BIOS2123 - Ecosystem Conservation and Management

Course Details:

BIOS2123 Ecosystem Conservation and Management is a second year elective course which will offer students practical training in ecosystem conservation and management in rivers and wetlands. BIOS2123 is predominantly a field-
based course with classes/fieldwork/case studies conducted both in situ (Macquarie Marshes and Burrendong dam) in NSW’s central west region.  We will be surveying waterbirds, plants, turtles, fish and invertebrates. The course has been specifically designed to address a need in the School of BEES relating to Program 3965 Environmental Management: this is the first course that specifically focuses on environmental management. Nonetheless the course will also provide relevant graduate attributes for students in Science (3970) and Advanced Science (3962) for example in the Ecology and Biological Science Majors.

The aims of BIOS2123 Ecosystem Conservation and Management are:

1) To provide students with the opportunity to learn about ecosystem conservation and management in Australia;

2) To gain insight into restoration management and environmental flows and learn directly about the challenges and constraints from industry professionals and stakeholders;

3) To gain insight into in situ ecosystem monitoring and management including providing an intensive practical experience where students learn and implement survey techniques;

5) Provide examples of the role of collaborative approaches to ecosystem conservation and management through the development of an ecosystem recovery plan, which considers multiple stakeholders and identifies potential partners.

In summary, BIOS2123 Ecosystem Conservation and Management will facilitate learning of ecosystem conservation and management challenges within Australia alongside industry professionals. Students will acquire a clear understanding of ecosystem science. Students will also gain practical experience and insight into the constraints placed on current conservation strategies through developing a detailed recovery/reintroduction project proposal, and presenting this at a staged stakeholder meeting (made up by rest of the group). This course allows students to apply theoretical concepts to actual conservation management strategies and will produce well-rounded, industry-ready graduates.

Prerequisite: BIOS1301. Assumed knowledge: BIOS1101 and BEES2041.

Note: This course is available to students in Advanced Science (3972), Science (3970) and their associated Dual Degrees, with a preference given to students in the Ecology Major. Unfilled places are available to students in Environmental Management (3965), Life Science (3966) with preference given to students in Biology or Ecology Majors with a credit average.

Large complex areas of vegetation, including river red gums, reed beds and water couch, provide extensive habitats for invertebrates, waterbirds, frogs, turtles and native fish in the internationally important Macquarie Marshes.
 Field Trip Details:

Where: Dubbo - Macquarie Marshes, NSW

Dates: 1st September – 8th September 2019

Costs: An upfront fee of $470 is required to cover field trip expenses (excluding return transport to Dubbo) payment link will be provided on the course moodle page for online payment.

NB: Standard University HELP fees will still apply. 

Term 3 (students are required to attend three lectures after the field trip)


6 units of credit

Course coordinator: Professor Richard Kingsford

 Water management in the Murray-Darling Basin is complex and governed by large dams such as Burrendong Dam on the Macquarie River which regulates flows including environmental flows to the Macquarie Marshes.

Quotes on the course from previous students include:

Bird surveying on the third day was a new experience for me entirely ... I found it fascinating to learn about all of the different types of breeding waterbirds within the marshes” – Davey Dor

 “I thoroughly enjoyed learning how to do turtle trapping, not only the technique and equipment used but the most appropriate areas to trap turtles within a water body and their importance as an indicator species in the Macquarie Marshes.” – Scarlett Li-Williams

  “I learnt loads about native birds! I couldn’t have identified more than a swan or a pelican before, but know I know quite a bit about different birds. It was really interesting to visit the wetland, to see all of the birdlife and to see all of that water so close to such dry land- there was fodder in the paddock right next to the marsh.” – Isobel Smith

 “I was impressed to learn how the data collected by our group during this brief field-based course adds on to several years’ worth of valuable data which would hopefully go towards increasing our understanding on the conservation and management of the Macquarie Marshes.” – Mohamad Riduan Ghazali

 It was all made better by the frog surveying and finding that trap-door spider; I would have gone frog surveying every night if it had been an option.” – Davey Dor



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