Bio10187 uig 2012


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Bio10187 uig 2012

  1. 1. Welcome Welcome to the online unit Global Environmental Issues. This Unit Information Guide provides an outline of what we will cover in this unit, how the unit will unfold, and a guide to the assessment items. Scientific understanding of, and management responses to, environmental issues are constantly changing. Consequently, this unit is delivered online, both to ensure currency in terms of content, but also to introduce you as early as possible to new approaches to building collaborative knowledge and developing deeper understanding. The learning environment has rapidly changed over recent times, and Southern Cross University has embraced that change. Computers, and the online environment, are now tools of trade, and in this unit we make the most of these tools. In ‘Global Environmental Issues, in addition to teaching staff, and your textbook, the online Blackboard learning environment provides all the resources that you will need. The unit is founded on the background of the current debate about global change and the effects this is having on the environment, society and our future. To frame our discussions, the unit will draw on accounts written by leading environmental scientists and managers, and compares these with the current public debate, media and management and policy responses to these issues. ‘Global Environmental Issues’ explores the following overlapping topics: • ecosystems and their services, environmental resources and their use; • human population growth, sustainability and environmental health; • environmental change - land degradation, biodiversity, climate change, and water; • and lastly, management and policy responses to these issues. In this unit you will learn about global environmental management issues individually, and collectively, using online learning tools. All your resources are accessed via the Online Study Guide (learning site BIO10187) or will be made available during residential exercises. You will have a number of ways to communicate directly with each other and with teaching staff including emails, discussion boards and weekly (optional) online meetings using Elluminate Live! The two-day residential offers us a chance to meet each other and workshop some of the skills and issues in a face-to-face setting. To ensure you get the skills, and support you need please note that successful completion of the unit require attendance at the 2-day residential workshop based in Lismore. It is important also to be aware that by enrolling in this unit, as with all 1
  2. 2. courses conducted at University, that we assume that you have ready access to a computer and the Internet throughout the session. We do not assume, however, that you are familiar with the online tools we want you to use in this unit, and so will give you the support and guidance that you need here to become comfortable with these tools. The emphasis in this unit is on you, acquiring the skills needed to take you successfully through the rest of the course, as well as gain an understanding of global environmental issues applying a critical scientific approach to enquiry. Hopefully we will all have some fun along the way, despite the seriousness of the issues we will be examining.Teaching staff Unit assessor/Lecturer Dr Kristin den Exter Location: Lismore campus (Meetings by appointment to avoid disappointment) Phone: +61 2 6620 3253 Email: Kristin is a Lecturer within the School of Environmental Science & Management at Southern Cross University. Kristin graduated from the Coastal Management degree at Southern Cross University in 1994, with Honours in 1998. Kristin was awarded a PhD in 2004 for a thesis examining the potential of system dynamics group model-building for integrating environmental science principles with management practice. Kristins research currently focuses on participatory processes, collaborative learning, and the use of spatial and other technologies for improved environmental management outcomes with projects both locally and overseas. Kristin currently teaches into a number of units within in the School and in 2011, was jointly awarded a National teaching award with Dr David Lloyd, for outstanding contribution to student learning. Tutor Your tutor will be introduced to you via the Blackboard learning site at the start of the session. Other staff Staff from the Library, Academic Skills Development Unit and other staff from the School of Environmental Science and Management will be involved in various components of the two-day residential. 2
  3. 3. Unit statementSouthern Cross University School of Environmental Science and ManagementDescription Unit title: Global Environmental Issues Unit code: BIO10187 Undergraduate, postgraduate: Undergraduate Prerequisites: Nil Corequisites: Nil Antirequisites: Nil Other enrolment conditions The unit will have a Compulsory Residential & requirements: Workshop at the Lismore campus. Please refer to the External Residential Timetable which can be found on the Environmental Science Student Centre in MySCU Student Services enrolment category: Online Graded/ungraded: Graded Field of education: 050999 Environmental Studies not elsewhere classified Credit points: 12 3
