• 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, Biodiversity Conservation
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Benjamin Scheele
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

All activities that form part of this course will be delivered remotely in Sem 2 2020.

This course focuses on the fundamental principles and skills that underpin evidence-based conservation and management of biodiversity. You will study the key factors that influence how biota are distributed and ecosystems function, and 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 surveying and identifying invertebrates, mammals, habitat and plants. You will apply techniques that are used to analyse biodiversity data to support evidence-based conservation and management.

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.

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).

This course is co-taught with undergraduate students but assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, 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.

Other Information

Field trip fees of approximately $400 will be applicable to participation in this course (payment to ANU Science Shop ) for students who elect to complete the optional 5-day field trip if it is made available. 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. For this course, this includes a 5 day field trip. 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. Students should contact the Course Convenor if they have any questions.
  • Please note: students who are concurrently enrolled in ENVS2018 will not need to pay additional field trip fees.

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. Practical exercises (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. Research report (25) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Poster or video (15) [LO 1,2,4,5]
  4. Exam (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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.


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

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 1 x 1 hour lecture plus 1 x 4 hour workshop per week.
  • Approximately 70 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.

There is also an optional 5 day trip to the Kioloa Coastal Campus during the mid-semester teaching break. See "Other Information" for more details.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

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
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

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
8809 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person View

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