Forest Systems

Subject FRST30001 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 60 hours, comprising 10 x 2-hour lectures for 10 weeks; 4 x 2-hour practical classes in weeks 1-4; 2 x full-day excursions week 5 and 8; 1 x two-day overnight excursion during the mid-semester recess.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Background in plant ecology and/or development is strongly recommended, with students normally expected to have completed one or more level-2 subjects relating to these subject areas. Some background knowledge in areas relating to soil, fire, water, conservation, climate change, landscape management, environmental decision making/risk assessment and social perceptions of landscapes would also be an advantage. Interested students should contact the coordinator for advice.

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 adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. This course requires all students to enrol in subjects where they must actively and safely contribute to field excursions and laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Subject Coordinator and Disability Liaison students email:


Dr Antanas Spokevicius


Subject Overview:

At a global scale forests are managed by societies in a wide range of ways for goods and services that reflect the needs of people and their aspirations for the environment. Forests are viewed and valued by society in many different ways, often in competition with each other, adding significant challenges to those that are entrusted to manage them. Forest Systems explores the complexity of managing the forests of Australia and around the world through case studies and real world scenarios that will help students develop a strong appreciation of the challenges and opportunities presented to those looking after forests and the stakeholders who value them. Starting with gaining an understanding of what a forest is, how it is valued and by whom, as well as how it grows, the complexity of its management is explored through the themes of water, fire, carbon, biodiversity, conservation, recreation and climate change. Field trips to explore first hand challenges faced by forest managers as well as interviews with industry partners will bring a real life context to the learning and build problem solving and decision making skills through practice. Field investigations culminate in two day overnight excursion to the Creswick campus where students will work on a major project exploring a local forest issue and make recommendations on how to proceed.

Learning Outcomes:

At the completion of this subject, students will understand:

  • What constitutes a forest , how they differ and how they grow;
  • What are the different social contexts for valuing forests and their uses;
  • The complexity of the challenges faced in managing forest values and how often they are in competition with each other.
  • The scope and limitations of how knowledge from a scientific and social context is integrated into decision making process for forest values.
  • The potential impacts of climate change on forest systems and their ecosystem services.
  • The scope of current debates in forest ecosystem management.
  • Creation of ‘flyer’ based on interview undertaken in practical class time of up to 200 words, due in Week 5 [10%]
  • Preparation of letter based on case study as part of a full day excursion of up to 400 words, due in Week 8 [10%]
  • Group oral presentation based on case study as part of full day excursion of up to 5 minutes, due in Week 10 [10%]
  • Preparation of a written report based on field activities undertaken during the two-day overnight excursion of up to 1300 words, due in Week 12 [30%]
  • Participation in online weekly class discussions based on content covered in lectures of up to 400 words, due Weekly [10%]
  • Written assignment based on extended answer questions of up to 1500 words undertaken during the examination period, due in the examination period [30%]

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Ability to execute library database searches to source relevant literature on key topic areas;
  • Ability to comprehend and articulate current debates in forest science and forestry;
  • Plant identification, forest assessment and measurement;
  • Field skills, especially an ability to collect and organise forest data;
  • Data analysis and interpretation skills, informed by the relevant literature;
  • Participation in group field and research activities;
  • Software skills for data collation and analysis, and reporting and presentation of results (e.g. Excel, Minitab, Word, PowerPoint).
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Forest Science
Landscape Ecosystem Management major
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.

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