• Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Environmental Science
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Geography, Archaeology, Environmental Studies, Environmental Science
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Janelle Stevenson
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

Please email fses.coursework.enquiries@anu.edu.au if you are interested in taking this course in 2020.

What can the past tell us about our future? Much of what we know about the deeper past comes from the remains of microscopic organisms and their sedimentary context. In the Australasian region there is a rich body of evidence for past environmental change that is only beginning to be explored. In this course we introduce the participants to the potential of reconstructing past environments and how this might inform future challenges.


Existing lines of evidence for past environmental change in Australia come from a range of palaeoecological and archaeological sources and point to significant changes in climate, biodiversity, vegetation cover and fire frequency since the arrival of people sometime between 60,000 - 40,000 years ago. The degree to which humans overrode otherwise natural processes of environmental change and the spatial extent of human modification however is a global issue.


This course introduces students to the methods and techniques used to reconstruct past environments primarily through the field collection and laboratory analysis of a range of palaeo-environmental indicators including lake sediment, pollen, charcoal, seeds, biogenic silica and stable isotopes. These proxies are explored further by applying them to particular palaeoclimate and conservation biology problems. The course is designed to provide students with an understanding as well as the practical skills to engage in palaeoecology, archaeological science, palaeoclimatology, and natural resource management research. A key element of the course is meeting and interacting with some of the ANU’s leading researchers in this field as well as gaining insight into ongoing research in the region.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the natural and anthropogenic drivers of past environmental change at a global, regional and local scale.
  2. Describe and explain the techniques that are used to reconstruct past environmental conditions in Australia and abroad.
  3. Analyse and reconstruct past environmental conditions using appropriate field and laboratory techniques.
  4. Modify palaeo-environmental data from a range of sedimentary contexts.
  5. Reflect on the natural and human influences that explain past environmental conditions and demonstrate these effectively to a broad audience.

Other Information

There are additional field trip fees of approximately $110 applicable to participation in this course (payment to ANU Science Shop). Students will be asked to register their intention to participate in the field trip via the course WATTLE site.

  • Field-based teaching and learning activity forms an integral and important part of many courses delivered by the Fenner School of Environment & Society. Fieldwork activities are designed to allow you put the skills you’ve learned in the classroom into practice in new environments and provide powerful enrichment to student learning.


If you do not meet the requisites for this course, it may be possible to receive a permission code. If you are prompted for a permission code on ISIS, please request one online via the following form

Indicative Assessment

  1. Quizzes (10) [LO 2,3,4]
  2. Field Workbook (10) [LO 2,3,5]
  3. Science Communication Project (1000 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  4. Research Project (Online StoryMap) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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.

Workload

The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 1 x 2 hour workshop plus 1 x 3 hour workshop per week.
  • One compulsory 1 day field trip
  • Approximately 63 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks.


Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 96 units towards a degree including 12 units of 2000 or 3000 level ARCH, BIOL, EMSC or ENVS courses. Incompatible with ENVS6529.

Prescribed Texts

Reading lists will be available on the course WATTLE site.

Minors

Fees

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:
2
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
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
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.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4220 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 31 Mar 2020 29 May 2020 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions