Handbook Public View

This page displays current curriculum information. For staff view, please login

Unit (2019)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2019 academic year.

Conservation Biology (BIO375)

Organisational Unit Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S1-internal
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S1
Description This unit provides students with a biological understanding of the major issues and approaches involved in the conservation of flora and fauna. The unit emphasises Australian examples. Topics: biodiversity, population biology and conservation, extinction and populations at risk, management of biota in conservation areas, translocations, ex-situ preservation and reintroduction of biota.
Unit Learning Outcomes Each topic covered in this unit has its own set of specific learning objectives, which are listed in the relevant parts of the following Learning Guide on MyUnits. These objectives relate to what you should be able to do at the end of each lecture and it is important that you take time to read them both before and after the lecture.

At the end of this unit you will be able to:
1. Illustrate by reference to specific examples that issues in conservation often require input from scientists, economists, sociologists and politicians for resolution.
2. Present a rationale, grounded principally in science, but with relevant information from the disciplines of economics, sociology and politics, for the conservation of the biological resources of the earth.
3. Define, with examples, key terms and concepts such as biodiversity, extinction, population viability, sustainable harvest, endemism, rehabilitation, restoration, keystone species, and multiple use management.
4. Integrate your understanding of objectives 1-3 to
a) Critically evaluate both technical and lay writings on conservation issues by identifying the central points, assessing the logic and factual accuracy of arguments, data and methodology, and being alert to both implicit and explicit bias on the part of the author(s).
b) Outline the steps necessary to formulate a recovery plan or action plan for specified organisms.
5. Communicate effectively your understanding of Objectives 1-4 in both written and spoken forms.
6. Appreciate the value of teamwork in solving conservation problems and to work effectively as part of a team.

In addition to these general objectives, specific learning objectives are provided for each lecture and workshop. We suggest you read these before coming to the classes to allow you to focus clearly on the central points. We also hope that by the end of the unit you will have formed your own personal values on issues in Conservation, that they will be informed by science, but that you will recognise that not everyone will share these values.

Objectives 1-5 will be assessed in the final examination. Aspects of these objectives will also be assessed in the essay. Finally, all unit objects will be assessed during the preparation and delivery of seminars as part of the workshops during semester. We have placed a deliberate emphasis in the continuous assessment on communication and teamwork skills, because these are regarded by practitioners as essential to successful conservation, and by employers as critical for new graduates.
Timetabled Learning Activities Lectures: 2 hours per week; workshops/seminars: 2 hours per week; 4 hours per week field trips.
There will be two lectures each week. Please note that these lectures will not be recorded and therefore, not available through the Lectopia (iLecture, MyUnits) system because if we do not gather frequently and interact as a group, the objective for teamwork and interaction will not be met. There are some times also allocated for guest lecturers, workshops, tutorials, student seminars or an excursion.
Unit Learning Experiences The approach to learning in this unit is to provide you with a blend of different exercises, workshop experiences and more traditional lecture-based learning experiences. The unit will illustrate by reference to specific examples that issues in conservation often require input from scientists, economists, sociologists and politicians for resolution. It will present a rationale, grounded principally in science, but with relevant information from the disciplines of economics, sociology and politics, for the conservation of the biological resources of the earth and define, with examples, key terms and concepts such as biodiversity, extinction, population viability, sustainable harvest, endemism, rehabilitation, restoration, keystone species, and multiple use management. The unit will critically evaluate both technical and lay writings on conservation issues by identifying the central points, assessing the logic and factual accuracy of arguments, data and methodology, and being alert to both implicit and explicit bias on the part of the author(s) and outline the steps necessary to formulate a recovery plan or action plan for specified organisms. Students will also appreciate the value of teamwork in solving conservation problems and to work effectively as part of a team. In addition to these general objectives, specific learning objectives are provided for each lecture and workshop. We suggest you read these before coming to the classes to allow you to focus clearly on the central points. We also hope that by the end of the unit you will have formed your own personal values on issues in Conservation, that they will be informed by science, but that you will recognise that not everyone will share these values.
Other Learning Experiences The unit provides a unique and outstanding opportunity to view Western Australia's premier conservation organisations. The unit has off-campus field trips to participate in conservation biology programs that may include marine conservation management at Penguin Island (Shoalwater Marine Park), behind the scenes tours of the WA State Herbarium, The WA Museum (collections of natural history), Kings Park and Botanical Gardens and Perth Zoo.
Assessment Assessment topic

Managing genetic resources
Seminar I and Seminar II (group presentation)
Mid-Semester test
Final exam
Prerequisites ENV268/ENV241 Ecology
Exclusions Students who have successfully completed BIO368 Conservation Biology may not enrol in this unit for credit.
Notes As this is a 3 credit point unit, we expect you to spend on average ~14 hours per week for the total weeks of this teaching period (or 150 hours overall, or 50 hours per credit point) working on this unit. This includes the 4 hours of on campus activities scheduled in the timetable). We would expect that you go over the required reading material of the unit as part of this time commitment.
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Biology and Environmental Science Major Teaching Area (BEd(Sec)) [New in 2019]
Conservation and Wildlife Biology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Appears in these Co-Majors Biological Science Minor Teaching Area
Appears in these Minors Wildlife Conservation
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.

Contacts

Unit Coordinator
BIO375
Associate Professor Peter Spencer
Associate Professor

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 2489
e: P.Spencer@murdoch.edu.au
o: 240.2.017 - Biological Sciences, Murdoch Campus
Unit Contacts
BIO375

MURDOCH: S1-Internal
Associate Professor Peter Spencer
Associate Professor

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 2489
e: P.Spencer@murdoch.edu.au
o: 240.2.017 - Biological Sciences, Murdoch Campus
Fee Calculator
Handbook help
Information for Students

Cancellation

The University reserves the right to cancel, without notice, any course, major, minor or unit if the number of students enrolled falls below limits set by the University.


Regulations and Rules

Students should ensure they are familiar with the University's internal legislation, including provisions specifically relevant to their studies. See the University Regulation overview and view legislation online.