Course Title: Conduct biological surveys

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2016

Course Code: MATH7059C

Course Title: Conduct biological surveys

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5305 - Diploma of Conservation and Land Management

Course Contact: Namrita Kaul

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4309

Course Contact Email: namrita.kaul@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

The Course Teacher is Sally Heeps
email: sally.heeps@rmit.edu.au
Please note that Sally is a sessional teacher and is only at RMIT on Tuesdays and Fridays. She may not be able to respond promptly to your emails.
Please contact Namrita Kaul if the matter is urgent

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

There are none

Course Description

This unit covers the processes involved with conducting biological surveys and defines the standard required to: identify the scope, objectives and constraints for a biological survey according to client requirements, the biological components to be surveyed and enterprise policy; assess the availability of current data and determine data collection and processing needs; identify biological indicators that are repeatable and statistically representative; document survey methods and indicators as a survey plan; schedule survey activities and establish access to the site; conduct a biological survey with data collection staged and recorded according to the survey plan; produce a biological survey report with detailed analysis and conclusion, including a description and assessment of the specified biological components.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

AHCNAR502A Conduct biological surveys

Element:

1. Carry out preliminary design activities for the biological survey

Performance Criteria:


1.1. Survey scope, objectives and constraints are identified according to client requirements, biological components to be surveyed and enterprise policy.
1.2. All current data relevant to survey requirements is sourced, collated and evaluated according to enterprise policy.
1.3. Processes for data collection are developed, consistent with the survey scope, objectives and constraints.
1.4. Processes for data processing are developed, consistent with the survey scope, objectives and constraints.
1.5. 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:

2.Determine requirements of the biological survey

Performance Criteria:


2.1. Survey indicators are identified and constraints and opportunities for data collection identified and evaluated.
2.2. Data collection points are identified that are repeatable and statistically representative for the biological survey.
2.3. 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.
2.4. Tools, equipment and machinery required for the biological survey are identified, costed and availability confirmed with suppliers, contractors and appropriate personnel.
2.5. Scheduling of survey activities and surveyor access are determined according to the survey design.
2.6. 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.
 

Element:

3. Conduct the biological survey

Performance Criteria:



3.1. Field visits are conducted to verify and consolidate previously collected data and to gather further information on species frequency, distribution, and health and/or habitat values.
3.2. The biological survey is conducted according to the survey design and enterprise policy.
3.3. Survey activities are monitored for accuracy, compliance to the survey design and out-of-specification procedures or events.
3.4. Staged data collection is undertaken according to survey design, survey scheduling and surveyor access requirements.
3.5. 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:

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


Learning Outcomes


By the completion of this course students will have gained the following capabilities

  • identify the scope, objectives and constraints for a biological survey according to client requirements, the biological components to be
    surveyed and enterprise policy
  • assess the availability of current data and determine data collection and processing needs
  • identify biological indicators that are repeatable and statistically representative
  • document survey methods and indicators as a survey plan
  • schedule survey activities and establish access to the site
  • conduct a biological survey with data collection staged and recorded according to the survey plan
  • produce a biological survey report with detailed analysis and conclusion, including a description and
    assessment of the specified biological components.


Details of Learning Activities

Classroom instruction,
Practical work,
visits to conservation reserves;
working in groups and survey teams,
consultation with biological survey clients including Banyule City Council and non-government conservation organisations;
Planning and designing biological surveys;
biological report writing;
gathering historical data from DELWP databases;
data analysis; 
legal requirements of biological surveys;
compiling Standard Operating Procedures;
the role and responsibilities of Animal Ethics Committees.


