Wildlife Health and Population Management

Unit of study descriptions

Core Units of Study

WILD5001 Australasian Wildlife: Introduction

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Kellie Leigh, A/Prof David Phalen Session: Intensive July Classes: Intensively taught unit, the remainder of the unit will involve personal study and project activity. See the Wildlife Health and Population Management website for dates (http://sydney.edu.au/vetscience/wildlife_masters/program/index.shtml) Assessment: Assessments for each unit may include practical work, field studies, student presentations and written reports (100%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
This unit of study provides an introduction to the wildlife of Australasia, an overview of the present status of that wildlife, and an understanding of both conservation problems and management solutions. Issues in wildlife management are exemplified using a broad range of vertebrate species occupying different environments. Emphasis is placed on providing students with a coordinated and interdisciplinary approach to wildlife health and management, and on developing expertise in recognising and solving a broad range of problems in field populations. The unit integrates lectures, practical work and supervised study, and offers students the opportunity to work through real-world wildlife conservation problems relevant to their individual backgrounds.
WILD5002 Australasian Wildlife: Field Studies

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof David Phalen Session: Intensive September Classes: Intensively taught unit. See the Wildlife Health and Population Management website for dates. (http://sydney.edu.au/vetscience/wildlife_masters/program/index.shtml) Assessment: There are two assessments. Assessment 1 is a journal that is kept during the week (20%). Assessment 2 is a report on the current status of one animal or group of animals in the Gardens (80%). Mode of delivery: Block mode
This unit of study provides a first-hand introduction to the wildlife of Australasia, a practical overview of the present status of that wildlife, and an understanding of both conservation problems and management solutions. Issues in wildlife management are exemplified using sampling and diagnostic methods on a broad range of vertebrate species occupying different environments. The unit follows on from WILD5001 and provides practical experience via a seven day field trip, 5 days at Mt. Annan Botanical Gardens and two days "Arthursleigh" near Marulan NSW. Students stay overnight at both locations. Survey methods for frogs, reptiles, birds, small mammals, bats and macropods are introduced and all students participate in these activities. There are multiple opportunities to work with the staff at the Gardens and to see how a natural reserve serves to preserve biodiversity in the face of surrounding urbanization.
WILD5003 Wildlife Health

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof David Phalen Session: Intensive August Classes: August intensive: 6 days on the Camden campus, one day on the Sydney Campus. Please see the Wildlife Masters website for the date. (http://sydney.edu.au/vetscience/wildlife_masters/program/index.shtml). Assessment: The assessment of this unit occurs both in the full-time week and in individual written assignments done in the student's own time. The full-time week contributes (40%) of the total mark through a group project ending in a presentation to the class. The remaining (60%) comes from a written assignment of 5,000 word essay due 4 weeks after the end of class. Mode of delivery: Block mode
This unit of study provides an introduction to the health issues confronting wildlife in Australasia, an overview of the health status of that wildlife, and an understanding of both the investigation of health problems and the effective management of these. Issues in wildlife disease management are exemplified using a broad range of vertebrate species occupying different environments. Emphasis is placed on providing students with a coordinated and interdisciplinary approach to wildlife health, and on developing expertise in recognising and solving a broad range of health problems in field populations. There is also a focus on the use of molecular tools as diagnostic assays and for use in population management. The unit is taught intensively in a full-time week on the Camden campus (4-6 days) and the Sydney Campus (1day). The unit integrates lectures, practical work and supervised study, and offer students the opportunity to work through real-world wildlife conservation problems relevant to their individual backgrounds.
Textbooks
There are no set textbooks for this unit of study.
WILD5004 Vertebrate Pest Management

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof David Phalen Session: Intensive April Classes: The Unit is taught in a full-time week at the university farm "Arthursleigh" near Marulan NSW. There are lectures, tutorials, and a variety of practical classes. Please see the Wildlife Masters Website for the timing of this course (http://sydney.edu.au/vetscience/wildlife_masters/program/index.shtml). Assessment: The assessment of this unit occurs both in the full-time week and in individual written assignments done in the student's own time. The full-time week contributes (40%) of the total mark through a number of individual and syndicate tasks, with presentations to the group. The remaining 60% comes from two written assignments of 3000 words (20%) and 5000 words (40%) respectively. Mode of delivery: Block mode
Vertebrate pests occur in many parts of the world, and can pose significant problems for management of habitat, agricultural productivity, human and wildlife health. This unit focuses on vertebrates that have been introduced to new environments, and considers in detail the impacts and management of pest vertebrates in Australia. Steps in pest management are reviewed, from problem analysis to acceptable levels of control, using case studies of multiple vertebrate pests. Traditional mortality methods as well as emerging management tools are reviewed. The Unit is taught full-time over 7 days at the university farm "Arthursleigh" near Marulan NSW. There are lectures, tutorials, and a variety of practical classes.
Textbooks
Unit of Study Handbook is the primary reference.
WILD5005 In Situ Wildlife Management