  4. 4. Aims The unit overviews major issues of global environmental change and places issues of Australian environmental change into their global context, introducing students to the application of scientific enquiry and critical thinking. Global Environmental Issues introduces critical thinking and the application of scientific enquiry to enable understanding of complex inter-related issues. In this unit students are encouraged to critically evaluate global, national, regional and local policy and management responses to the emerging evidence for major global environmental change.Objectives Upon completion of this unit students should be able to: 1. Identify and define significant global environmental issues regarding environmental degradation, human population growth, resource use, and climate change. 2. Examine global environmental issues from the science underpinning our understanding, to the link between science and management. 3. Demonstrate an ability to present succinct summaries, analyses and arguments regarding complex issues concerning the global environment, using a range of communication techniques. 4. Reflect on the academic principles underpinning scientific inquiry as well as the students learning process.Graduate attributes As a graduate of the Environmental Science and Management programme at Southern Cross University you are more than just the sum of the knowledge you have acquired through your subjects. During your studies you will have developed other skills, values and attitudes that are essential for gaining employment and advancing lifelong learning. The University refers to these skills, values and attitudes as graduate attributes. These attributes include a range of intellectual skills and attitudes to professional standards and values. In this unit students will be assessed towards their attainment of the following graduate attributes, as identified by the School of Environmental Science & Management: 1. Intellectual rigour – a commitment to excellence in all scholarly and professional intellectual activities, including critical analysis, decision making and judgement as they relate to environmental science and management; 6. Effective teamwork, communication and social skills – the ability to communicate and collaborate within environmental science and management contexts in ways that are appropriate in interpersonal, scholarly, professional and social terms; 7. Cultural awareness – an awareness and respect for cultural diversity and the relationship between people and their environment, both regionally and globally.Handbook entry Introduces major global and regional environmental issues associated with human (anthropogenic) use of environmental resources. The unit examines issues of resource use and increasing human population, and the evidence for environmental degradation, climate change as well as the role science plays in shaping management and policy responses, placing Australian regional issues into a global context. 4
  5. 5. Syllabus The schedule of topics covers curriculum content delivered in the online study guide and during residential exercises. This unit explores the following overlapping topics: • Ecosystems and their services, environmental resources and their use; • Human population growth, sustainability and environmental health; • Environmental change, land degradation, biodiversity, climate change, and water; • Management and policy responses. Underpinning this exploration, we introduce the use of scientific inquiry to build understanding of the complexities of these topics, and evaluate current policy and management responses.Prescribed texts and materials Your textbook is Lindenmayer et al (2008) Ten Commitments which is available free online as an ebook (nb: you must be logged into the university system for this link to work). The co-op bookstore also has limited hardcopies copies available for purchase if you prefer. We will be drawing on this textbook in detail, and you will need access to one on a regular basis throughout the study period. Readings There is an Online Study Guide for this unit available via the MySCU website that from time to time may include additional short readings, or other multi-media resources.Student assessment requirements Assessment Task Unit Graduate Weighting Week due Item objectives attributes % assessed assessed Discussion Topic 1 - 12 Mar Assessment Board 1, 2, 3, 4 1, 6, 7 40% Topic 2 – 26 Mar Item 1 Contribution Topic 3 – 23 Apr Topic 4 - 14 May Assessment Wiki Page 1, 2, 3, 4 1, 6, 7 40% 30 April Item 2 Assessment Reflection 3, 4 1, 6, 7 20% 21 May Item 3 In order to achieve a passing grade in this unit, all assessment tasks must be attempted Marking and return of assignments All assessment is online. All grading is done by staff and timely feedback will be provided via the MySCU site. Grades will be posted on MySCU. 5
  6. 6. Discussion groups Students will be assigned to a Discussion Group for this unit, students can access these groups via the MySCU in Week 1. These discussion groups will form the nucleus of your Global Environmental Issues journey, and ALL assessment work is organised around your Discussion Group.Assessment details The assessment of this unit comprises three elements: 1. Contributions to four structured discussion boards, 2. Creation of a wiki page and 3. Personal reflection on your experience over the unit, in relation to the content and the assessment tasks. All the assessment items must be attempted; all are graded, and will contribute towards the final unit grade. Online submission of all assignments Successful completion, and submission, of assessment items will require weekly access to the internet and the Blackboard learning site. Submission of assessment items will occur via private student learning reflection blogs, open discussion boards and class wikis. Detailed instruction will be given in Week 1, and further guidance provided throughout the teaching session.Assessment itemsAssessment Item 1 – Discussion