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Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Intermediate

Unit aim

Provides field-based coral reef ecology training, including quantitative ecological surveys and discussion of important management issues for the Great Barrier Reef. Examines the biology of reef-building organisms, ecological interactions and reef formation, natural disturbances and human impacts on reefs, and the status of coral reefs globally.

Unit content

Introduction to coral reef ecology and management
Reef origins and geomorphology
Biology and ecology of coral communities
Algal builders and primary productivity on coral reefs
Secondary production and trophic pathways on coral reefs
Reef biodiversity
Reef fish communities
Natural disturbance and reef communities
Human impacts on coral reefs
Coral bleaching, climate change and global reef status
Coral reef management issues

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: Intellectual rigour, GA2: Creativity, GA3: Ethical practice, GA4: Knowledge of a discipline, GA5: Lifelong learning, GA6: Communication and social skills, GA7: Cultural competence
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 Demonstrate understanding of the biology and ecology of reef-building organisms and coral reef formation Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline Lifelong learning
2 Identify and classify common types of corals, fish and other reef organisms occurring on the Great Barrier Reef Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline Lifelong learning
3 Discuss key ecological processes within coral reef ecosystems Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline
4 Contrast and explain differences between natural disturbances and human-induced impacts on coral reefs Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline
5 Demonstrate ability to work collaboratively in small teams to complete quantitative studies of coral reef communities Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline
6 Explain how ecological information can be used to inform management of coral reefs Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline Lifelong learning
7 Evaluate the global status and future scenarios for coral reefs in a rapidly changing world Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline Lifelong learning

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the biology and ecology of reef-building organisms and coral reef formation
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA5: Lifelong learning
  2. Identify and classify common types of corals, fish and other reef organisms occurring on the Great Barrier Reef
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA5: Lifelong learning
  3. Discuss key ecological processes within coral reef ecosystems
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  4. Contrast and explain differences between natural disturbances and human-induced impacts on coral reefs
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  5. Demonstrate ability to work collaboratively in small teams to complete quantitative studies of coral reef communities
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  6. Explain how ecological information can be used to inform management of coral reefs
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA5: Lifelong learning
  7. Evaluate the global status and future scenarios for coral reefs in a rapidly changing world
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA5: Lifelong learning

Prescribed texts

  • No prescribed texts.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.