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Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Advanced

Pre-requisites

192 credit points in any SCU units.

Unit aim

Introduces students to the biology and ecology of marine mammals. Students will learn about key threats to marine mammal populations. They will also analyse management priorities to ensure the continued survival and recovery of marine mammal populations into the future.

Unit content

Marine mammal  taxonomy and evolution.

Biology and ecology of marine mammals, including reproductive biology, migrations, physiology and behaviour.

Human threats to marine mammals, including the history of whaling and current threats.

Global conservation status of marine mammals.

Management and conservation planning for marine mammals.

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 taxonomy, anatomy, biology including physiology and reproductive biology, ecology, migrations, and evolution of marine mammals, and their ecological roles in the marine environment Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline Lifelong learning
2 Analyse past and present threats to whales, dolphins, seals and dugongs and how these can be managed Intellectual rigour Creativity Knowledge of a discipline
3 Understand the importance and nature of social structure in cetaceans and the role of acoustic and other communications in maintaining this social structure Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline Communication and social skills
4 Describe the main types of human interactions with marine mammals and how they can be managed Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline Cultural competence
5 Identify the common cetaceans occurring in coastal waters off eastern Australia Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline Lifelong learning
6 Analyse the risks posed to marine mammals by human activities such as whaling, fisheries, habitat loss, shipping, pollution, tourism and climate change Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline Lifelong learning
7 Demonstrate understanding of how marine mammals are managed and the legislation governing their protection, including important issues in their conservation, management of strandings and causes of mortality Intellectual rigour Ethical practice Knowledge of a discipline Cultural competence

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

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the taxonomy, anatomy, biology including physiology and reproductive biology, ecology, migrations, and evolution of marine mammals, and their ecological roles in the marine environment
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA5: Lifelong learning
  2. Analyse past and present threats to whales, dolphins, seals and dugongs and how these can be managed
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA2: Creativity
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  3. Understand the importance and nature of social structure in cetaceans and the role of acoustic and other communications in maintaining this social structure
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA6: Communication and social skills
  4. Describe the main types of human interactions with marine mammals and how they can be managed
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA7: Cultural competence
  5. Identify the common cetaceans occurring in coastal waters off eastern Australia
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA5: Lifelong learning
  6. Analyse the risks posed to marine mammals by human activities such as whaling, fisheries, habitat loss, shipping, pollution, tourism and climate change
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA5: Lifelong learning
  7. Demonstrate understanding of how marine mammals are managed and the legislation governing their protection, including important issues in their conservation, management of strandings and causes of mortality
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA3: Ethical practice
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA7: Cultural competence

Prescribed texts

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