ENVSCI 201 : Natural and Human Environmental Systems

Science

2020 Semester One (1203) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An examination of current environmental issues in coupled natural and human systems such as urban environments. Interactions among biological, physical and social processes are discussed and means of measuring and managing the environmental outcomes of their interactions are addressed.

Course Overview

With over half of the world's population now living in urban areas, it is important to understand how urbanization influences biodiversity and ecosystem functions and results in the release of contaminants. The course begins by exploring the characterization of urban areas as ecosystems. We will then examine the ecology, biogeochemistry, and pollution of urban terrestrial and aquatic systems. The role of the built-up environment and human-induced changes on urban ecosystems are explored in-depth. City campus and Auckland will serve as 'living laboratories' to teach students basic field methods to assess water and soil quality. The course will include some field work as an important way to understand and experience how urban ecosystems are structured and function. Students will also be taught how to analyse and interpret data. Overall, the course provides students with a basic understanding of current theories, methods, and applications, to help solve complex environmental problems. Student learning will be facilitated through a combination of lectures, class discussions, field-based exercises, field work, and tutorials.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: At least 45 points at Stage I

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: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Characterise the interactions between human, biophysical and ecological processes (Capability 1)
  2. Evaluate the effects of urbanization on biodiversity and ecosystem functions (Capability 1 and 2)
  3. Obtain , analyse, synthesis and interpret data in the context of the contemporary literature (Capability 4 and 5)
  4. Recommend ways to minimize the effect of urbanisation on environmental systems (Capability 3 and 6)

Assessments

Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Test 20% Individual Coursework
Assignments 30% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 50% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Test
Assignments
Final Exam

Tuākana

As part of the University-wide Tuākana community, The School of Environment Tuākana Programme aims to provide a welcoming learning environment for, and enhance the success of, all of our Māori and Pacific students. We are led by the principles of tautoko (support) and whanaungatanga (connection), and hope you find a home here at the School. Students who have identified as Māori and/or Pacific will receive an invitation to our online portal introducing the Programme, the resources we have available, and how you can get involved.
This course is supported by a designated Tuākana tutor with appropriate knowledge of the course and related skills. They will organise group study sessions and facilitate direct assistance regarding material taught in this course. For more information regarding the Programme feel free to email our Programme Coordinator: riki.taylor@auckland.ac.nz.

Learning Resources

n/a

Special Requirements

field-based exercises

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 24 hours of lectures, 8 x 1 hour tutorial, ~ 120 hours of reading and thinking about the content, work on assignments and/or test preparation.

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.

Copyright

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.

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.

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 at http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

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: https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

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

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.

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 (https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html).

Disclaimer

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

Published on 11/01/2020 02:59 p.m.