GEOG 320 : Resources and Environmental Management


2022 Semester One (1223) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Examines the development and conservation of the environment in its use as a resource base, with particular reference to the way in which institutional structures in society determine provision and allocation. Attention is balanced between international experience and the policy framework in New Zealand. The course provides an understanding of key concepts, practices and methods.

Course Overview

This course examines the use and management of natural resources with reference to the way in which institutional structures determine resource use and allocation. In particular, attention is given to the management of the environmental impacts of resource use and the policy framework for resource and environmental management in New Zealand. The course adopts a definition of the environment that includes the economic and social structuring of human and biophysical ecosystems. It directs particular attention to Indigenous rights and resource managers' obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi. Key themes for the course include environmental justice, the conflict between expert knowledge and public participation, and the socio-cultural dimensions of sustainability in resource management.

The course is suitable for most second or third year students who have an interest in the social dimensions of resource conflicts and environmental planning. It is ideally suited for senior undergraduate majors in Geography or Environmental Science, but a pleasing characteristic of the course is the diversity amongst those enrolled. Hence, many law, biology and engineering students use the course to provide an environmental inflection for their wider degree programmes.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II

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. Critically analyse the social, cultural and environmental outcomes of particular forms of resource and environmental management. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 6)
  2. Communicate and explain the limitations placed on our ability to manage the environment by: the complexity of ecosystems; the intractability of cultural and social norms; and, the centrality of economic development. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  3. Identify, critique and evaluate Treaty of Waitangi obligations as they apply to resource management. (Capability 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  4. Analyse the adequacy and impacts of new forms of ‘scientific’ management of the environment. (Capability 1, 2, 5 and 6)
  5. Recognise and interpret the ethical complexities in competing social and cultural understandings of the environment. (Capability 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  6. Develop resource and environmental policies to achieve environmental goals, and minimise social impacts. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6)
  7. Engage and collaborate with community groups in the process of environmental planning. (Capability 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  8. Critically explore the complex interface between social and environmental systems and bring together information from social, natural and legal sciences in authorship. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Practical 30% Individual Coursework
Essay 20% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Final Exam


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.
Māori and Pacific students are encouraged to contact Sonia Fonua ( or Kimoro Taiepa ( for information about the Tuākana programme.

Key Topics

There are five key themes / teaching modules:
  • Use vs conservation? Marine protected areas as social exclusion?
  • Environmental justice and ‘scientific management’
  • Environmental complexity and indigenous rights
  • Motivating local environmental action
  • ‘Managing’ significant natural areas on private land

Special Requirements

Practical assessments are closely connected to in-class practical exercises, so attendance is highly recommended.
Practical exercises are scheduled in Canvas. The self-guided field trip is not scheduled and you will negotiate with other class members the ideal time to conduct that exercise.

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 34 hours of lectures, 12 hours of practicals, 36 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 38 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Except where specific provisions have been pre-arranged for students affected by Covid 19 and its management, attendance is expected at scheduled activities including practicals to receive credit for components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings.
Except where specific provisions have been pre-arranged for students affected by Covid 19 and its management, attendance on campus is required for the exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled for standard weekly delivery.

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.

There are no prescribed textbooks or coursebooks. A Talis reference list, including links to journal articles, is provided for each teaching module.

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.

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 10/11/2021 08:26 p.m.