• 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 2018
    See Future Offerings

This course explores concepts in biodiversity science that form essential knowledge for ecologically sustainable resource management. You will study the key factors that influence how biota are distributed and ecosystems function, and learn about the consequences for sustainability when balanced systems are disrupted by natural events or human activities. Your practical biodiversity survey skills will be developed through experience across a range of ecosystems (including marine, coastal and inland systems, in both modified and natural landscapes).

This course includes weekly lectures and practical sessions that involve workshops, laboratory classes, and field trips to reserves, farms and the Fenner School's existing long-term research sites in the Canberra region. There is an optional 5-day field trip to the ANU Kioloa coastal campus (approximately $400 for transport, accommodation and meals) where you will learn to survey and identify both flora and fauna.

This course develops fundamental skills that are necessary for graduates seeking careers in natural resource management and other areas of environmental science. It also provides important background for those wishing to pursue careers in any field that potentially impacts on biodiversity, e.g. environmental policy and planning.

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 key factors that influence the distribution of biota.
  2. Demonstrate understanding about the complex linkages between abiotic and biotic components of ecosystems.
  3. Identify and apply appropriate techniques for measuring biodiversity in a range of different environments and circumstances.
  4. Develop and test hypotheses about the impacts of human activities on biodiversity.
  5. Effectively interpret and critique data about biodiversity using a range of analytical and communication techniques to a range of audiences.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on:
  • Practical exercises (20%) [LO 1-5]
  • Research report (30%) [LO 2-5]
  • Poster or video (20%) [LO 1,4,5]
  • Exam (30%) [LO 1,2,3,5]

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.


130 hours including up to 60 contact hours in lectures, tutorials, practicals and field trips, and self-study time.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously 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 recommended.



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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9099 23 Jul 2018 30 Jul 2018 31 Aug 2018 26 Oct 2018 In Person N/A

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