- Code ENVS2021
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
- ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
- Course subject Environmental Science
- Areas of interest Forestry, Geography, Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Resource Management and Environmental Science, Human Sciences
An ability to read and understand the landscape is integral to understanding ecology and is an important precursor to the conservation and sustainable management of forests, woodlands and farmland.
As a southern hemisphere continent that has been geologically stable for millennia, Australia has developed a unique combination of landforms, regolith, soils and vegetation. The factors important to the evolution of the Australian landscape and the processes by which these form a sustainable and regenerative system are the focus of this course.
Geological, geomorphological, ecological and biogeochemical processes form the basis of an analysis of how vegetation communities, landforms and the mantle of regolith and soils form across the landscape. The roles of biota, disturbance and competition are integral to this analysis. Soils cannot form in the absence of biota, particularly vegetation, and of course, vegetation does not exist in nature without soils, leading to parallel evolution. Modules include: the reproductive biology and growth habits of eucalypts (as an example of vegetation); eucalypt biogeography and adaptation to Australian environmental conditions; the weathering of underlying geology; erosion and deposition of materials in the terrestrial landscape; the development of the regolith mantle, and ultimately the formation of soils on the surface.
This is a hands-on course with a substantial practical component. Students reinforce and extend concepts presented in lectures through a coordinated set of field exercises located in Canberra Nature Parks, Namadgi National Park, the ANU Kioloa field station and the Murramarang National Park. Students apply their knowledge in a major project to collect data across a landscape and synthesise the results in a model explaining the distribution of vegetation and soils at a range of scales.
Honours Pathway Option
Subject to the approval of the course convener; students taking this option will be expected to complete alternative weekly readings and to be prepared to discuss this advanced material in tutorials and incorporate it into their major assignment/s.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Describe the classification of major Australian soils and vegetation types, their geographical occurrence and explain factors controlling their distribution at a range of scales
2. Apply eucalypt taxonomy and explain the reproductive biology and growth habits of eucalypts
3. Explain and compare plant adaptations to Australian environmental conditions
4. Describe and analyse patterning and processes in vegetation types and landscapes and synthesise the results to explain biogeography
5. Analyse and compare models of succession describing vegetation and soil response to natural and anthropogenic disturbances
6. Critically assess information sources, synthesise an evidenced based argument and communicate findings to audiences in appropriate ways.
- Short reports of field practicals (40%; LO 1,2,3,4,6,)
- Kioloa field trip report (30%; LO 1,2,3,4,)
- Final open book exam (30%: LO 1,2,3,4,5,6,)
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65 contact hours, comprising lectures, tutorials and fieldwork
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsStudents doing this course are strongly encouraged to purchase Costermans, L. 2006. Trees of Victoria and Adjoining Areas. Costermans Publishing ($18) OR the more comprehensive Costermans, L. 2009. Native Trees and Shrubs of South-Eastern Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood ($45).
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. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- 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.
- Domestic fee paying students
- International fee paying students
Offerings and Dates
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|4010||17 Feb 2014||07 Mar 2014||31 Mar 2014||30 May 2014||In Person||N/A|