Course Title: Conduct biological surveys

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2011

Course Code: EASC5032C

Course Title: Conduct biological surveys

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5161 - Diploma of Conservation and Land Management

Course Contact: Nevil Schultz

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4221

Course Contact Email: nevil.schultz@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 200

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

None

Course Description

To provide learners with the knowledge and skills to design a biological survey of a range of organisms in remnant native plant communities, in urban, in rural and in park settings. The course will then cover investigation of data collection, statistical relevance and interpretation of results. There will be opportunities to conduct planned surveys for vertebrates in particular biological communities. Results of these surveys will be reported into formal records.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

RTC5519A Conduct biological surveys

Element:

1 Carry out preliminary design activities for the biological survey

Performance Criteria:

Scope, objectives and constraints are identified according to client requirements, biological components to be surveyed and enterprise policy. 
All current data relevant to survey requirements is sourced, collated and evaluated according to enterprise policy.
Processes for data collection are developed, consistent with the survey scope, objectives and constraints.
A survey design that reflects client requirements and survey scope, objectives and constraints is developed and presented to the client for discussion and approval.

Element:

3 Conduct the biological survey

Performance Criteria:

Field visits are conducted to verify and consolidate previously collected data and to gather further information on species frequency, distribution, health and/or habitat values.
The biological survey is conducted according to the survey design and enterprise policy.
Survey activities are monitored for accuracy, compliance to the survey design and out-of-specification procedures or events. Staged data collection is undertaken according to survey design, survey-scheduling and surveyor access requirements. All monitoring and survey data is recorded promptly and accurately, according to the specifications of the survey design.

Element:

4 Compile a biological survey report

Performance Criteria:

Analysis of collected data is undertaken according to industry policies and guidelines. Conclusions about the biological survey are drawn from relevant information and are based on appropriate evidence and reasoned arguments.
A biological survey report is produced which conforms to industry standards for presentation, structure and content, and is presented to the client for acceptance. The report describes biological survey findings according to the survey
scope and objectives, identifies areas requiring remedial action for improvement & details recommendations for action.

Element:

2 Determine requirements of the biological survey

Performance Criteria:

Survey indicators are identified and constraints and opportunities for data collection identified and evaluated.
Data collection points are identified that are repeatable and
statistically representative for the biological survey.
OHS hazards associated with conducting a biological survey are identified, risks assessed and controls developed according to enterprise guidelines, costed and documented in the survey design. Tools, equipment and machinery required for the biological survey are identified, costed and availability confirmed with suppliers, contractors and appropriate personnel.
Scheduling of survey activities and surveyor access are determined according to the survey design.
Survey procedures and schedules are documented according to scientific conventions and the survey scope and objectives, and are presented to appropriate personnel and the client for briefing and acceptance


Learning Outcomes


1 . Carry out preliminary design activities for the biological survey Survey, scope, objectives and constraints are identified according to client requirements, biological components to be surveyed and enterprise policy.
1. All current data relevant to survey requirements is sourced, collated and evaluated according to enterprise policy.
Processes for data collection are developed, consistent with the survey scope, objectives and constraints.
A survey design that reflects client requirements and survey scope, objectives and constraints is developed and presented to the client for discussion and approval.
2 . Determine requirements of the biological survey.
Survey indicators are identified and constraints and opportunities for data collection identified and evaluated.
Data collection points are identified that are repeatable and
statistically representative for the biological survey.
OHS hazards associated with conducting a biological survey are identified, risks assessed and controls developed according to enterprise guidelines, costed and documented in the survey design. Tools, equipment and machinery required for the biological survey are identified, costed and availability confirmed with suppliers, contractors and appropriate personnel.
Scheduling of survey activities and surveyor access are determined according to the survey design.
Survey procedures and schedules are documented according to scientific conventions and the survey scope and objectives, and are presented to appropriate personnel and the client for briefing and acceptance.
3.. Conduct the biological survey.
Field visits are conducted to verify and consolidate previously collected data and to gather further information on species frequency, distribution, health and/or habitat values.
The biological survey is conducted according to the survey design and enterprise policy.
Survey activities are monitored for accuracy, compliance to the survey design and out-of-specification procedures or events. Staged data collection is undertaken according to survey design, survey-scheduling and surveyor access requirements. All monitoring and survey data is recorded promptly and accurately, according to the specifications of the survey design.
4 . Compile a biological survey report.
Analysis of collected data is undertaken according to industry policies and guidelines. Conclusions about the biological survey are drawn from relevant information and are based on appropriate evidence and reasoned arguments.
A biological survey report is produced which conforms to industry standards for presentation, structure and content, and is presented to the client for acceptance. The report describes biological survey findings according to the survey
scope and objectives, identifies areas requiring remedial action for improvement & details recommendations for action.


