• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Environmental Management & Development
  • Areas of interest Human Ecology, Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Climate, Environmental Science , Resource and Environmental Management

The Wet Tropics Cairns Applied Research Workshop will be conducted in the mid-year break in and around Cairns, a north Queensland delta city subject to severe development and climate change pressures. Participants will investigate case studies and issues relevant to the coastal regions of many countries in the wet tropics stimulated by visits to sites with similar challenges in and around Cairns. The course is designed for students interested in environmental and development issues and will develop skills needed for policy relevant research. The Cairns Research Workshop will bring together students, ANU staff, north Queensland based researchers, staff from local and state government agencies and the Daintree and Great Barrier Reef national parks and representatives from industry groups, non-government organizations, and local communities including Indigenous peoples. The workshop-in-the-field format will combine class seminars and small group sessions with a variety of field trips. Through their individual research projects students will be able to investigate a subject of their choice selected from a wide range of topics. These include climate change impacts on coastal communities, climate change adaptation strategies, the management of river deltas, issues related to national parks and UNESCO heritage sites, NGOs and community organizations involved in policy development and management (with particular attention to the situation of Indigenous peoples) and eco-tourism, a major industry in the Cairns region. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On completion of this course, students should be able to:
1. understand the suite of public policy issues relevant to eco-cultural tourism  
2. evaluate the contribution that different disciplines can make to eco-cultural tourism public policy
3. explain and work with the tensions involved in the research-policy relationship 
4. complete a substantial independent research project linked to the themes of the course. 

Indicative Assessment

1. 20% - 1000 word essay on one of the major workshop themes before departure. (LO two)
2. 20% - journal reflecting on the daily progress of the workshop focusing in particular on the research policy relationship as discussed with regional policy makers and managers in their presentations and during the field trips. (LO three and four)
3. 10% - 300 word outline of the proposed independent essay topic which also places their project on the research continuum listed in LO one
4. 50% post-workshop 4000 word independent research essay. (LO five)

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.


36 hours organised class time plus excursions

Preliminary Reading

Robson, Colin, 2011, 'Real World Research: a resource for social scientists and practitioner researchers'. Wiley-Blackwell.
Honey, Martha, 2008, 'Ecotourism and Sustainable Development: Who owns paradise?' Island Press.
Vince, Gaia, 2014, 'Adventures in the Anthropocene: a journey to the heart of the planet we made', Chatto & Windus.


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
2018 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $5160
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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.

Autumn Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
5617 10 Jun 2019 17 Jun 2019 21 Jun 2019 29 Jul 2019 In Person View

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