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Implementing Environmental Resilience and Addressing Complexity

10 Units

Traditional approaches to environmental management assume social-ecological systems (SESs) can be managed or controlled optimally, e.g. to harvest an optimal or ‘sustainable’ yield of a renewable resource. Yet this approach has repeatedly resulted in persistent environmental policy failure and/or resource management failure because the importance of maintaining overall system resilience has not been recognised. Resilience thinking, an example of complex adaptive systems theory, is an approach which has evolved theoretically over several decades and is aimed at better managing SESs. However, the application of these theoretical approaches is a new and emerging field, both in Australia and internationally. This course will build students’ expertise so that they are able to apply resilience thinking and complex adaptive systems theory. It will give students the skills which are topical, relevant and in-demand in the Australian and international workforce. Students will be supported to learn how to apply new skills to a system case study they will ‘manage’ in support for sustainability. Students will integrate their understanding of ecosystems, societies and economies and how they operate using transdiciplinary learning.

Faculty Faculty of Science and Information Technology
School School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Availability Trimester 1 - 2014 (WebLearn GradSchool)

On completion of the course students will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate key components of resilience, environmental complexity and systems thinking.
  2. Apply resilience, environmental complexity and systems thinking to analyse a real world case study.
  3. Make policy recommendations for the management of a read world case study.
  4. Appropriately communicate the findings of their analysis and management to a non-specialist audience.
  5. Work individually and as an integral part of a team.

Topics will include:

  • review of key stakeholder positions in the area of environmental resilience and sustainability,
  • evaluations of value based perspectives,
  • the use of futures and vulnerability analysis in the study of environmental resilience and sustainability, and
  • critical analysis of environmental policy.
Replacing Course(s) N/A
Transition N/A
Industrial Experience 0
Assumed Knowledge ENVS6530 or ENVS6525
Modes of Delivery Distance Learning : IT Based
Teaching Methods Email Discussion Group
Problem Based Learning
Self Directed Learning
Assessment Items
  • Group/tutorial participation and contribution - (Group Research Project participation) Postings to discussion board, summarising discussion board postings
  • Journal - Writing and summarising reflective journal
  • Projects - Individual research communication project - Summarising and appropriately communicating findings of group research project.
Contact Hours
  • Self Directed Learning: for 10 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Course Materials None listed
Timetable 2014 Course Timetables for ENVS6535

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