Board Contribution Due: Topic 1 – discussion board closes Monday, 12 March 2012. Topic 2 – discussion board closes Monday, 26 March 2012. Topic 3 – discussion board closes Monday, 23 April 2012. Topic 4 – discussion board closes Monday, 14 May 2012. Length: There will be four structured discussion boards in total over the session, open for two weeks at a time. Each discussion board will consist of three questions for discussion. Submission: Online (Discussion Boards) Weighting: 40% in total (4 × 10%) This assessment item is where students will demonstrate an understanding of the issues in each topic, and share with staff and peers within Discussion Groups via the use of discussion boards. Using these discussion boards we can explore different viewpoints, and the evidence for these views in each topic. Students are asked to demonstrate critical thinking, be able to develop arguments, and use evidence to support the arguments made in response to a discussion board question. The discussion board questions will directly relate to the learning activities in each of the four topic areas and help students build toward the major Assignment (see Assessment 2 – Wiki Page). Each discussion board will be open for the two-weeks we explore that topic, once the topic is closed the 6
  7. 7. related discussion board will also close. This means back posting to previous topic boards will not be possible, as we want real-time discussion. It also assists students to learn good time management skills to best manage workloads for this and other units and not get behind in studies. Net etiquette applies (please focus on the topic not the person) and these discussion boards will be moderated by staff. Grading: Students will receive marks for their posts in response to the discussion questions, or in reply to another post. Posts must contain an argument, or refute an argument using the textbook or other resources as provided as sources of evidence. A detailed marking guide will be provided early on in the teaching session based on the following marking criteria: • Completeness of response in answering the question asked; • Demonstration of critical thinking; • Construction of an argument, including clarity and logic; • Use of evidence to support your argument, including reference to the textbook, or where appropriate, other references provided.Assessment Item 2 – Create a Wiki Page Due: Monday, 30 April 2012 Length: 1000 words Submission: online (Wiki) Weighting: 40% Objectives This assessment item asks students to create a Wiki page summarising a key global environmental issue. The wiki page will be viewable at all times to staff and students within the same discussion group. This assignment is the major assignment item for the unit, and fulfils unit objectives 1, 2, 3 and 4 and is designed to develop your ability to critically evaluate and describe succinctly a global environmental issue, making a reasoned case for your conclusion. This should not be simply a summary, but should present reasoned and integrated arguments relevant to the issue under question. We will introduce and develop the critical analysis and writing skills during the study period, as well as provide guidance on the what, why and hows of the use of wikis. Your assignment is to: Choose one key global environmental issue as described in the textbook (further details will be provided early in the teaching session). 1. Discuss why it is an important environmental issue for Australia and why there are global implications. Or is it a global environmental issue with implications for Australia? 2. Identify the complexities of the issue and describe the views of the different stakeholders involved. 3. Identify management approaches. Comment on why, in your opinion, the management approach is appropriate or identify and explain any weakenesses in the policy response. 4. Post your work to a page in the appropriate wiki (each Discussion Group will have wikis created for them). Marking criteria: A detailed marking guide will be provided early on in the teaching session 7
  8. 8. based on the following marking criteria: 1. Has the student, in their wiki page, described the issue and implications for Australia and the rest of the world using critical analysis? 2. Has the student in their wiki page, incorporated referenced facts and statements from the textbook, and other resources provided in the online study guide, to illustrate their analysis and understanding of the complexities of this particular issue? 3. Has the student in their wiki page, drawn a conclusion on the effectiveness of policy and/or management approaches, regarding this particular issue with supporting evidence and a reasoned argument? 4. Use of appropriate in text referencing, with a reference list supplied at the bottom of the wiki page, including hyperlinks where possible.Assessment Item 3 –Reflection Due: Monday, 21 May 2012 Length: 300 words Submission: online (via Your Private Blog) Weighting: 20% Objectives This assignment encourages students to use reflective writing and evaluate their experience over the course of the Global Environmental Issues unit. Students will be given guidance on the what, why and how of reflective writing early in the study period. This assignment asks students to answer the following questions: 1. What do you think you did well at in the unit Global Environmental Issues? 2. What academic skills do you need to work on improving? 3. If you could spend more time on Assessment Item 2 (creating a wiki page) what would you do differently? 4. Any additional comments you would like to make. Marking criteria: A detailed marking guide will be provided early on in the teaching session based on the following marking criteria: • completeness against the first three questions above (5 marks per question); and • The demonstration of the use of reflective writing, with reference to relevant literature - 5 marks.Student academic integrity It is a University requirement that a student’s work complies with the Academic Policy, Chapter 4.20 on Student Academic Integrity. It is a student’s responsibility to be familiar with the Policy. Failure to comply with the Policy can have severe consequences in the form of University sanctions. For information on this Policy please refer to Chapter 4.20 on Student Academic Integrity at the following website: 8
