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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.
Intended 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.
- 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).
Last updated: 4 December 2019