Conservation Biology

Subject 654-308 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 lectures (two a week) and 20 hours tutorials/workshops (including excursions)
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours
Prerequisites: 654-204 or botany 606-204.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their active and safe participation in a subject are encouraged to discuss this with the relevant subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Dr G Coulson
Subject Overview:

The subject describes and evaluates the theoretical principles and practical applications of conservation biology, and the scientific study of biological diversity. In particular, it identifies the implications of global and local changes for ecological communities and habitats, especially within the Australian environment. It also examines the role of population genetics for the fitness and viability of natural and captive populations; the patterns and explanations of diversity and rarity; the effects of habitat fragmentation and the role of corridors as a management practice; the methods of rangeland and marine management; the control of introduced species; and the impact of genetic engineering. Finally, the subject highlights the importance of statistical design for the analysis of monitoring programs and preparation of environmental impact statements.

This subject builds upon existing generic skills, including familiarity with key ecological concepts, biometry, and some practical experience in ecological research. This subject should help students develop their abilities to apply scientific principles to conservation problems, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of particular approaches, and enhance their skills in data interpretation. Students should also learn how to access information from the primary scientific literature, through both electronic and traditional sources. The tutorial component of this subject should allow students to develop skills in speaking to a scientific audience with a small group of students. This will include accessing information from the primary literature, arrangement of content among speakers, and presentation of material (using appropriate media) by taking part in formal debate of a controversial topic in conservation biology.

Assessment: Two written assignments totalling up to 5000 words due during the semester (90%); a 10-minute oral presentation at the end of semester (10%).
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options: This subject is a level 2 or level 3 subject and is not available to new generation degree students as a breadth option in 2008.
This subject or an equivalent will be available as breadth in the future.
Breadth subjects are currently being developed and these existing subject details can be used as guide to the type of options that might be available.
2009 subjects to be offered as breadth will be finalised before re-enrolment for 2009 starts in early October.
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Notes: Students enrolled in the BSc (pre-2008 BSc), BASc or a combined BSc course will receive science credit for the completion of this subject.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Arts and Sciences
Bachelor of Science

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