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REN3302 Sustainable Resource Use

Semester 2, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Biological & Physical Sciences
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page

Staffing

Examiner: Andy Le Brocque
Moderator: Bernadette McCabe

Other requisites

Recommended Pre-requisite: REN1201. Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at <http://www.usq.edu.au/current-students/support/computing/hardware>.

Rationale

Present and future Australian decision-makers require an understanding of the principles of sustainable development. Students in all programs will benefit from an appreciation of the environmental impact of current land and resource uses. As options for sustainable land and resource uses become more constrained, the need for integrated catchment and regional resource planning, becomes more urgent and more crucial to Australia's future.

Synopsis

The course is based on an explanation of ecological principles as a basis for managing Australia's land and water resources sustainability. The effects of economic growth and traditional management approaches on land use for agriculture, mining, forestry, protected areas, water catchments and urban expansion are analysed and explained. Environmental impacts are studied and compared economically, ecologically and socially. Current approaches to land and resource use planning and resource use are evaluated in terms of their contribution to a sustainable Australian society. A major component of the course is a student project which examines a local resource management issue in detail.

Objectives

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the Australian environment and biota;
  2. demonstrate an appreciation of the history of human settlement in Australia and early human and contemporary impacts on the Australian environment;
  3. demonstrate an appreciation of the potential and limitations of Australian land resources;
  4. recognise the relative advantages and disadvantages of agriculture, mining, forestry, conservation reserves and other land uses;
  5. demonstrate an understanding of and be able to apply the principles of ecologically sustainable development;
  6. demonstrate a significant contribution to an understanding of sustainable resource use issues;
  7. integrate knowledge of development and conservation into their major study.

Topics

Description Weighting(%)
1. The Australian Environment and Biota 20.00
2. Human Impacts in Australia: Impacts and Land Use in Early Australia; Overview of Recent Human Impacts 20.00
3. Major Land Issues in Australia: Forestry & Fisheries; Agriculture & Pastoralism; Mining; Energy & Atmospheric Pollution; The Urban Environment 40.00
4. Sustainability in Australia: Communities & Sustainability; Policy & Legislation; Integrating Sustainability 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (https://bookshop.usq.edu.au/bookweb/subject.cgi?year=2012&sem=02&subject1=REN3302)

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (https://bookshop.usq.edu.au/contact/)

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Aplin, G 2002, Australians and their environment: an introduction to environmental studies, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne.
  • Cocks, D 1992, Use with care: managing Australia's natural resources in the 21st Century, University of NSW Press, Sydney.
  • Flannery, T 1997, The future eaters: an ecological history of the Australasian lands and people, Reed Books, Sydney.
  • Groom, MJ, Meffe, GK & Carroll, R 2005, Principles of Conservation Biology, 3rd edn, Sinauer Associates Inc, Sunderland, MA.
  • Mercer, D 2000, A question of balance: natural resources and conflict issues in Australia, 3rd edn, Federation Press, Sydney.
  • Miller, GT, & Spoolman, SE 2009, Living in the environment, 16th edn, Thomson Brooks/Cole, Pacific Grove, CA.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assignments 46.00
Examinations 2.00
Lectures 26.00
Online Tests 2.00
Private Study 54.00
Tutorials 26.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 (BIBLIOGRAPHY) 50 5 06 Aug 2012 (see note 1)
ONLINE QUIZ 1 60 10 13 Aug 2012
ONLINE QUIZ 2 60 10 10 Sep 2012
ASSIGNMENT 2 (eSEMINAR) 50 30 24 Sep 2012 (see note 2)
2HR RESTRICTED EXAM 120 45 End S2 (see note 3)

NOTES
  1. Assignment 1 must be by electronic submission. Refer to your Introductory Book and course StudyDesk for correct labelling of electronic files and electronic submission details. Times and dates refer to Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).
  2. Assignment 2 must be by electronic submission. Refer to your Introductory Book and course StudyDesk for correct labelling of electronic files and electronic submission details. Times and dates refer to Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).
  3. Examination dates will be available during the Semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assessment item. To complete the examination satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for the examination.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    This is a restricted examination. Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are: writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination). Students whose first language is not English, may, take an appropriate unmarked non-electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination. Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will normally be held during the examination period at the end of the next exam period, although at the discretion of the examiner, in consultation with the student(s) an alternative date may be arranged.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at http://policy.usq.edu.au.

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ via the electronic assignment submission environment (EASE) on the course website. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within five days if required by the Examiner. In the event that a due date for an assignment falls on a local public holiday in their area, such as a Show holiday, the due date for the assignment will be the next day. Students are to note on the assignment cover the date of the public holiday for the Examiner's convenience.

  2. Students must use the assignment template (.doc document) provided on the course Website for electronic submission of assignments. The templates include an assignment cover page and marking criteria and must be submitted in a Microsoft Office Word 2007 compatible format unless otherwise instructed.

  3. In accordance with Faculty of Sciences and USQ regulations, applications for extensions to assignment due dates must be made in writing to the Examiner before the assignment due date. Applications for extensions must be accompanied by appropriate documentary evidence.

  4. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. http://www.usq.edu.au/library/referencing