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Unit Summary

Unit type

PG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

Unit aim

Develops the skills needed to estimate the sustainable harvest from a forest or other natural resource, to use simulation modelling in a decision support framework, in the context of forest management and environmental planning. Students will complete the design and implementation of a simulation model as part of major assignment that will prepare them for oversight of environmental management projects.

Unit content

Context of modelling and prediction in management planning.

Interplay between people, institutions, plans and models in resource management.

Modelling approaches, languages and tools.

Introduction to the Visual Modelling Environment, Simile.

Basic concepts of modelling in system dynamics approaches.

Individual-based modelling.

Population-based modelling.

Advanced modelling techniques.

Testing and presenting models.

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.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:
1 understand the role of simulation modelling in forest management and environmental planning
2 identify forest and environmental issues that simulation modelling can help to resolve
3 design and implement a suitable modelling approach for a specified environmental context
4 gather and synthesise relevant information and calibrate a model for a practical application
5 complete simulations, document outcomes, and present & discuss findings
6 identify model limitations and define research needed to strengthen model.

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

  1. understand the role of simulation modelling in forest management and environmental planning
  2. identify forest and environmental issues that simulation modelling can help to resolve
  3. design and implement a suitable modelling approach for a specified environmental context
  4. gather and synthesise relevant information and calibrate a model for a practical application
  5. complete simulations, document outcomes, and present & discuss findings
  6. identify model limitations and define research needed to strengthen model.