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MARI403 Critical Thinking for Environmental Scientists

(20 points, non standard period 1)
Specialist Seminars – most weeks of the first semester, Thursdays 3 - 5 pm
Field course – Residential Week (28 January – 1 February).

Course Coordinator: Professor Gary Wilson - gary.wilson@otago.ac.nz

MARI 403 is a core paper in the PGCertAppSc, PGDipAppSc and MAppSc in Marine Environmental Science, but it is a relevant paper for students enrolled in the PGDipSci and the MSc in Marine Science, Ecology, and other environmental science degree programmes. Some students may wish to include the paper in BA, LLB and BComm postgraduate degrees with an environmental focus.

The paper is designed to give students the skills to evaluate and present environmental information to ensure robust and effective decision-making in the environmental sector, including quality and integrity of scientific data, integration of data with political and cultural approaches, objectivism versus advocacy, and convincing presentation of complex findings.

The course will be taught in two parts – an intensive residential week at Otakou Marae in late January and a series of specialist seminars in the first Semester. The week at the marae is designed to immerse students in an environment where there is strong interest in the environment and encourage them to evaluate needs, interests and how to bring scientific approaches to the discussion and decision-making process.

Assessment is split between review reports from the residential week (20%), two investigative reports (30% each), a terms test (10%) and a pecha kucha presentation (10%).

By the end of the course students should be able to evaluate the quality of scientific data sets, integrate different types of data with political and cultural approaches, distinguish between objectivism and advocacy, and present complex findings in a convincing way.