Prepare a 4,000 word critical review of ONE of the following topics: Water allocations for the riverine environment in inland rivers. 2) Occurrence of blue-green algae in inland waters and their health and environmental impacts. 3) Setting water quality indicators (criteria) for specific water quality objectives for one of thefollowing categories of pollutants: a) nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients, b) heavy metals, or c) pesticides and weedicides.
4) The occurrence, impact and assessment of dry-land salinity.
5) The occurrence, impact and assessment of acid-sulphate soils.
6) The impact of climate change on marine (ocean) water quality (ie chemical and biological factors,
not sea-level rise).
7) The sources and significance of fine particle pollution, and the setting of appropriate air quality
8) Impacts of one of the following ‘criteria’ air pollutants on human health and the setting of
appropriate air quality goals:
a) sulphur dioxide,
b) nitrogen dioxide,
c) carbon monoxide, or
9) Photochemical smog production in urban situations, including a consideration of how growth and
controls on smog precursors could influence photochemical oxidant concentrations in an urban
10) Environmental implications of atmospheric acid deposition.
11) The sources, impact and control of toxic air pollutants (excluding the ‘criteria’ pollutants in
12) Effects of petrol and diesel fuel quality on pollutant emissions and ambient air quality.
a) Submission: The Assignment should be submitted through iLearn and should contain coversheet
with your digital signature.
b) Many of the topics are generalised to allow international students to consider a situation other
than Australia or New South Wales, but you should chose a situation which focuses your topic.
For example, in 1) it would be appropriate to consider “Australian inland rivers” or, say, “Thai
inland rivers”, or in 9) it would be appropriate to consider “the Sydney urban area” or, say, the
“Shanghai urban area”. However, you will need to be able to access adequate scientific
information about the non-Australian situation you select. Further, such information
should be in a form accessible to the markers, eg in English. If you can’t be sure of finding the
information for a non-Australian situation you might be best exploring the Australian situation,
since the techniques used in Australia will be applicable anywhere.
The review should be a well documented and clearly structured scientific report. You must include at
least 15 peer reviewed scientific papers that report the results of research in your assigned
discipline. While brief treatment of the management context will be relevant, your emphasis should be
on the scientific questions. Don’t fall into the trap of writing an essay mainly on management and
considering the scientific issues only briefly. There are other units in which focus on the
management. This one focuses on the science.
Depending on the subject chosen, issues to consider may include:
• the scientific reasons for the concern,
• the pathways, mechanisms and impacts of pollutants involved,
• the sources, quality and certainty/uncertainty of the relevant information and data,
• the adequacy of the science for control or management of the issue,
• the adequacy of monitoring and sampling, and/or
• recommendations for acquiring improved data and scientific understanding as appropriate.
Assume that you are writing a report for informed decision makers, who are familiar with assessing
scientific issues, but have no special expertise in the subject you have chosen. Look at ways of
incorporating your information and material into tables and figures to make your points succinctly and
Include a word count on the title page with details as to how it was calculated (eg, wordprocessor,
count based on lines, etc). Appendices, graphs and your bibliography should not be included in the
word count. Keep as close as possible to the length limit for the primary text (ie not including
numerical tables, diagrams, appendices and references).
Make sure you have a succinct executive summary.
The final assignment mark will be marked out of 35, as the contribution to your final mark in the unit.
The marks allocated for the various assessment criteria are as in the table below.
Be sure you demonstrate a critical understanding of the subject and cover the literature thoroughly.
Also ensure you have followed the Harvard referencing style (download from
http://www.library.mq.edu.au/endnote/notes/HarvardSystemofReferencing2009.pdf) in citations and
references. Remember, it is your own work. Be careful if you share information during preparation
that the final work is entirely your own.
The following criterion and weighing will be used to assess your work:
• Clearly articulates aims and scope of review
Accurately and succinctly describes objectives
and outcomes of review literature
• Contribution of reviewed literature
• Evidence evaluated critically
• Strengths and weaknesses clearly identified
• Well-planned review with clear structure, subheadings
and logical argument firmly based on
the literature cited
• Well written paper formatted for effective
communication with correct grammar and
spelling and correct use of professional
terminology as appropriate
• Literature correctly cited and full bibliographic
• Penalty: Late Submission (10% per day)
Section totals 100
Late assignments will be penalised at the rate of 10 marks (out of 100) for every day late. If you are
sick or have a pressing personal problem please contact the unit convener in advance of the due date
to the extent possible.
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