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At a global scale forests are valued and 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. Combining biophysical understandings of forest ecosystems with the social context in which they exist, Forest Systems explores the complexity of Forest management and will provide students with a deep appreciation of the challenges and opportunities associated with taking care of the worlds’ forests in a sustainable way. The subject will be taught across 9 weeks including the first eight weeks of semester 1 and a pre-teaching week prior to commencement of semester 1. Starting with a 4-day field trip in the pre-teaching week (WEEK 1), students will immerse themselves directly in forests by visiting a range of sites and exploring several case studies and real-world scenarios to gain perspective and insights that they will draw on during subsequent semester activities. Through the first 8 weeks of semester (WEEKS 2 - 9), students will explore four themes where they will learn how science has shaped our understanding of what sustainable forest management is, how forest grow, develop and are utilised, the role fire in shaping forest ecosystems and how societal attitudes and values impact on the provision of forest ecosystem goods and services. Assessment tasks will link directly to each theme where students will be expected to critically analyse and communicate their understandings in a contextualised way while also reflecting on the activities and discussions undertaken during workshops.
Intended learning outcomes
At the completion of this subject, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the key scientific principles that underpin sustainable forest management practices and translate how they can be used in a practical context.
- Explain key biophysical processes relating to forest growth and dynamics and examine how management practices can be used to achieve specific objectives.
- Describe fire behaviour and its role in shaping forest ecosystems and explain how this can be and is used in the management of forests and their values within the landscapes they exist.
- Investigate the role of societal systems in shaping forests ecosystems and demonstrate how our understanding of these systems can be used in influencing environmental and social outcomes of forests.
- Critical analysis and thinking
- Group work
- Written and oral communication
Last updated: 3 December 2019