• 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, Environmental Science, Forest Science and Management, Resource and Environmental Management, Biodiversity Conservation

In Winter 2022, this course is on campus with remote adjustments only for participants with unavoidable travel restrictions/visa delays.

Ecosystems worldwide are under stress. Recent global and local assessments of biodiversity have reported deterioration of ecosystems and species loss, leading to potentially irreversible changes from baseline conditions. In the face of the challenges presented by multiple degrading processes, measuring and monitoring ecosystems is as important as ever. Ecosystem change may be manifest in an array of ecosystem attributes expressed as changes in number or size, or presence of species, functions, or services within an ecosystem. Despite the array of changes ecosystems may express, ecologists call upon the same broad concepts when designing and implementing approaches to quantitatively assess change and difference. This course aims to introduce the concepts at the core of measurement and monitoring for detection of ecosystem change.

The course aims to build on quantitative modelling skills using approaches that underpin the bulk of ecological studies. The intent is to provide the next step (after pre-requisite introductory courses) for students in building competence in widely applicable field-survey, data-handling and statistical methods. The ultimate aims are to provide an essential quantitative skill set for future researchers, managers, consultants, analysts, and policy-makers alike.

The dizzying array of attributes that may change in ecosystems means that this course cannot meaningfully cover a substantial number if ecosystems, attributes, or processes. The intensive timeline of the course, and uncertain public-health landscape, means we cannot travel to remote sites. The course focusses on local case studies that offer the opportunity to explore the use of data experimental sites as well as native ecosystems. While these case studies may seem, at times, distant from the idealised landscapes ecologists work in, they embody the basic question types that ecologists seek to answer when monitoring ecosystems in an approachable setting. They also support integration of lecture, workshop and reading material. Individual sessions will focus on specific examples of measurement and the impact of instrument selection and use; experimental design and implicit consequences; common and advanced analysis techniques.

Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate advanced conceptual understanding of measurement and modelling approaches in ecological studies.
  2. Critically apply advanced concepts and methods of quantitative analysis in the context of environmental data, with special reference to experimental design and monitoring environmental dynamics and change.
  3. Effectively critique and communicate quantitative outputs and data collection/analysis strategies to a scientific/management community.

Other Information

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. Experimental-effects model: short report (10) [LO 1,2]
  2. Validated allometric model: short report (20) [LO 1,2]
  3. Data delivery (5) [LO 1]
  4. Course quiz (25) [LO 1,2]
  5. Invertebrate presence and density modelling: consultancy report and monitoring plan (40) [LO 1,2,3]

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 session including:

  • Face-to face component consisting of 70 hours of contact delivered intensively over 2 weeks comprising: daily workshops and other activities such as lectures, practicals and field-trips.
  • Approximately 60 hours of self directed 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

Incompatible with ENVS2002

Prescribed Texts

Not applicable.

Assumed Knowledge

Knowledge and/or professional experience equivalent to ENVS1003 Introduction to Environmental and Social Research is strongly recommended.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2022 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $6000
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
6488 21 Nov 2022 25 Nov 2022 25 Nov 2022 19 Dec 2022 In Person N/A

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