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Semester 1 - Online
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Rivers are amongst the hardest of natural resources to manage. They are long and thin, and so maximise the impact of catchment changes; they also focus environmental, social and production pressures. Rivers are the archetypal example of the conflict between private and public goods. In most western countries we have done an effective job of degrading these resources. The last 20 years has seen a transformation in the way rivers have been managed. We are now less concerned with protecting people from rivers (via flood mitigation), and more focused on environmental rehabilitation and protection. This subject equips students to manage rivers more effectively by integrating catchment management activities. In reality, there are not many things that we do to manage rivers: change landuse, change flow, change water quality, change riparian vegetation, or make structural changes to the river. In this course we concentrate on (a) how much do you have to alter each of these management levers in order to produce the most cost effective improvements in river condition and sustainability; (b) how do we integrate the management of many levers at different scales; and (c) how do we evaluate whether we have had any effect. The subject has a strong emphasis on how to develop strong and successful policy for managing natural systems. The principles for managing rivers apply to managing most natural resources, so students can be confident of learning general management and policy principles.
Intended learning outcomes
At the completion of this subject students will have a sound understanding of:
- river processes and functions (both physical and ecological)
- the policy framework and principles for river management
- how to develop and implement river management strategies and plans
- a critical, and realistic, approach to natural resource management (incorporating both scientific and social dimensions)
- design, conduct and report on original research based on field and/or laboratory investigation;
- work effectively in projects which require team-work;
- articulate their knowledge and understanding in oral and written presentations;
Last updated: 11 February 2021