School: Science

This unit information may be updated and amended immediately prior to semester. To ensure you have the correct outline, please check it again at the beginning of semester.

  • Unit Title

    Studies in Ecology
  • Unit Code

    SCB3201
  • Year

    2017
  • Enrolment Period

    1
  • Version

    2
  • Credit Points

    15
  • Full Year Unit

    N
  • Mode of Delivery

    On Campus
  • Unit Co-ordinator

    Prof William David STOCK

Description

The major ecological principles and techniques and their application in the field will be covered. The unit uses a problem-solving approach, set in a local context, as the framework for investigating patterns of distribution and abundance of organisms and the relationship to their biotic and abiotic surroundings. The application of these concepts and techniques to Australian ecosystems is a particular focus.

Prerequisite Rule

Students must have passed 1 unit from SCI2116 Diversity of Life, SCI2118 Australian Biota.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Apply experimental field techniques and a knowledge of ecological systems to progress towards the answering of local ecological questions.
  2. Appreciate the dynamic nature of ecology by analysing and understanding the central role of hypothesis-testing and the place of controversy in the discipline.
  3. As a result of the above, demonstrate the collective skills, knowledge and confidence to participate effectively in programs involving biological monitoring and/or ecological problem-solving.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the major concepts, theories and knowledge elements relevant to population and community ecology, by using them to analyse, and derive potential solutions to real-world ecological problems.
  5. Use a diversity of strategies to reflect on their learning in ecology, and on the effectiveness of the learning strategies they use as novice ecologists.
  6. Use appropriate mathematical and statistical tools in a discerning and critical way to summarise and analyse ecological data.

Unit Content

  1. Biodiversity and the nature and structure of biological communities: concepts of functional groups, guilds and keystones.
  2. Field studies and experimentation in ecology; their application to ecological questions set within the local landscape, experimental design, ecological methods for community analysis and distribution, field study techniques.
  3. The nature of controversy in ecology; approaches to problem solving, the place of observations, inferences and conclusions, ecological knowledge and its scope and applications to conservation biology.
  4. The problems of abundance and distribution of populations: analysis and field techniques, potential biotic and abiotic determinants, species interactions.
  5. The scientific paper, poster and consultants report as genres for presenting ecological information; approaches to writing and data presentation, drafting and editing techniques.

Teaching and Learning Processes

Major field-based and smaller class-based problem-solving activities set in a collaborative learning environment will provide the context for the learning activities throughout the unit. Out-of-class reading and activities designed to act on the text content and to encourage reflective learning will form a substantial part of the non-field based work.

The use of animals is required in this unit and as such has been approved by the ECU Animal Ethics Committee (AEC).

Assessment

GS1 GRADING SCHEMA 1 Used for standard coursework units

Students please note: The marks and grades received by students on assessments may be subject to further moderation. All marks and grades are to be considered provisional until endorsed by the relevant Board of Examiners.

ON CAMPUS
TypeDescriptionValue
ExerciseClassroom exercises and field reports55%
ExaminationEnd of semester examination45%

Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005)

For the purposes of considering a request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), inherent requirements for this subject are articulated in the Unit Description, Learning Outcomes and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the support for students with disabilities or medical conditions can be found at the Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service website.

Academic Misconduct

Edith Cowan University has firm rules governing academic misconduct and there are substantial penalties that can be applied to students who are found in breach of these rules. Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • plagiarism;
  • unauthorised collaboration;
  • cheating in examinations;
  • theft of other students’ work;

Additionally, any material submitted for assessment purposes must be work that has not been submitted previously, by any person, for any other unit at ECU or elsewhere.

The ECU rules and policies governing all academic activities, including misconduct, can be accessed through the ECU website.

SCB3201|2|1

School: Science

This unit information may be updated and amended immediately prior to semester. To ensure you have the correct outline, please check it again at the beginning of semester.

  • Unit Title

    Studies in Ecology
  • Unit Code

    SCB3201
  • Year

    2017
  • Enrolment Period

    2
  • Version

    2
  • Credit Points

    15
  • Full Year Unit

    N
  • Mode of Delivery

    On Campus
  • Unit Co-ordinator

    Prof William David STOCK

Description

The major ecological principles and techniques and their application in the field will be covered. The unit uses a problem-solving approach, set in a local context, as the framework for investigating patterns of distribution and abundance of organisms and the relationship to their biotic and abiotic surroundings. The application of these concepts and techniques to Australian ecosystems is a particular focus.

Prerequisite Rule

Students must have passed 1 unit from SCI2116 Diversity of Life, SCI2118 Australian Biota.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Apply experimental field techniques and a knowledge of ecological systems to progress towards the answering of local ecological questions.
  2. Appreciate the dynamic nature of ecology by analysing and understanding the central role of hypothesis-testing and the place of controversy in the discipline.
  3. As a result of the above, demonstrate the collective skills, knowledge and confidence to participate effectively in programs involving biological monitoring and/or ecological problem-solving.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the major concepts, theories and knowledge elements relevant to population and community ecology, by using them to analyse, and derive potential solutions to real-world ecological problems.
  5. Use a diversity of strategies to reflect on their learning in ecology, and on the effectiveness of the learning strategies they use as novice ecologists.
  6. Use appropriate mathematical and statistical tools in a discerning and critical way to summarise and analyse ecological data.

Unit Content

  1. Biodiversity and the nature and structure of biological communities: concepts of functional groups, guilds and keystones.
  2. Field studies and experimentation in ecology; their application to ecological questions set within the local landscape, experimental design, ecological methods for community analysis and distribution, field study techniques.
  3. The nature of controversy in ecology; approaches to problem solving, the place of observations, inferences and conclusions, ecological knowledge and its scope and applications to conservation biology.
  4. The problems of abundance and distribution of populations: analysis and field techniques, potential biotic and abiotic determinants, species interactions.
  5. The scientific paper, poster and consultants report as genres for presenting ecological information; approaches to writing and data presentation, drafting and editing techniques.

Teaching and Learning Processes

Major field-based and smaller class-based problem-solving activities set in a collaborative learning environment will provide the context for the learning activities throughout the unit. Out-of-class reading and activities designed to act on the text content and to encourage reflective learning will form a substantial part of the non-field based work.

The use of animals is required in this unit and as such has been approved by the ECU Animal Ethics Committee (AEC).

Assessment

GS1 GRADING SCHEMA 1 Used for standard coursework units

Students please note: The marks and grades received by students on assessments may be subject to further moderation. All marks and grades are to be considered provisional until endorsed by the relevant Board of Examiners.

ON CAMPUS
TypeDescriptionValue
ExerciseClassroom exercises and field reports55%
ExaminationEnd of semester examination45%

Core Reading(s)

  • Smith, T. M., & Smith, R. L. (2012). Elements of ecology (8th ed.). San Francisco: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005)

For the purposes of considering a request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), inherent requirements for this subject are articulated in the Unit Description, Learning Outcomes and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the support for students with disabilities or medical conditions can be found at the Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service website.

Academic Misconduct

Edith Cowan University has firm rules governing academic misconduct and there are substantial penalties that can be applied to students who are found in breach of these rules. Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • plagiarism;
  • unauthorised collaboration;
  • cheating in examinations;
  • theft of other students’ work;

Additionally, any material submitted for assessment purposes must be work that has not been submitted previously, by any person, for any other unit at ECU or elsewhere.

The ECU rules and policies governing all academic activities, including misconduct, can be accessed through the ECU website.

SCB3201|2|2