• Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Environmental Science
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Forestry, Geography, Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Resource Management and Environmental Science
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Geoffrey Cary
    • Nicholas Engerer
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings

This course serves as an introductory meteorology course and an introduction to the science of Australian bushfires. 

ENVS6204 introduces those undertaking the course to key concepts in atmospheric science including; the measurement of atmospheric variables, the general circulation of the atmosphere; atmospheric dynamics, the analysis of mid-latitude and tropical weather systems; and the main drivers of climate variability in Australia, with a particular emphasis on drought.

Students taking ENVS6204 will be introduced to the drivers of the Australian fire regime; and factors that result in the variation of the occurrence of bushfires across the continent.  Students will learn to understand the initiation, spread and behaviour of bushfires and be instructed in assessing and forecasting bushfire risk.

The course culminates in bushfire meteorology module, where students engage in directly assessing and forecasting the initiation, spread and overall risk of bushfires via interpretation of meteorological charts and weather model predictions. 

Key components of the course are insights into ongoing research being undertaken at the ANU in the Fenner School and the Bushfire CRC.

Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with later year undergraduate students but are assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

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 and explain the physical processes that lead to variability in weather, climate and fire regime observed locally and across Australia
  2. Evaluate the interactions between these processes and explain how they result in varying weather, climatic and fire regime patterns
  3. Analyse and forecast weather and fire danger using appropriate tools
  4. Critically analyse weather, fire and climate scenarios that vary in location, scale and complexity
  5. Critically reflect on the interactions that explain weather, climate and fire regime characteristics and communicate these in ways appropriate to a range of audiences

Indicative Assessment

All laboratory and field trip sheets must be submitted in order to achieve a final grade. Assessment will be based on:

  • Tutorial facilitation (20%; LO 1, 2, 4, 5)
  • Fact sheet preparation on a self-selected topic (30%; LO 1, 2, 5)
  • Written assignment based on practical work, including critical review of relevant readings (50%; LO 1, 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.


5 hours of lectures and practicals per week.  Students are expected to spend 4-5 hours per week, on average, on reading and course assignments.


Prescribed Texts

Sturman, AP and Tapper, NJ (2006) The Weather and Climate of Australia & New Zealand. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. (Required Text)

Preliminary Reading

Cheney, P and Sullivan, A (2008) Grassfires. Fuel, Weather and Fire Behaviour. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria. 


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.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1650
2014 $2946
2013 $2946
2012 $2946
2011 $2946
2010 $2916
2009 $2916
2008 $2916
2007 $2520
2006 $2520
2005 $2520
2004 $2160
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $3606
2014 $3762
2013 $3756
2012 $3756
2011 $3756
2010 $3750
2009 $3618
2008 $3618
2007 $3618
2006 $3618
2005 $3618
2004 $3618
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7600 21 Jul 2014 08 Aug 2014 31 Aug 2014 30 Oct 2014 In Person N/A

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