are assigned hurricanes, you may want to focus on Hurricane Katrina). For your case study presentation you must include the preparedness (consider the vulnerability of the population), response and recovery of the human population was and, where applicable, what the response of any non-human primate population was. 


Tutorial presentation: Starting the week 4 of semester, these presentations will form the basis of our tutorial discussions and activities. Presentations are to be recorded and uploaded to wattle by 5pm on Monday the week of the presentation tutorial. Students then need to watch the tutorial before attending Thursdays tutorial in order to be prepared for small group work based on the presentation.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 5

online tutorial activities

Online activities will be completed in weeks 3, 8 and 11 of semester. Each activity will tie into what is being taught in lecture and allow students to brainstorm and provide opinion on current and past disaters.

Assessment Task 6

Value: 5 %
Learning Outcomes: 6

Tutorial participation

Tutorial participation will be assessed not only on presence in tutorial but on contribution to group discussions and level of preparedness for group discussions.

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.
  • Late submission permitted. 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.

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.

Returning Assignments

Student feedback will be uploaded to wattle after grading within 2 weeks of submission.

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

No resubmission of assignments is permitted in this course.

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).

Prof Alison Behie

Research Interests

environmental change, primates, conservation, reproductive health

Prof Alison Behie

By Appointment
Dr Cynthia Parayiwa

Research Interests

Dr Cynthia Parayiwa

By Appointment
Alannah Pearson

Research Interests

Alannah Pearson

By Appointment

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