• 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, Forestry, Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Climate

Australia is a country defined by dramatic extremes – our highly variable climate influences virtually every aspect of our lives. So what makes Australia the ‘land of drought and flooding rains’? What are the factors that influenced major bushfires, floods and droughts that have shaped Australian society? How is climate change influencing Australian climate variability and extremes? In this course we provide a foundation for understanding Australian weather, climate and bushfire science. It is designed to lead students into advanced third year courses in climatology, climate change, bushfire science, water resource management and climate change policy. It is also provides a multidisciplinary understanding of climate and bushfire science for students pursuing ecology, environmental science, natural resource management, or sustainability studies.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the physical processes that drive weather, climate and bushfire in Australia.
  2. Analyse real-world data to characterise bushfire, flood and drought conditions.
  3. Understand how weather, climate and bushfires vary in location, scale and complexity.
  4. Reflect on how weather, climate and bushfire extremes are considered in decision making.
  5. Apply multidisciplinary thinking to course topics to understand contemporary challenges.
  6. Reflect upon, synthesise and explain learning outcomes 1-5 from a broad scale, to specific topics/events.

Other Information

A laptop is required for each Practical class. Please see the course convenors prior to Week 2 if this will be an issue.

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. Weather review quiz (covering Weeks 1–3) (20) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. Climate review quiz (covering Weeks 4–6) (20) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Fire review quiz (covering Weeks 7–10) (20) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  4. Final Examination (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]

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 3 x 1 hour lecture per week plus 1 x 2 hour practical.
  • Approximately 72 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

To enrol in this course you must have completed 24 units towards a degree which must include 12 units of courses from the Science courses list (from the subject area ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, PSYC, PHYS, EMSC, ENVS, MEDN, NEUR, SCOM, MATH, POPH). Incompatible with ENVS6204.

Prescribed Texts

The course reading list will be provided at the start of semester.


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
2023 $4320
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $6180
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
2943 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 In Person View

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