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Kellie Leigh, A/Prof David Phalen Session: Intensive October Classes: Intensively taught unit. See the Wildlife Health and Population Management website for dates: (http://sydney.edu.au/vetscience/wildlife_masters/program/index.shtml). Assessment: Assessments for each unit may include practical work, field studies, student presentations and written reports (100%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Wildlife populations do not remain static, but change in size and composition over both time and space. The challenge for managers is to recognise when change in target populations exceeds acceptable limits and intervention is necessary. This unit of study develops skills in assessing population status and recognising differences between 'small populations' and 'declining populations'. It introduces methods used in population pattern analysis, demographic analysis, threat and resource assessment, and determination of health, emphasising the value of a coordinated and interdisciplinary approach to problem recognition and resolution. This course is taught in the Blue Mountains, the Royal National Park and the main campus of the University of Sydney.
WILD5006 Ex Situ Wildlife Management

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Derek Spielman Session: Intensive February Classes: The Unit is taught in a full-time week in February at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, NSW. Please see the Masters of Wildlife Health and Population Management website for the specific dates (http://sydney.edu.au/vetscience/wildlife_masters/program/index.shtml) Assessment: The assessment of this unit occurs both in the full-time week and in an individual written assignment done in the students' own time. The full-time week contributes (40%) of the total mark through a group presentation on the status in the wild and in captivity of a species in the Taronga Western Plains Zoo. The remaining (60%) comes from a written assignment of 5,000 words on a successful species survival plan that involves a significant ex situ component. Mode of delivery: Block mode
Wildlife populations are under a variety of threats, most of which result from human activities. Modern conservation biology seeks practical solutions to these problems using a wide range of options. These options can include captive breeding and re-introduction programs, provided that a range of biological, ethical and politico-economic issues are addressed. This unit of study provides students with the tools to evaluate the likely cost-effectiveness of such programs. It also develops knowledge of the technologies available to capture and translocate wildlife, and of the planning required to maximise the chance of success. The unit is taught in a full-time week at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, NSW. The unit integrates lectures, tutorials, practical work and site visits and offers students the opportunity to examine real problems in the conservation and management of threatened wildlife populations using relevant case studies.
Textbooks
There is no text book available. Recommended reading:
WILD5009 Research Project

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof David Phalen Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Meetings throughout semester to be arranged with supervisor. Prerequisites: (WILD5001 and WILD5002), and a Credit average from a minimum of 24 credit points of the following (WILD5001, WILD5002, WILD5003, WILD5004, WILD5005, WILD5006) Assessment: Literature review and research proposal (20%), Independent research project and final thesis (80%) Practical field work: The entire unit of study is composed of up to 3 days a week of literature review, data collection, data analysis, and final paper submission. Mode of delivery: Supervision
Note: Core for the Masters program
A valuable opportunity to apply some of the knowledge gained from earlier coursework, WILD5009 comprises a research project on a topic with significant emphasis on wildlife health and/or population management, as arranged between the student and an appropriate supervisor. This research experience is highly valued by prospective employers as it shows a willingness and ability to undertake guided but independent research. The project is not conducted by way of contact hours per week for a semester. Instead the student is expected to work on the project full-time and in a continuous manner for the semester. This unit of study is available only to students enrolled in the Master of Applied Science (Wildlife Health and Population Management).

Elective Units of study

GEOG5001 Geographic Information Science A

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Kevin Davies Session: Semester 1 Classes: Six lectures plus six workshops. Assumed knowledge: This unit assumes a sound understanding of scientific principles, HSC level mathematics and understanding of basic statistics. Assessment: Quiz and Assignments (100%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit of study gives an overview of basic spatial data models, and enables students to understand the use of data from a variety of sources within a geographical information system (GIS). The analysis of spatial data, and its manipulation to address questions appropriate to planning or locational applications, will be addressed, as will the development of thematic maps from diverse data layers.
MARS5001 Coastal Processes and Systems

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Ana Vila-Concejo Session: Semester 1 Classes: One 2 hour lecture, one 1 hour tutorial per week Assumed knowledge: This unit assumes a sound understanding of scientific principles, HSC level mathematics and understanding of basic statistics. Assessment: Assignment, presentation and quiz (100%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit of study explains the major coastal processes and systems of relevance to coastal zone management. These include beaches, barriers and dunes; estuaries and inlets; and coral reefs. The interactions between these processes and systems that are of most relevance to coastal management are highlighted, including coastal hazards such as beach erosion. Anthropogenic impacts are also analysed. This unit includes an introduction to numerical modeling of coastal processes and systems using state-of-the-art modeling tools. The unit is presented in lectures and field excursions, the latter enabling each system to be examined first hand.
MARS5006 Coral Reefs, Science and Management

