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REN3302 Sustainable Resource Use

Semester 2, 2021 Online
Short Description: Sustainable Resource Use
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Sciences
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 050999 - Environmental Studies not else
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 27 July 2021


Examiner: Adam Frew

Other requisites

Recommended Pre-requisite: REN1201.


Present and future decision-makers require knowledge of the principles of ecological sustainability and sustainable development. As options for sustainable land and resource uses become more constrained, the need for integrated regional resource planning becomes more urgent and more crucial to Australia's future. Students from a range of programs will benefit from this course which provides an overview of natural resource management and resource use in Australia, with a particular emphasis on environmental impacts.


The course provides 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 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.


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

  1. Describe the Australian environment and biota;
  2. Analyse the potential and limitations of Australian land resources;
  3. Examine the history of human settlement in Australia and evaluate early human and contemporary impacts on the Australian environment;
  4. Critically assess the relative advantages and disadvantages of agriculture, mining, forestry, conservation reserves and other land uses;
  5. Evaluate and apply the principles of ecologically sustainable development to sustainable resource use issues;
  6. Apply knowledge of development and conservation.


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). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

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.
Flannery, T 1997, The future eaters: an ecological history of the Australasian lands and people, Reed Books, Sydney.
Miller, GT, & Spoolman, SE 2019, Living in the Environment, 20th edn, Cengage, Boston, MA.
Sher, AA & Primack, RB 2019, An Introduction to Conservation Biology, 2nd edn, Sinauer Associates: Oxford University Press, New York.
State of the Environment 2016 Committee. Australia state of the environment 2016.
Independent report to the Australian Government Minister for Environment and Energy. Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra (2017). <>.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assignments 46.00
Examinations 2.00
Online Lectures 26.00
Online Tests 3.00
Online Tutorials 26.00
Private Study 64.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Online Quiz 1 50 5 13 Aug 2021 (see note 1)
Assignment 1 (Essay) 100 25 06 Sep 2021 (see note 2)
Online Quiz 2 50 5 10 Sep 2021 (see note 3)
Assignment 2 (Presentation) 100 15 04 Oct 2021 (see note 4)
Online Quiz 3 50 5 22 Oct 2021 (see note 5)
Online Examination 120 45 End S2 (see note 6)

  1. Online Quizzes will be undertaken via the course StudyDesk and each must be completed in a single session within the specified period.
  2. Assignment must be submitted via the online submission system on the Course Studydesk.
  3. Refer to the Notes for 'Online Quiz 1' for details
  4. Refer to the Notes for 'Assignment 1 (Essay)' for details
  5. Refer to the Notes for 'Online Quiz 1' for details
  6. This will be an online exam. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the Alternate Assessment Schedule has been released.

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:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the weighted marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  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:
    An Online Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed, written, or online material as well as a calculator.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  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

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must submit the assignment to USQ via electronic submission on the Course Studydesk. 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. It is not possible to extend or defer the online quizzes. Students will need to complete the quizzes in the specified period on the course Studydesk.

  3. Students must use the assignment templates provided on the Course Studydesk for electronic submission of assignments.

  4. In accordance with Faculty of Health, Engineering and 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.

  5. 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.

Date printed 27 July 2021