This assessment applies the course learning to a specific, historic Australian environmental issue. You will select one of the topics indicated below, and write a term paper which:
· introduces and describes the environmental event;
· describes the environmental policy and environmental management failure from the scientific literature, government and/or authoritative organisation references;
· discusses your assessment of the environment management mitigation and policy setting lessons to take forward, informed by the course learning activities; and
· therefore answers two key questions:
1. what environmental policy/process lessons are evident?
2. how could the “precautionary principle” have been applied to the issue?
As we have noted in the early weeks of the unit learning materials, there are two classes of environmental policy. The first is encompassing government policy that drives large-scale environmental issues – climate change for example, or biosecurity controls for invasive species mitigation, water resource strategy and land-use change. These are “big issues”. EVST19008, and this term paper, concentrates on the second class of environmental policy – that part of the environmental management system underpinning economic activity and corporate stewardship of the parts of the natural environment their operations affect. This is the framework within which our term paper topic selections fit.
Select one of these Environment policy and management issue topics:
1. Historical mine site rehabilitation – a case study such at Mount Morgan Queensland or Mount Lyell Tasmania.
2. The mining and use of asbestos based building materials in Australia.
3. Coal seam gas process plant issues affecting aquifers in Australia.
4. Australian Government Department of Defence use of fire fighting foam chemicals and the impact on surface and ground water.
5. Australian aqua-culture – a case study such as QLD and Great Barrier Reef nutrients, or oysters in NSW, or salmon in Tasmania.
6. You may self-select a topic – but you must receive written approval from the course co-ordinator before commencing work.
The term paper has three staged submission deadlines – which must all be met.
· Stage 1 – select your choice of one of the above topics via the Moodle site.
· Stage 2 – submit a draft paper via TurnItIn; and
· Stage 3 – submit the final term paper via TurnItIn, addressing the specific feed-back on the draft paper provided by the lecturer.
The paper word count limit is 2500 words +/- 10%. A word count of greater than 2750 words, or less than 2250 words, will attract mark deductions. 5% of the possible total mark will be deducted for every 10% that the paper word count is over/above the word count range. For example, a word count of 2800 words will attract a 2 mark deduction, a word count of 3150 words will attract a 4 mark deduction.
The title page, reference list and figure/table captions are not included in the word count.
Term papers submitted after the due time/date will attract mark deductions. 5% of the possible total mark will be deducted when submission is made within every 24 hour period after the due time/date. For example, a draft paper submitted at 3 pm on the 15th May 2017 will lose 2 marks.
One possible approach to the term paper is to structure headings from those delineating the EVST19008 weekly topics. Clearly, not all of the information matching those sections will be available to you in some topics. That is why the paper structure is for the student to define – based on the material available.
Scholarly material that documents changes to company environmental management processes/policy or their development plans as a result of the event is key (if you can).
The first section of the term paper: the definition of the environmental event, describing the impact on the natural environment, is not the major part of your paper. This is necessary background. You will need to major on the environmental policy and management failures and/or interventions. Importantly your paper will discuss your assessment of the environment management mitigation and/or policy setting lessons to take forward.
Your paper is expected to engage the reader. Signposting your essay with headings is important. Use short paragraphs and keep your sentences succinct. A paragraph should contain one theme and a sentence one idea. Your paragraph structure should allow a logical flow of argument and discussion. Begin with an introduction and end with a conclusion.
Be sure to answer the two key questions noted earlier.
You are expected to read and reference scholarly material. For this term paper, scholarly material is defined as peer reviewed journal articles, text-books, government reports and respected institution reports including those commissioned by such organisations (usually engineering or environmental management consulting companies).
As a guide, five to eight scholarly references are expected.
Other sources of referenced material including media reports, web sites and magazines, may be used but should not be the only source of reference. Wikipedia (for example) is not a scholarly reference – but might well be a good place to find scholarly references. CQUniversity library journal databases are better places to find these clearly.
Your term paper should be correctly referenced using the Harvard system. In-text citations should accord with the Harvard referencing system formats.
Text should be word processed with a 12 point font (Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri) and paragraphs with 1.15 or 1.5 line spacing.
Please save/upload your file in Microsoft Word format (.doc or .docx). PDF files should not be submitted. This measure helps standardise student feedback.
Figures and Tables
Figures and tables will enhance the report and judicious use of these are expected. However you should not include graphical or tabular illustrations if they are not directly referred to in the text and are photographs not directly adding value to the text of the paper. Do not try and get around the word count limit making table/figure captions contain voluminous text. As a guide, a figure/table caption, including any citations, should be no more than around 20/25 words.
Figures and table reproduced from external sources are to be cited and referenced appropriately including any adjusted by the student.
It is important to proof read your paper before submission.
The most important aspect of proof-reading is to ensure your writing flows with a logical progression of ideas; essentially paragraph and sentence structure within the headings you set. As advice – you might write a first draft, set the essay aside, and then come back to do a comprehensive review.
Spend time on the proof reading - it works. If the sentences seem convoluted to you – they will to the reader too!