  9. 9. under ‘Student Values and Rights’. As part of a University initiative to support the development of academic integrity, assessments may be checked for plagiarism, including through an electronic system, either internally or by a plagiarism checking service, and be held for future checking and matching purposes.Grades Students who complete a unit will receive one of the following grades: • Fail • Absent Fail • Satisfied Requirements (where used) • Pass • Credit • Distinction • High Distinction. Student grades are determined by applying the following grading standards in combination with specific marking criteria for each assessment item. Note: Marks may be subject to moderating adjustments. Grading standards Fail: The student’s performance fails to satisfy the learning requirements specified. Absent Fail: The student fails to submit all assessment items and is deemed to have abandoned studies. Satisfied Requirements (where used): The student’s performance satisfies all of the basic learning requirements specified. Pass: The student’s performance satisfies all of the basic learning requirements specified and provides a sound basis for proceeding to higher-level studies in the subject area. The student’s performance could be described as satisfactory or adequate or competent or capable in relation to the learning requirements specified. Credit: The student’s performance, in addition to satisfying all of the basic learning requirements specified, demonstrates insight and ability in researching, analysing and applying relevant skills and concepts. The student’s performance could be described as better than satisfactory or adequate or competent or capable in relation to the learning requirements specified. Distinction: The student’s performance, in addition to satisfying all of the basic learning requirements, demonstrates distinctive insight and ability in researching, analysing and applying relevant skills and concepts, and shows a well-developed ability to synthesise, integrate and evaluate knowledge. The student’s performance could be described as distinguished in relation to the learning requirements specified. High Distinction: The student’s performance, in addition to satisfying all of the basic learning requirements, demonstrates distinctive insight and ability in researching, analysing and applying relevant skills and concepts, and shows exceptional ability to synthesise, integrate and evaluate knowledge. The student’s performance could be described as outstanding in relation to the learning requirements specified. 9
  10. 10. Enquiries and clarification of the assessment procedures • If students have any doubt about the assessment procedures for this unit, they should contact the unit assessor at the earliest convenience. • Misunderstanding of the assessment rules will not be accepted as an excuse for incorrect submission or non-submission of the assessment item. If in doubt, ask! • Teaching staff are readily available by email or face-to-face, and can advise students on all aspects of the unit, so please approach them if you have any queries. • The unit assessor, Dr Kristin den Exter, is the only person authorised to give permission for late or alternative submission of assessable items. Do not expect any other teaching staff associated with this unit to give permission for late or alternative submission of assessable items.Plagiarism Plagiarism is defined as reproduction and presentation of the work of others without acknowledgment and includes copying (in whole or in part) the work or data of other persons, or presenting substantial extracts from books, articles, theses, computer software, lecture notes, assignments or tapes, without due acknowledgment. All forms of plagiarism and unauthorised collusion are regarded as a serious offence by Southern Cross University and could result in penalties, including fail grades and possible disciplinary action. For further details see General Rules: 3.17 in the University Handbook at: If in doubt, please consult with the unit assessor for further information. All students are advised against making assessable material (assignments etc.) available to other students, as they could then be a party to plagiarism and, as such, may be penalised as if they themselves had committed an act of plagiarism.Referencing A number of referencing systems are used across the University. You should check with your lecturer regarding the referencing system to be used for this unit. You will find examples of the different types of systems on the Academic Skills Information Guides section of the Academic Skills Development Unit website: You will also find information on referencing on the Academic Skills Development Unit CD, What’s expected of me at University? available from the Academic Skills Development Unit.Student feedback Students are encouraged to complete the online student feedback on learning and teaching survey. This is offered for all units in every study period. This feedback is very important to us, and allows us to reflect on what we could do differently next time, but also to gauge if we are meeting your expectations. 10
