• 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
    • Prof Janette Lindesay
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2018
    See Future Offerings

This course focuses on the fundamentals of meteorology and bushfire science, framed within the context of Australian climatology. It is designed to lead students into advanced third year courses in climatology, climate change, bushfire science, climate change science and policy, and water resource management and policy.

This course has three focus areas: 

Weather - What is 'weather' and why does it happen?  Learn how weather serves to redisperse heat energy around the globe through global circulation processes, and how to understand the wind, rain and chaos that come along with it.  Includes a special focus on bushfire meteorology. Taught by Dr Nicholas Engerer.

Climate  - What influences Australia’s climate and why is it amongst the most variable in the world? Learn about Australia’s main climate drivers and possible future changes, with emphasis on fire regimes. Taught by Dr Sophie Lewis.

Fire - In Australia, fire regimes vary from infrequent, explosive, summer fires to annual, low intensity, fires in winter. How, and more importantly why, do fire regimes vary so much? This is the key to understanding the phenomenon of fire in Australia. Taught by Associate Professor Geoff Cary.


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. Interpret, describe and explain the physical processes that drive weather, climate & fire in Australia at various scales
  2. Explain and analyse the interactions between the above via real-world observation and personal professional experience
  3. Analyse and forecast weather and fire danger with authority and in the context of decision making
  4. Analyse weather, climate and fire scenarios that vary in location, scale and complexity with proficiency, using both personal and collective knowledge
  5. Reflect upon, synthesise, teach and explain LOs 1-4, employing broad knowledge to very focused scientific topics
  6. Critical thinking and holistic problem-solving applied to course topics and chosen specialisation area
  7. Reflection on personal learning and values/ethics in the context of the course

Indicative Assessment

 Assessment will be based on:

    • Bushfire-Meteorology-Climatology Literature Review (LOs 1-2,4-7)  30%
    • Practical Assessments (5 @ 5% each) (LOs 1-5)  25%
    • Weather and Cloud Journal (LOs 3-6)  20%
    • Bushfire Meteorology Report (LOs 2-5)  25%

    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.


    Requisite and Incompatibility

    You are not able to enrol in this course if you have completed ENVS2004

    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. 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.

    Units EFTSL
    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.

    First Semester

    Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
    3863 19 Feb 2018 27 Feb 2018 31 Mar 2018 25 May 2018 In Person N/A

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