• Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society and the School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific / ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
    Specialist
  • Course subject Environmental Science
  • Areas of interest Geography, Human Ecology, Resource Management and Environmental Science, Archaeology
  • Academic career Postgraduate
  • Course convener
    • Dr Janelle Stevenson
    • Prof Simon Haberle
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course ENVS3029
  • Offered in First Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

What can the past tell us about our future? Much of what we know about the deeper past comes from the remains of microscopic organisms and sediment properties found in depositional settings around the world. In the Australasian region there is a rich body of evidence for past environmental change and biodiversity that is only beginning to be explored. In this course we introduce the participants to the exciting potential of reconstructing past environments and the implications this information might have for the conservation and survival of life on Earth.

 

 

Existing lines of evidence for past environmental change in Australia and the region, from a range of palaeoecological and archaeological sources, point to significant changes in climate, biodiversity, vegetation cover, and fire frequency since the arrival of people into Australia sometime between 50,000 - 40,000 yrs ago. Debate continues over the degree to which humans overrode otherwise natural environmental change processes and the spatial extent of human modification through time. In reviewing these changes the micropaleontological and geochronological methods and techniques commonly used to reconstruct past environments are introduced and assessed.


 

Students will experience in field collection and analysis of a range of palaeo-environmental indicators including pollen, charcoal, seeds, biogenic silica, and stable isotopes. The contribution of these techniques to particular palaeoclimate and conservation biology problems such as reconstructing past El Niño events and detecting natural disturbance and human induced changes is also covered. The course is designed to provide students with a deeper understanding and the practical skills to engage in palaeoecology, archaeological science, palaeoclimatology, and natural resource management research. Key components of the course include meeting and interacting with some of the leading environmental scientists in Australia and gaining insights into ongoing research being undertaken in the region.

Learning Outcomes

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Describe the natural and anthropogenic drivers of past environmental change at a global as well as regional level.
  2. Describe and explain the techniques that are used to reconstruct past environmental conditions in Australia and abroad.
  3. Analyse and reconstruct past environmental conditions using appropriate field and laboratory techniques.
  4. Interpret palaeo-environmental data from a range of sedimentary contexts.
  5. Reflect on the natural and human influences that explain past environmental conditions and be able to communicate these in ways appropriate to a range of audiences.

Other Information

See website:http://chl.anu.edu.au/departments/archaeology/

Indicative Assessment

  • Quizzes (30% LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Science Communication Project 1 (15%, LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Science Communication Project 2 - (15%, LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Research Report & Poster - (40%, LO 2, 3, 4, 5)

 

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Workload

65 contact hours composed of one two-hour class and one three-hour class per week. There is also a compulsory one day field trip.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have completed ENVS3029

Preliminary Reading

  • Elias, S. Editor. 2007. Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science. London, Wiley.
  • Steffen, Will et al. 2009. Australia's biodiversity and climate change. Collingwood: CSIRO Publishing.

Specialisations

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Band 2
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3096
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4146
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings and Dates

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
3253 16 Feb 2015 06 Mar 2015 31 Mar 2015 29 May 2015 In Person

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions