• Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Environmental Science
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Environmental Science, Forest Science and Management, Resource and Environmental Management, Biodiversity Conservation
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Philip Gibbons
    • Ceridwen Fraser
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings
Ecosystems depend on linkages between the physical environment, vegetation and fauna, and these interactions are critical for ecological sustainability. This course explores how these linkages and interactions function, and how they are assessed. You will develop skills in surveying vegetation and fauna in a range of ecosystems (including marine, coastal and inland; modified and natural) and describing the key environmental features that influence the distributions of flora and fauna (eg. climate and landforms). Patterns of and feedbacks between these features will be explored, and you will learn about the consequences for sustainability when balanced systems are disrupted using examples from ecosystems in diverse parts of the world.
The course includes weekly lectures and practical sessions that may involve workshops, laboratory classes, and field trips to reserves, farms and the Fenner School's existing long-term research sites around Canberra. It is expected that students taking this course will also be enrolled in the ENVS6218 Environmental Science Field School course which runs a multi-day field trip during the mid-semester break, or will have equivalent academic training and/or experience. The latter part of the Biodiversity Science course draws on some of the practical skills and insights gained during the Environmental Science Field School, to enable you to integrate field skills with theoretical approaches including core knowledge, experimental design, and the critical interpretation of biophysical data.
This course develops fundamental skills for graduates seeking careers in all fields of environmental science and natural resource management, provides important background for those wishing to pursue careers in all forms of environment and sustainability, and assists students to identify areas of specialisation in later parts of their degree.

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. identify and apply appropriate methods to describe the key biophysical attributes of ecosystems (LO1)

2. select and use quantitative techniques to demonstrate an advanced understanding of the complex linkages between environmental and biological features in ecosystems (LO2)

3. critically interpret and communicate key information about ecosystems from diverse sources across a range of media and to a range of audiences (LO3)

Indicative Assessment

1. Practical exercises (25%) [LO 1,2]
2. Research report (40%) [LO 1,2,3]
3. Poster (15%) [LO 2,3]
4. Exam (20%) [LO 1,2]

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A total of 130 hours, including 60 contact hours comprising lectures, tutorials, practicals and field trips and up to 70 hours of self study.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have successfully completed ENVS6203 or ENVS2001

Prescribed Texts

There is no prescribed text. Reading material will be provided throughout the course.

Assumed Knowledge

ENVS6218 Environmental Science Field School is strongly recommended, and/or equivalent academic training or professional experience.



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:
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
2016 $3480
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4638
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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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
9590 18 Jul 2016 29 Jul 2016 31 Aug 2016 28 Oct 2016 In Person N/A

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