This interdisciplinary course draws on contemporary perspectives on current issues in the environmental sciences to explore evidence-based decision-making in the environmental sector. Researchers across the biophysical and ecological sciences provide exposure to contemporary theory, field methods and cutting-edge research and analytical techniques relevant to environmental decision-making. Frameworks for assessing environmental priorities, such as managing within planetary boundaries and the UNEP Global Environment Outlook, are used to explore key issues including
• freshwater systems
• sustainable land use (e.g. agriculture, forestry, soils, fire)
• climate variability and change
The course is structured as a series of intensive, small-group discussions based on preparatory reading. These intensive discussions are led by experts in the field and focus on exploring the most up-to-date research and thinking on each theme from a variety of perspectives, with particular emphasis on relevance to your experience and professional interests. Students are also expected to draw on the extensive and varied opportunities to learn from world-leading experts available at the Australian National University and across Canberra, by attending and reporting on relevant seminars, workshops and other forms of research communication external to the course.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Understand key current environmental issues and their implications across Australia and globally. (LO1)
- Explain and apply contemporary theory and research methods employed in the environmental sciences. (LO2)
- Source reliable contemporary scientific research findings across the environmental sector. (LO3)
- Analyse and critique the scientific evidence base used for decision-making. (LO4)
- Interpret and communicate research findings and their implications across the environmental sector for decision-makers. (LO5)
- Learning portfolio (35%; LO 1-5)
- Preparation of a blog on an agreed topic (15%; LO 3, 5
- Oral presentation (10% LO 3, 4, 5)
- Literature review of and policy recommendations on an agreed environmental science topic. (40% LO 1-5)
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.
Workload24 contact hours comprising seminars and workshops. In addition students are required to attend approximately 12 hours of relevant seminars, conference presentations, workshops or similar events external to the course (e.g. at other areas of ANU, CSIRO or government departments); and to undertake approximately 80 hours self-directed study.
These readings provide overall context for the course. Additional, advanced reading material will be required for each specific theme studied.
Australia State of Environment Committee (2011). Australia State of Environment 2011. Canberra: Department of Environment and Energy.
Lindenmayer, D, Dovers, S, Olson, M and Morton, S (2008) Ten Commitments: Reshaping the Lucky Country's Environment. Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing.
Rockstrom, J, Steffen, W. et al. (2009). A safe operating space for humanity, Nature 461, 472-475.
UNEP (2012). Global Environment Outlook GEO5: Environment for development. Nairobi: United Nations Environment Program.
Assumed KnowledgeRecommended courses: ENVS6025 Addressing Complex Environmental Problems, ENVS6306 Human Futures, ENVS8003 Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation, ENVS8016 Contemporary Perspectives in Environment-Society Interaction.
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.