BIOSCI 748 : Weed and Pest Management


2021 Semester Two (1215) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Techniques for the management of invasive plants and animals (vertebrates and invertebrates) in different ecosystem types, including terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Approaches to the prevention, control and eradication of invasive species in different situations.

Course Overview

This postgraduate science course explores the science of pest management. We discuss and critique different approaches to the prevention, control and eradication of invasive species in different situations. Students will learn different strategies and techniques for managing weeds, vertebrate and invertebrate pests in different ecosystems. A key theme of this course is that pest management can be highly ineffective where science is not used to understand when and where management interventions should be made. This intensive block course is based around debates and small group workshops, where students apply their ecological knowledge to real world management scenarios, and develop incursion and management responses. There is also a strong focus on the social acceptability of pest management, the role of Māori and communities in developing pest management goals, and behaviour change. This course strongly aligns with employer requirements and there are frequent opportunities for interaction with agency experts. Students are also prepared for postgraduate research through exercises on identifying knowledge gaps, writing research questions and hypotheses, and developing research proposals.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Master of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Differentiate and explain the unique approaches required for the prevention, control and eradication of invasive species in different ecosystems and contexts (Capability 1)
  2. Evaluate critically, different strategies and techniques and apply understanding by developing a best practice management strategy for a new incursion (Capability 2 and 3)
  3. Recognise and acknowledge differing world views in pest management, and evaluate different ways in which compromises can be made to meet pest management outcomes (Capability 2, 3, 5 and 6)
  4. Work collaboratively in a group to solve management issues using science (Capability 3 and 4)
  5. Communicate and share pest management science challenges and solutions both orally (to the class) and in written form (Capability 2, 3 and 4)
  6. Apply the scientific method by developing a research proposal for a knowledge gap in pest management, and communicate the context and design effectively (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Incursion Management Plan 50% Individual Coursework
Research Proposal 50% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Incursion Management Plan
Research Proposal


For more information and to find contact details for the SBS Tūakana coordinator, please see 

Key Topics

  • Pest control principles
  • Monitoring and surveillance
  • Incursion response
  • Invertebrate pest management (includes marine)
  • Weed management
  • Predator Free NZ (vertebrate pest management)
  • Prioritising pest management
  • Māori & pest management
  • Communities & pest management

Special Requirements

This is a block course requiring attendance and participation from 9am - 5pm for 4 continuous days in the first week of Semester only. Please contact the coordinator (Margaret Stanley to discuss any issues you might have attending the entire block course.

Workload Expectations

This courses are designed so that the average student should be able to pass by spending 150 hours on this course. Use the following as a guide.

Contact time = 32 hours 

Incursion Management Plan assignment = 45 hours 

Research Proposal assignment = 45 hours 

Pre-reading and reading throughout = 28 hours 

TOTAL 150 hours

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

The block course experience is based on student discussion/debate, workshopping and problem-solving scenarios.  You will also hear from and take part in workshopping activities with MPI, DOC, Auckland Council pest management experts.

This is a block course requiring attendance and participation from 9am - 5pm for 4 continuous days in the first week of Semester only. Please contact the coordinator (Margaret Stanley to discuss any issues you might have attending the entire block course.

Learning Resources

Course Guide will be available on Canvas prior to the start of Semester. 

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

We use the Aropa Peer Review system to help students improve their work prior to submission of final reports to Canvas. This has proved invaluable for students based on feedback.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

No lecture recordings are available for this postgraduate course. Most of the course is workshopping and problem-solving. While some powerpoints will be used, these are loaded onto Canvas prior to the beginning of the Semester so that you can familiarise yourself with the material. There are a range of digital resources made available in Canvas.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Level 1: Delivered normally as specified in delivery mode
Level 2: You will not be required to attend in person. All teaching and assessment will have a remote option but the block course seminars/workshops will also continue to run in person on campus. 
Level 3 / 4: All teaching activities and assessments are delivered remotely

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 07/01/2021 10:40 p.m.