ENVPL303-20B (HAM)

Environmental Assessment and Policy

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Social Sciences
Environmental Planning

Staff

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Convenor(s)

Lecturer(s)

Administrator(s)

: frances.douch@waikato.ac.nz

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)

Tutor(s)

Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)

Librarian(s)

: nat.enright@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
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Paper Description

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The paper provides an understanding of the types of environmental assessments used to assist decision-making and inform policy implementation. It develops student's knowledge of environmental pressures with the means to assess those and provide a policy response. The paper comprises two Modules: Module 1- Environmental Impact Assessment, and Module 2 - Environmental Policy. The first Module covers all steps involved in current practice of environmental impact assessment (EIA) in New Zealand and internationally. Students work in teams to learn to apply a range of tools and techniques to carry out environmental impact assessment using a real location facing a real issue (e.g., coastal hazards, floods, major infrastructure development, water quality). Taking a system perspective (ecological, social, economic and cultural aspects), students learn to identify and evaluate beneficial and adverse effects of different alternatives to minimise or mitigate negative impacts and optimise positive ones. In the second Module, teams build on the work done in Module 1 to propose policy responses. Module 2 provides students with an understanding of the policy cycle process, including the preparation and implementation of policy frameworks addressing environmental issues.
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Paper Structure

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The paper will be delivered through online lectures and team workshops (online or on-campus) each week.

Students will be part of the same team for the whole trimester. Individual contribution to the team's project is essential to complete this course.

The final test for this paper will assess student's understanding of all lectures material and the team's project work.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Understand current international procedures to carry out environmental impact assessments
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Appraise impacts of development and prepare an assessment of environmental effects (AEE) under the Resource Management Act 1991
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Understand the mitigation hierarchy and the ability to determine and assess appropriate mitigation techniques
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Appreciate the skills to develop basic environmental policy in response to an environmental issue
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment

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Response to Project Brief

This is a team assignment. Students will prepare a project brief proposal in response to a hypothetical tender call for an environmental impact assessment report. The Response to Project Brief will involve the following components:

1. Cover letter

2. Introduction

3. Provision of services

4. Project team and relevant experience

5. Administrative matters

6. Conclusion

The Response to Project Brief is worth 10% of student's total marks, should not exceed 1500 words (including in-text references) plus supporting material (e.g. maps, diagrams, tables etc.), and must be submitted electronically through Moodle. Submission due date is Friday 31 July.

Individual Research Report

This is an individual assignment worth 20% of student's total marks. Students will individually research one key issue to complement the team's skills and expertise (including planning and management principles, emergent research trends, and best management practice). The research report will involve the following tasks:

1. Cover sheet

2. Executive summary

3. Introduction

4. Description of three case studies

5. Analysis of case studies

6. Conclusions and recommendations

The Report should not exceed 3500 words (including in-text references) plus supporting material (e.g. maps, diagrams etc.), and must be submitted electronically through Moodle. Submission due date is Friday 21 August.

Environmental Assessment Report

This is a team assignment worth 30% of students total marks. The final environmental assessment report should include the following components:

  1. Cover sheet
  2. Executive summary (2 pages maximum, handout format)
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Introduction to the topic and key issues
  5. Site/locality description
  6. Proposal description
  7. Assessment of effects
  8. Mitigation alternatives
  9. Recommendation on selected strategy
  10. Policy framework to implement selected strategy
  11. Conclusion
  12. References

The final report should not exceed 5000 words (including in-text references) plus supporting material (e.g. maps, diagrams etc.) and must be submitted electronically through Moodle. Submission due date is Friday 16 October. All supporting analyses should be included in a Supporting Document that does not have a word limit.

Peer assessment

Team involvement will include student's participation and share of team work in the completion of the project reflected through individual peer-assessments.

This is an individual assessment worth 10% of students total marks. Peer-assessments must be submitted electronically through Moodle during the last week of the teaching semester.

Final Test

The test is worth 30% and is held at the conclusion of the course during the exam period. Failure in attending the final test will result in an IC grade. The test date will be advised at a later date. The test will consist of a mix of short and long answer questions.

Long answers will be assessed according to how well they:

  • address the question which was asked;
  • involve sound reasoning, and relevant supporting evidence;
  • give examples that are relevant and show student's understand of the question;
  • have a clear and logical structure (e.g. it should progress logically from introduction, to main body, and conclusion, with the linkages between parts of the argument clearly shown);
  • use concepts correctly; and,
  • show legible writing, correct spelling, grammar, & punctuation.
  • A lecture in the last week of the course will be a revision session to prepare for the exam.

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Response to project brief
31 Jul 2020
11:30 PM
10
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Individual research report
21 Aug 2020
11:30 PM
20
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Environmental assessment report
16 Oct 2020
11:30 PM
30
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Peer-assessment
10
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Final Test
30
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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1. Course Readings List on Moodle and on course readings list via Library.
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Recommended Readings

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Further recommended reading will be advised during semester.
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Online Support

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Moodle: This paper is supported through Moodle http://elearn.waikato.ac.nz/.

Important information about the paper will be provided to students via Moodle. Lecture notes will be posted prior to each online lecture.

Student's grades will also be accessible through Moodle once work has been assessed.

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Workload

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Students should attend all scheduled team workshops (online or on-campus). The final examination for this paper will test student's understanding of all the lectures. Students should count on spending a minimum of 150 hours on the paper.

Student's work load should amount to an average of 9-10 hours per week (including the mid-semester break and study week).

Silvia Serrao-Neumann is the course convenor of the paper and will be available to answer course queries.

Students having difficulty with completing their assignments on time, attending team workshops or understanding lectures, should seek an appointment with the course convenor.

All lecture notes and material to assist the completion of projects will be available on Moodle.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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While the Paper has no pre-requisites, students will draw on learnings from previous papers such as process for resource consent under the RMA 1991, GIS and other relevant skills required to complete assignments.
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