• 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
  • Work Integrated Learning Fieldwork
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Saul Cunningham
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Winter Session 2024
    See Future Offerings

This is an intensive course. In 2024, the face-to-face component will be delivered 2-13 September.

To work effectively as a professional in environmental science and environmental management you need to apply a range of knowledge and skills in a practical context. This course provides hands-on opportunities for you to apply your theoretical understanding to critical observation and measurement of biodiversity, biogeography, landscape ecology and soil-vegetation processes. You will develop skills in describing soils and landforms, measuring vegetation patterns, identifying habitat features and detecting faunal associations. You will learn to appreciate how soils, landforms, vegetation and fauna should be considered in research and decision-making. 

The course is an in person intensive immersing students in field work throughout the mid-semester break. Week 1 involves day long field trips from the ANU Canberra campus and week 2 is based at the ANU Kioloa coastal campus for four nights. You will be contributing to long-term field research informing management decisions across a range of biomes (farmland, forests, coastal and intertidal). The field work is complemented by pre-field trip workshops.

This course develops a diversity of field skills for graduates seeking careers in all fields of natural resource management.

Graduates are co-taught with undergraduate students but assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Design sampling strategies and collect a diversity of data that describe the biophysical attributes and processes of ecosystems

  2. Critically analyse the strengths and weaknesses of a range of field sampling techniques and survey designs

  3. Demonstrate advanced capacity to select appropriate data-collection methods, design appropriate sampling strategies and communicate synthesised findings about ecosystem patterns and processes

Work Integrated Learning


All students engage with WIL partners (internal/external) as a major component of the course

Other Information

This intensive course is structured around field trips. For week one we will do field trips in the Canberra region, focusing on landscapes and soils. Week two will be spent at the Kioloa Coastal Campus (staying for 4 nights), focusing on assessing biodiversity. There are additional field trip fees of $420 applicable to participation in this course (payment to ANU Science Shop).

All field trips are compulsory. Absences require a medical certificate. Attendance is taken at each field location.

Because of the limitations associated with the field-based components of this course, maximum combined enrolment for ENVS2018/6218 is 50 students. A permission code is required for an intensive course, access online via COS permission to enrol  Students will be considered on a first come first served basis.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Online quiz (20) [LO 2,3]
  2. Reflective Learning Journal (30) [LO 2,3]
  3. Group work, task 1: group reflections (10) [LO 1,2,3]
  4. Group work, task 2: data management (10) [LO 1,2,3]
  5. Research report (30) [LO 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 which may consist of 65 hours of contact delivered intensively over 2 weeks comprising: lectures, practicals and field excursions.
  • Approximately 65 hours of self-directed study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks.

All field trips are compulsory. Absences require a medical certificate. Attendance is taken at each field location. Missing a day(s) within a 10 day field course significantly compromises learning.

Inherent Requirements

Students in this course must participate in a series of field trips, In week 1, field trips will be in the Caberrra Region. Week two will be spent at the Kioloa Coastal Campus (staying for 4 nights). This requires students to be able to:

  • Travel to the field location and stay in field accommodation such as shared basic cabins or dorm rooms;
  • Safely traverse short distances (approximately 10-500m) over uneven ground.

Students who cannot meet these requirements will not be able to pass compulsory assessment tasks and therefore will not be able to pass the course.

For more information on field trips please visit: https://students.science.anu.edu.au/program-admin/college-science-field-trips

Requisite and Incompatibility

Incompatible with ENVS2018.

You will need to contact the Fenner School of Environment and Society to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

There is no prescribed text. Reading material will be provided throughout the course.


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
2024 $4680
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6360
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.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6236 02 Sep 2024 13 Sep 2024 13 Sep 2024 11 Oct 2024 In Person N/A

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