BIOSCI 763 : Professional Applications of Ecology


2022 Semester One (1223) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Exploration of key concepts that form the professional discipline of ecology. Introduction and familiarisation with relevant policy, advanced ecological community and population survey and monitoring, use of Geographic Information Science (GIS) and remote sensing, accessing biosystematics resources, data management, effective engagement with mana whenua, and effective communication skills. Some previous knowledge of ecology is desirable.

Course Overview

Practical applications of ecology will provide students with an applied, commercially-oriented framework to the ecological knowledge that students will have gained in their undergraduate studies. This course will include aspects of policy, fieldwork, digital data resources, data management, and an understanding of obligations to mana whenua under the Treaty. As an applied course, students will benefit from taking other post-graduate courses covering marine ecology (BIOSCI 724), entomology and biosecurity (BIOSCI 730), terrestrial plant ecology (BIOSCI 734), and dialogues in biology (BIOSCI 739) as these courses will compliment their learning.
Students who complete this course will have a introductory appreciation of the constraints of the NZ legislative and regulatory framework, obligations as to how ecologists should work in a Te Tiriti-led New Zealand, how to establish risk to ecological and ecosystem resources, and how to establish suitable approaches to management of these risks.

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 Ecology

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Critically assess and communicate how to assess ecological impacts of a proposed development (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  2. Describe and explain about ecological legal protections and regulation (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of awareness of functioning in a Te Tiriti-led workspace (Capability 2, 4, 5 and 6)
  4. Design surveys, and collect data on protected species (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 6)
  5. Collate manage, critique, and analyse large-scale data (Capability 1, 4 and 6)
  6. Complete an ecological impact assessment for a site in the Auckland region (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Portfolio 50% Individual Coursework
Assignments 50% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6

Key Topics

The course will cover a series of topics in modern plant ecology and associated methods, including:

  • Introduction and concepts of applied ecology
  • Ecological theory for practitioners
  • Ecology and ecosystems in law
  • Protected species
  • Working in a Treaty-led New Zealand
  • Publicly available resources and data collation
  • Ideals, law, values, and impact
  • GIS - options and cartography

Special Requirements

Two half-day field-trips are planned during the first month of the course; details TBC at the start of the course. The field trips will be local to Auckland and transport will be provided.

For those with medical/accessibility requirements for self-driving, please contact the course coordinator to discuss options as parking is limited.

Equipment required: walking boots, or appropriate shoes with ankle support; rain coat; hat; sunglasses; backpack; water bottle. Some of this equipment is available to loan through the School of Biological Sciences on request (please contact course coordinators).

Toilets are available at the field site. The closest toilets (gender-neutral) are on site at the landowners property.

The field trip is required for the assignments. An alternative is not available. Please contact James Brock to discuss any accessibility concerns or requirements as we aim to make our field trip accessible to anyone who would like to attend.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 16 hours of workshop-style lectures, 6 hours of field work, 30 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 85 hours of work on assignments.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required/ at scheduled activities including workshops and field trips to complete components of the course.
Workshops will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including field trips will not be available as recordings.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning 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.

Readings will be provided over the course via Canvas / Talis.

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 have students from a diverse array of backgrounds on this course and as such we aim to improve accessibility as well as breadth and depth of the teaching materials. Constructive feedback is welcomed by the lecturers at any point during the course.

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.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


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 course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

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 students may be asked to submit 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. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 06/04/2022 08:20 a.m.