• Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Environmental Science
  • Areas of interest Forestry, Geography, Human Ecology, Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Biological Anthropology More...
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Robert Dyball
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

The course applies the principles of ecosystem sciences to the study of the human environment. The emphasis is on the significance and function of ecosystems, how humans have affected these systems over time, and what are the opportunities of and barriers to making positive changes. Dynamical systems thinking and the concept of coupled social ecological system is introduced as a powerful means of comprehending the behaviour of these complex situations. Field trips allow students to experience first-hand the complexity of these human-ecological interactions and the challenges of managing them sustainably. In the latter half of the course, human-nature interactions over human history are critically reviewed, including hunter gatherer societies, early agricultural societies and modern globalised urban and industrial societies. Some key contemporary challenges facing humanity in the Anthropocene are presented for critical reflection. Students extend their understanding of one of these challenges in their final research report and presentation.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of Human Ecology, including knowledge of the history and background to the topic.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of key linkages between ecosystem and social processes and how they relate to human-nature interactions, and to integrate this understanding with knowledge drawn from their own degree backgrounds.
  3. Use a basic systems approach to ‘get at' an understanding of the complex, multi-scaled, interactions that characterize human-ecological situations, and their associated problems.
  4. Apply this understanding in to a significant contemporary challenge facing humanity in the Anthropocene.
  5. Communicate human ecological systems approaches to social-environmental challenges to a range of audiences in effective written and oral form.

Other Information

There are field trip fees of approximately $120 for the 3-day field trip (payment to ANU Science Shop).

  • Students can opt between attending the field trip or undertaking 21 hours of independent research related to the field trip. Note: there is a limited quota of places for the field trip.Information about this will be communicated to the class in the first week of the teaching semester. Students should contact the Course Convenor if they have any questions.


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. Tutorial preparation, attendance and participation. Assess the ability to participate in discussions that draw in a diverse range of knowledge backgrounds on some key issues in Human Ecology (10) [LO 1,2]
  2. Systems diagram quiz. Assesses the ability of students to command basic concepts from lectures and course readings as well as other materials, and engage in discussions with peer students (15) [LO 1,2]
  3. Fieldtrip assessment. Brings the systems approach techniques to bear on a real case study that exhibits many of the process and conflicts evident in complex human-environment situations. See "Other Information" for additional details. (35) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Final report. In a pre-recorded short powerpoint presentation format (‘Pecha Kucha’), present a synthesis of course content on one focus question derived from material presented in lectures and tutorials in the second half of the course (40) [LO 2,4,5]

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 2 x 1 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week plus 6 hours of workshops across the semester.
  • Either a 3 day (21 hours) field trip OR 21 hours of independent research to support equivalent preparation to enable submission of assessment task (3). Please see Other Information for additional advice.
  • Approximately 67 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 12 units of 1000 level courses. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have completed ENVS6020.

Prescribed Texts

Please refer to the course WATTLE site.

Assumed Knowledge

Students are encouraged to take content in the following subject areas ANTH, ARCH, BIOL, SOCY or ENVS in preparation to take the course. ENVS1001, ENVS1004 or ENVS1008 are highly recommended. 

Areas of Interest

  • Forestry
  • Geography
  • Human Ecology
  • Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability
  • Biological Anthropology
  • Environmental Studies
  • Human Sciences
  • Population Studies

Majors

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
3776 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 31 Mar 2020 29 May 2020 In Person N/A

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