Teaching Schedule

Week No.DateLearning ActivityAssessment
19/02/16Introduction
What is Biodiversity?
Why survey?
Biological classification
 
 
216/02/16Biological classification –
Reptiles & Amphibians
 
 
  18/02/16 Visit from Reptile Awareness Displays of Australia 11:00 onwards 
3 23/02/16Biological classification –
Class work - Mammals, Birds, Reptiles & Amphibians
Animal ID references
Dichotomous keys
Accessing habitat information
 
 
401/03/16Bird Identification
Concept of Dichotomous keys
Undertaking biodiversity surveys - Types of Surveys and Reasons for surveys

Preparation for Bird Survey:
• Scope for Bird Survey
• OH&S for field work
• The Scientific method
• Research and collation of background information for bird study
• Methodology
 

 
 Thursday
03/03/16
 
Site assessment for Bird SurveyField Trip
58/03/16Site assessment for Bird Survey
Scope for Bird Survey
Bird Identification
Class work - Mammals, Birds, Reptiles & Amphibians
Animal ID references
Activity; Bird identification
Dichotomous keys
Accessing habitat information
 
Assessment 1 due
615/03/16Ecological Principles – Basic concepts and terminology. Communities and associations.
Australian Ecosystems
 
 
722/03/16Ecological Principles – Basic concepts and terminology. Communities and associations.
Australian Ecosystems
 
 
85/04/16Ecological Principles – Basic concepts and terminology. Communities and associations.
Australian Ecosystems
 
 
 Thursday
7/04/16
 
First Bird SurveyField Trip
912/04/16Ecological Principles – Habitat and Energy flows in natural systems, Nutrient cycles 
1019/04/16Ecological Principles - Habitat and Energy flows in natural systems, Nutrient cycles 
1126/04/16Ecological Principles - Habitat and Energy flows in natural systems, Nutrient cycles 
1203/05/16No class 
1310/05/16Ecological Principles - Habitat and Energy flows in natural systems, Nutrient cycles 
1417/05/16Ecological Principles - Biotic and abiotic and limiting factors 
1524/05/16Writing report for Bird Survey 
 

Thursday

26/05/16

Second Bird SurveyField Trip
1631/05/16Ecological Principles - Biotic and abiotic and limiting factors 
    

  Semester 2 schedule to be advised


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


References


Other Resources


Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course may include assignments, practical assessment , project work, tests and reports


Assessment Tasks

Formative Task 1  Survey Scope and background collection – Bird Survey – Background information collation and Project proposal - Assignment 8/03/16 5%


Formative Task 2  Habitat, ecology and food webs assignment  – Ecological communities within habitat assignment 17/05/16 15%


Formative Task 3 Notebook and recording sheets  Log book and records 3a 12/07/16 3b 18/10/16 10%


Formative Task 4 Survey preparation – animal ethics and equipment  – Quiz to identify types of survey equipment and aspects of animal ethics 26/07/16 10%


Summative Task 1  Birds of Newport Lakes  – Final survey Report 2/08/16 20%


Formative Task 5  Survey Scope and background collection for Banyule Fauna survey  (Background information collation and Project proposal) 23/08/16 5%


Formative Task 6  Management of Threatened species assignment 6/09/16 15%


Summative Task 2  Fauna of Banyule Report - results of wildlife survey 25/10/16 20%
 


Assessment Matrix

Other Information

Assessment information:
All assessment types must be passed. You can’t make up marks from one type of assessment to another (e.g. pass the tests but fail the assignment component).
Late work that is submitted without an application for an extension will not be corrected.
APPLICATION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME FOR SUBMISSION OF ASSESSABLE WORK- A student may apply for an extension of up to 7 days from the original due date. They must lodge the application form (available online http://www1.rmit.edu.au/students/assessment/extension) at least 24 hours before the due date. The application is lodged with the School Admin Office on Level 6, Bdg 51, or emailed to the Coordinator (amber.mitton@rmit.edu.au).
Students requiring extensions longer than 7 days must apply for Special Consideration (see the ‘Help me’ link in blackboard, via myRMIT studies or http://www1.rmit.edu.au/students/specialconsideration) For missed assessments such as exams - you (& your doctor if you are sick) must fill out a special consideration form. This form must be lodged online with supporting evidence (e.g. medical certificate), prior to, or within, 48 hours of the scheduled time of examination.
If you miss an assessment  (such as a field trip) due to unavoidable circumstances, you need to follow the procedure of special consideration and apply within the allowed time frame.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview