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NES2104 : Site Management and Communication Skills

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Guy Garrod
  • Lecturer: Dr Simon Peacock
  • Other Staff: Dr Amy Proctor
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The Module aims to provide students with core skills in oral communication, management planning and ecosystems management and provide opportunities to apply and develop these and other core skills. In particular: to explain the communications systems and strategies needed by environmental managers; to develop skills in oral communication through storytelling; to demonstrate the role and importance of management plans in managing discrete countryside sites; to demonstrate the role and importance of ecosystem concepts and function and how this relates to the management of ecosystems, nature reserves, country parks and other rural sites; to provide students with skills in site management planning; and to enable opportunities to develop core skills in written communications, team work, oral presentation, planning and organisation and initiative.

Outline Of Syllabus

Semester 1
1. Introduction to environmental interpretation
2. The art and practice of storytelling
3. Understanding your audience and developing a theme
4. Storytelling in the field (including field visits)
5. Storytelling in practice
6. The nature of ecosystems: Function, Energy Flow, Material Cycles
7. Ecosystem function and management: Human Impacts, Disturbance and Succession; Restoration

Semester 2
1. The rational for management planning
2. Preparation of site management plans
3. Ecosystem case studies: Agro-ecosystems, Grasslands, Wetlands, Heathlands, Woodland.
4. Ecological impacts of management and land use change
5. Management issues and solutions
6. Critical assessment of fragility and resilience of managed ecosystems
7. Field visits to case study site
8. Writing a site management plan
9. Emerging issues in ecosystems managment

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Ecosystems Management Assessment preparation and completion
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Management Panning Assessment preparation and completion
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Storytelling Assessment preparation and completion
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical12:002:00Story telling
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading136:0036:00Directed research and reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops43:0012:00Storytelling Workshops
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity181:0018:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork26:0012:00Management planning fieldwork
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork16:006:00Storytelling Fieldwork
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00Management Planning
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study114:0014:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide the basic knowledge framework and appropriate further reading will provide insight into a range of issues in site interpretation, ecosystem concepts and function, and site management planning. Practical workshop sessions provide an opportunity to develop and practise storytelling skills. Open discussions within lectures and workshops will provide an opportunity to articulate and critically evaluate alternative practical approaches to the topics covered in this module. Small group tutorials give students the chance to explore their knowledge on ecosystems management and prepare for site visits. Semester one field classes will allow students to experience interpretation on site and to explore the relationship between place and communication. Semester two field classes provide the opportunity to practice and develop the practical skills in ecosystem and site management planning (including data collection) introduced in lectures.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Design/Creative proj1M30Organise, plan and deliver a story on an environmental management topic
Prof skill assessmnt2M35Ecosystem management exercise (up to 2000 words)
Prof skill assessmnt2M35Site management planning exercise (up to 2000 words)
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1MStorytelling Practical Session - An opportunity for students to practice their storytelling in a workshop environment.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

100% Continuous Assessment: 30% storytelling (set midway through Autumn Term with oral presentation in December); 35% management plan exercise(set early in Spring Term, with submission in April); 35% ecosystems management exercise (set early in Spring Term, with submission in May

The storytelling exercise(1) provides practical experience in oral presentation(individually or in pairs) with the emphasis on organising information effectively and designing a theme appropriate to the environmental management issues and the audience. This exercise presents opportunities for students to practice their oral communication skills and to receive appropriate feedback from staff. The formative assessment allows students to practice their storytelling skills and to receive feedback.

The ecosystems management exercise(2) will test students' abilities to evaluate the environmental and ecological factors that control the function and variability of a particular ecosystem that they will visit.
The management planning exercise(3)will build on and extend the exercise in(2)by requiring students to practise their problem solving skills by examining management issues across the whole site, while testing their initiative and their ability to plan and organise the information that they have gathered and then structure their written output according to a set structure.

Reading Lists