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Unit of study_

ENVI1003: Global Challenges: Food, Water, Climate

In the 21st century the population of the world will increase both in size and its expectation in terms of food, energy and consumer demands. Against this demand we have a planet in crisis where natural resources are degraded, biodiversity is diminishing and planetary cycles related to climate are reaching points of irreversible change. Management of our precious natural resources is a balancing act between production and conservation as always, but now we have to do this against a background of potential large scale changes in climate. In this unit students will gain an understanding of the key environmental challenges of the 21st century; namely food security, climate change, water security, biodiversity protection, ecosystems services and soil security. In the second half, using Australian case studies, we will explore how we manage different agro-ecosystems within their physical constraints around water, climate and soil, while considering linkages with the global environmental challenges. Management now, in the past and the future will be considered, with an emphasis on food production. This unit is recommended unit for students interested in gaining a broad overview of the environmental challenges of the 21st century, both globally and within Australia.

Details

Academic unit Life and Environmental Sciences Academic Operations
Unit code ENVI1003
Unit name Global Challenges: Food, Water, Climate
Session, year
? 
Semester 2, 2021
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Prohibitions
? 
AGEN1002
Prerequisites
? 
None
Corequisites
? 
None
Available to study abroad and exchange students

Yes

Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Lachlan Ingram, lachlan.ingram@sydney.edu.au
Lecturer(s) Floris Van Ogtrop , floris.vanogtrop@sydney.edu.au
Tina Louise Bell, tina.bell@sydney.edu.au
Stephen Cattle, stephen.cattle@sydney.edu.au
Lachlan Ingram, lachlan.ingram@sydney.edu.au
Alex McBratney, alex.mcbratney@sydney.edu.au
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Record+) Type B final exam Final Exam
Final Exam
45% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Assignment Climate map report
A short report comprising three full-page maps and one page of text.
5% Week 03
Due date: 26 Aug 2021
Four A4 pages
Outcomes assessed: LO4
Assignment group assignment Land system sub-group report
Each sub-group reports on one land system process for their land system
10% Week 07
Due date: 20 Sep 2021
Up to 10 pages
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO4 LO5 LO8
Assignment Arthursleigh virtual fieldtrip report
A report on vegetation, soil and water resources at "Arthursleigh"
20% Week 09
Due date: 11 Oct 2021
Up to 13 pages, plus references
Outcomes assessed: LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Assignment Opinion piece
Write an opinion piece about an hypothetical agro-environmental issue
5% Week 10
Due date: 18 Oct 2021
Up to two pages
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5
Presentation group assignment Land system group presentation
A Powerpoint presentation by members of each land system group
15% Week 13 20 minutes per group
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO5 LO8
group assignment = group assignment ?
Type B final exam = Type B final exam ?

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range

Description

High distinction

85 - 100

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an exceptional standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.

Distinction

75 - 84

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a very high standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.

Credit

65 - 74

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a good standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.

Pass

50 - 64

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an acceptable standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.

Fail

0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see sydney.edu.au/students/guide-to-grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date: * Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date. * After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction Lecture (2 hr) LO1
Introduction to land system group and QGIS Computer laboratory (2 hr) LO4
Week 02 Climate change abatement Lecture (2 hr) LO1
Land system groups – climate trends for land systems Computer laboratory (2 hr) LO4
Week 03 Water security Lecture (2 hr) LO1
Land system groups – water budget for land systems Computer laboratory (2 hr) LO3 LO4
Week 04 Biodiversity protection Lecture (2 hr) LO1
Land system groups – land system change Computer laboratory (2 hr) LO4
Week 05 Soil security and ecosystem services Lecture (2 hr) LO1
Land system groups – soil P budgets for land systems Computer laboratory (2 hr) LO3 LO4
Week 06 Food security Lecture (2 hr) LO1
Whole class practical – gathering data for field trip location Computer laboratory (2 hr) LO5
Field trip for CC students / Virtual fieldtrip for RR student - Southern Tablelands of NSW (video of staff collecting data at the site) Field trip (14 hr) LO7
Week 07 Australia: agro‐ecosystems overview Lecture (2 hr) LO2
Whole class practical – processing data from field trip Computer laboratory (2 hr) LO5
Week 08 Australia: physical constraints; soil, water and climate Lecture (2 hr) LO2
Whole class practical – processing data from fieldtrip Computer laboratory (2 hr) LO5
Week 09 Case study: the wheat‐sheep belt Lecture (2 hr) LO2
Whole class practical – writing an opinion piece Computer laboratory (2 hr) LO6
Week 10 Case study: national parks and the forest estate Lecture (2 hr) LO2
Land system groups – biodiversity loss, carbon sequestration in land systems Computer laboratory (2 hr) LO3 LO4
Week 11 Case study: rangelands Lecture (2 hr) LO2
Preparing for land system group presentations Computer laboratory (2 hr) LO8
Week 12 Case study: irrigation and wetlands Lecture (2 hr) LO2
Preparing for land system group presentations Computer laboratory (2 hr) LO8
Week 13 The future of food production Lecture (2 hr) LO2
Land system group presentations Presentation (2 hr) LO8

Attendance and class requirements

Lectures and practical sessions are will be online and face-to-face in 2021. Students are expected to attend/be online for for computer labs (and attendance will be recorded) and you must pass the computer laboratory practicals in order to pass the course. In order to pass the computer laboratory component, you must attend 9 of the 11 lab sessions in weeks 1-12. Make-up computer labs are available for students with special consideration.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. explain the key global challenges around sustainable food production in the 21st century
  • LO2. relate the global challenges to an Australian context in terms of key agro-ecosystems
  • LO3. explain and calculate carbon, water and phosphorus budgets for agro-ecosystems
  • LO4. use GIS software to perform introductory spatial analysis
  • LO5. find, analyse, synthesise and reference information from multiple sources
  • LO6. write a scientific piece of writing
  • LO7. measure environmental (soil, water, plant, weather) properties in the field
  • LO8. work collaboratively in a group in a range of situations (field, computer laboratory and writing a report).

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
GQ1 GQ2 GQ3 GQ4 GQ5 GQ6 GQ7 GQ8 GQ9
No changes have been made since this unit was last offered.

All students are expected to download the freeware QGIS onto their own computers (Mac or PC) to enable their full participation in practical sessions.

Work, health and safety

There are no specific WHS requirements for this unit in 2020.

Disclaimer

The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.