• Offered by Research School of Earth Sciences
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Earth and Marine Science
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Marine Biology, Environmental Science
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Bradley Opdyke
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Spring Session 2018
    See Future Offerings

This intensive field course aims to provide students with advanced understanding of modern and fossil carbonate environments, and the role of biological processes in reef building and erosion. It complements EMSC6023 Marine Biogeochemistry and is for students seeking a profession in the petroleum industry, marine biology, environmental science or geochemistry. Several days will be spent at a coral reef location investigating a modern reefal setting, fossil reef depositional environments and relevant biological processes. Activities will include both advanced lectures and field surveys.

NOTE: Graduate students will attend joint classes with undergraduates, but will be assessed under a different scheme, which will require a greater level of conceptual understanding.

Learning Outcomes

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

On satisfying the requirements of this course students will have gained the knowledge, understanding and skills to :
  1. Identify, understand and map different environments and bio-zones on a carbonate reef platform.
  2. Apply field techniques used to characterize and assess carbonate reef ecosystems.
  3. Produce detailed maps of the reef flat.
  4. Critique the history of deposition of carbonate reef platforms over Holocene time.
  5. Gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of how to measure carbonate chemistry in the field.
  6. Demonstrate understanding and interpretation of a spectrum of coral reef biological processes.
  7. Appraise and contrast the major issues facing the future of carbonate reef ecosystems and the strategies that may be used to address these threats.

Indicative Assessment

  • Field map  (20% LO 1-3)
  • Research Report  (40% LO 1-3)
  • Theory examination, 2 hours, (40% LO 1 and 4-7)

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Summer intensive 1 week field course to be held either in November/December or early in January. Assessment includes a report to be completed after the fieldtrip.

Students are expected to work individually and in groups. Graduate students will be required to demonstrate a higher level of understanding.

Requisite and Incompatibility

Incompatible with EMSC3019

You will need to contact the Research School of Earth Sciences to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Assumed Knowledge

It is expected that students have a study background in Earth Science, Environmental Studies  and/or Marine Science.


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

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.

Spring Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9664 18 Nov 2018 07 Dec 2018 07 Dec 2018 22 Feb 2019 In Person N/A

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