Details of Learning Activities

Case Study Analysis, 3 Guest Speakers, Excursions to Urban and Regional sies, Classroom exercises, On-line and fixed media use


Teaching Schedule

Week NoDateTopicTasks, Learning ActivityDue Date
      SEMESTER ONE
17 FebIntro & Planning for Surveys  
214 FebObjectives of Biological SurveysDVD on Basic Whole Survey Techniques 
321 FebVertebrate Survey Methods - Birds in a  peri-urban setting  
428 FebSurvey Case Study I  
57 MarSurvey Case continued  
6

14

Mar

Exotic & Native bird Survey

Excursion 1 to Urban Bird Habitat

(Report required)

Case Study Analysis due
721 MarReport on Survey In-class  
828 MarchMammal Survey Techniques IPermits, AEC, BAW, relevant Legislation Task 
94 AprilMammal Survey techniques IIWonthaggi DVD 
1011 April Bird Survey report finalisation Urban Bird Habitat Report & Permits task Due

 11 18 April Reptile & Amphibian Surveys Guest Speaker 
  25 April           VACATION
 12 2 May   Students Absent  to Heywood
 13 9 May Invertebrate Surveys I Nets, Light & Pitfall Traps 
 14 16 May Invertebrate Surveys II Guest Speaker, Vic Entom. 
 15 23 May  Excursion  2- Invertebrate Survey  
 16 30 May Group Work on Invert talks  
 17 6 Jun Invert Group Talks  Group Talks on invert Survey
 18    
                                                 MID YEAR VACATION
                                                     SEMESTER TWO
 1 11 July Fish Surveys  
 2 18 July Plant Survey Methods  
 3 25 July Urban Plant Survey Excursion 3 
 4 1 Aug Surveying Threatened Species in Fragmented Habitat

 Community Monitoring Projects

 
 5

 8

Aug

 National Park and other Surveys Habitat 141 & Southern Ark project questions  Plant Survey Report Due
 6

 15

Aug

 Scientific conventions and principles in listing endangered species FFG, EPBC 
 7 22Test Revision  
 8 29 Aug Mid Semester Test  Test on Underpinning Knowledge
 9 5 Sept Designing Field Survey according to Client brief  
 1012 Sept  Scoping the Field Survey  
 11 19 Sept Finalise Field Survey Design  Submit Field Survey Plan
 

    Vacation 

 

 12 3 Oct  Wonthaggi Biological Survey  
 13 10 Oct Survey Results Analysis  
 14 17 Oct Report Draft  Field Survey draft Report Due
 15 24 Oct Report Finalised  Field Survey Report Due
1631 OctExam Period (No final exam in this course)  


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


References

Southwood, T.R.,  Henderson, P.A.,   (2000)  Ecological methods 3rd Ed. Blackwell Science, London


Other Resources


Overview of Assessment

Assessment will be in the form of graded assesment, whereby students will be given a grade in addition to a CA or NYC result.

Students will be assessed on teamwork, background preparation for surveys, implementation of survey methods and a written report, which forms the largest part of the graded assessment compononent


Assessment Tasks

Case Study Analysis    CA or NYC

Urban Bird Survey Report   CA or NYC

Group Presentation of Invertebrate Survey Results   CA or NYC

Urban Woodland Plant Survey Report   CA or NYC

Mid Semester 2 Test   20%

Field Survey Plan   CA or NYC

Field Survey Report  including draft 80%


Assessment Matrix

ElementCase Study AnalysisUrban Survey

Group Presentation

Invertebrates

Urban Woodland Plant SurveyMid Semester 2 Test

Field Survey

Plan

Field Survey Report
Carry out preliminary design activitiesXX XXX 

Determine requirements for biological survey

 XXXXX 
Conduct Biological Survey  X   X
Compile a Biological Survey Report X X  X

Course Overview: Access Course Overview