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Maria Byrne Session: Semester 1 Classes: University base delivery: prefield trip tutorial (1-hour), twelve lectures (1-hour each). Field based delivery: two seminars (1-hour each), two tutorials - individual consultations to develop concepts in research (1-hour each), independent research and oral presentation. Assumed knowledge: This unit assumes a sound understanding of scientific principles, HSC level mathematics and understanding of basic statistics. Assessment: Written assignments: essay and project report; oral presentations; seminar and lecture participation (100%) Mode of delivery: Field experience
This unit provides an in - depth overview of the key biological and non-biological processes that make up coral reef ecosystems. There is a focus on the biogeographic, oceanographic and physiological processes underlying the integrity of global tropical reef systems. The Great Barrier Reef is used as a case study to explore emerging concepts on the influence of natural and anthropogenic processes on the integrity of global coral reef ecosystems. Learning activities will include a series of background lectures and research seminars and tutorials in the development of a major research project. A major aspect of this unit is an independent research project conducted under the supervision of the course instructors. The unit concludes with a series of oral presentations based on student research. Assessment tasks will consist of one essay, essay topic presentation and a research project report and presentation. The curriculum in this unit is based on current research and course notes will be provided. This is a field intensive course held at One Tree Island Research Station. The course is ex-Gladstone Queensland and students are expected to make their own way there. The field component of the unit will be run over 4-6 days and there will be an additional course fee for transport, food and accommodation, expected to be $700.
PUBH5018 Introductory Biostatistics

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Kevin McGeechan and A/Professor Patrick Kelly Session: Semester 1 Classes: 2 x 2hr lecture, 10 x 1hr lectures, 11 x 2hr tutorials, 2 x 1hr and 8 x 0.5hr statistical computing self directed learning tasks over 12 weeks - lectures and tutorials may be completed online Assessment: Weekly quizzes (10%), 1x4 page assignment (20%) and 1x2.5hr open-book exam (70%). For distance students it may be possible to complete the exam externally with the approval of the course coordinator. Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day, Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening, Online
This unit aims to provide students with an introduction to statistical concepts, their use and relevance in public health. This unit covers descriptive analyses to summarise and display data; concepts underlying statistical inference; basic statistical methods for the analysis of continuous and binary data; and statistical aspects of study design. Specific topics include: sampling; probability distributions; sampling distribution of the mean; confidence interval and significance tests for one-sample, two paired samples and two independent samples for continuous data and also binary data; correlation and simple linear regression; distribution-free methods for two paired samples, two independent samples and correlation; power and sample size estimation for simple studies; statistical aspects of study design and analysis. Students will be required to perform analyses using a calculator and will also be required to conduct analyses using statistical software (SPSS). It is expected that students spend an additional 2 hours per week preparing for their tutorials. Computing tasks are self-directed.
Textbooks
Course notes are provided.
VETS7025 Leadership, People and Organisations

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Jenny-Ann Toribio Instructor: Residential facilitator: Karen Rodrigues On-line facilitator: Greg Cartan Session: Semester 1 Classes: Residential and Online. 5-day Residential session in February, Online classes (Semester 1, 1-14) Assessment: Residential (10%), Learning Journals (40%) Online participation (20%), Group Assignment (30%) Mode of delivery: Distance education/intensive on campus
The Leadership, People and Organisations unit will aim to raise awareness of the need for leadership and management skills amongst veterinary public health professionals. Through experiential learning activities, group case study analysis and scenario based problem-solving activities, students will identify how they can develop effective management and leadership skills at the residential session. In the online classroom, students will use independent study and group learning to further explore aspects of leadership and working successfully within organisations.
After completing the Leadership, People and Organisations unit, students will be able to: explain the importance and principles of leadership in the context of animal health management and veterinary public health: discuss aspects of leadership such as personality, intelligence, values, cultural differences, motivations, self efficacy and perception: identify their own skill requirements: use and explain the principles of action learning: explain the effects of group dynamics in work teams: discuss how power and influence impact on success at work: analyse and develop their own leadership skills: explain how work design can affect organizational and team success: discuss organizational behaviour and culture: recommend strategies to transform organizations.
Textbooks
Organisational Behaviour: Emerging Knowledge. Global Insights. McShane, S., Olekalns, M & Travaglione, T 2013 4 Ed, McGraw Hill Australia Pty Limited: North Ryde: Australia
VETS9003 Special Topics in Veterinary Studies

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Academic Supervisor: Dr Sanaa Zaki Instructor(s): Supervisor(s) in relevant discipline. Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Supervised Assessment: Written assignment 6,000 words or equivalent (100%) Mode of delivery: Supervision
This unit will allow students to be supervised in specific areas of study that are not covered in any existing postgraduate units in veterinary studies. The purpose of this unit may include: interest in specific practical or clinical subject area, allowing greater depth of learning following from core units of study at Graduate Certificate level; interest in enhanced knowledge of a particular discipline/species; additional learning required to support a research project or case report. Students must discuss learning outcomes, methods for achieving them, assessment and assessment criteria with their supervisor and submit documentation to the Associate Dean for Postgraduate Studies by the census date of the relevant semester.
Learning outcomes: At the end of this Unit of Study, students will be able to: Discuss the major issues associated with their subject area; Interpret and critically evaluate scientific material or information in their subject area; Make informed decisions in their subject area and implement them; Clearly communicate understanding of their subject area.