  11. 11. Learning resourcesUnit learning resources This unit, Global Environmental Issues, makes use of the following resources: Online study guide & software The online study guide will comprise information content and study advice. All resources will be made available via the Blackboard learning site BIO10187. You will need the following software: standard Microsoft office or Adobe software, media players (eg quicktime and itunes) to access audio and video content. See software downloads in your MySCU site for access to University licenced software. Online discussions and/or tutorials You will note from the assessment outline that online discussion and use of online communication is essential to this unit. Please note: you will be required to discuss your ideas on the forum in a mindful and respectful manner. We will cover some very emotive and controversial topics so be prepared that you may disagree with another’s view and that is okay. We do not require consensus only considered comments. This unit will make use of Elluminate Live! for interactive communication, however although students are strongly encourage to participate, this is not a compulsory element of the unit. You can access the required software via your Global Environmental Issues MySCU site. MySCU MySCU is the online teaching and learning environment at Southern Cross University. All students enrolled in Global Environmental Issues have access to online resources for this unit. This will be the major source of materials for you, the mode for submission of you assessment, as well as our principle medium for communication. You will have access to resources including: unit announcements; unit documents (content and study notes and discussions); unit information (staffing, consultation times, and unit outline); and your marks. When new material is posted on the MySCU website, you will receive an email alert, although it is advisable to check the website every few days, and at least once per week. To access MySCU for this unit, check the following location in your browser: This opens the MySCU student intranet page. The names of units in which you are currently enrolled that have an online presence will be listed here under ‘Learning Sites’. If Global Environmental Issues is not listed under ‘Learning Sites’, please contact Student Administration for assistance. If you have submitted a variation through Student Administration, and the unit still does not appear, send an email to Residential There will be a two-day residential for all students during the School’s residential period. Further details of the residential will be posted on the MySCU site closer to the date. During the residential there will be set activities to discuss the themes covered thus far in the unit. All students should attend the residential as work undertaken over the two days will provide the skills and information required to undertake the major assignment. 11
  12. 12. Student consultationStudents are encouraged to contact the teaching staff by email and phone to discuss personalmatters regarding their studies. Kristin prefers email as an initial mode of communication but isalso available to discuss issues face – face or via the telephone on a needs basis. Queries regardingthe content or readings should be directed to the discussion forum as it is likely that others mayhave the same questions / concerns.External studies officer: If you have a problem that you feel has not been resolved by teachingstaff then you can visit the External Studies Officer, Bill Llewellyn, in the School office, or contacthim by phone on (02) 6620 3558 or by email resourcesYou are encourage to use the services of the Library and computing facilities at Southern CrossUniversity In addition the University has a student Academic Skills Development Unit that canhelp students individually or in small groups for more general academic matters and skills such asreading, writing and maths skills. 12
  13. 13. Suggested study timetable Week/ Textbook Readings Graded Assessment Topic commencing Due Dates (Length) Contributors pp.viii-xix, Week 1 Introduction to the unit Lindenmeyer pp.1-2, 20 February Lindenmeyer et al pp.227-231. Week 2 ‘Ecosystems’ pp.3-42 27 February and pp: 51-95. Ecosystems and Services, Environmental Resources and Use Topic 1 - Discussion Board Week 3 ‘Sectors’ pp.95-131. closes 12 March 5 March (150 words) Week 4 McMichael pp.179-186, 12 March Gleeson & McManus pp.37-42. Environmental Health & Human Population Growth Week 5 Foran & Gurran pp.169-178 19 March Topic 2 – Discussion Board Week 6 Compulsory Residential closes 26 March 26 March 28-29 March (150 words) Week 7 Study Week 2 April Week 8 Steffen pp.143-149, 9 April Hughes pp.133-142. Environmental Change Cullen et al pp.149-154, Topic 3 – Discussion Board Week 9 Possingham pp.155-162, closes 23 April 16 April Gill pp.187-192. (150 words) Lindenmeyer pp.43-51, Assessment 2 - Wiki Page Week 10 Handmer & Brown pp.193-200, Due 30 April 23 April Altman & Jackson pp.207-215. Management & (1000 words) Policy Responses Dovers pp.215-224, Week 11 Bourke pp.163168, 30 April Lowe pp.201-206. tba Topic 4 – Discussion Board Week 12 Food Security (online resources) closes 21 May 7 May Case Study - Timor Leste (150 words) Week 13 tba Review and summary 14 May (online resources) Assessment 3 - Reflection 21 May Study Break Due 21 May (300 words) 13
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