Master of Environmental Science
- CRICOS Code: 092793M
What will I study?
Successful completion of 200 credit points, made up of:
- Core subjects (50 points), including the industry project
- Environmental science discipline subjects (75–100 points), including the option to undertake a research project
- Broadening environmental studies subjects (up to 25 points)
- Professional skills subjects (up to 25 points).
In your first-year, you’ll start with the core subject Global Environmental Change and choose elective subjects from the Discipline, Broadening and Professional subject groupings.
In your second year, you’ll complete your elective subjects while undertaking the Industry Project in Environmental Science, and in your final semester, you’ll take the subject Graduate Seminar: Environmental Science where you will participate in, and sometimes lead, discussions of hot topics in environmental science.
All students undertake a year-long industry project, working on an industry-relevant environmental science question. You’ll spend time at the workplace of your assigned industry client, getting a full understanding of the problem and why it is important to the business.
Explore this course
Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this degree.
- Global Environmental Change12.5
Global Environmental Change
This subject equips participants with an understanding of the role and limitations of science in environmental debates and decision-making. Global changes to the atmosphere, hydrological cycle, land-uses, urbanisation, climate, pollution, biodiversity, pests, and diseases are having profound impacts on the planet, its people and other species. You will gain an appreciation of strengths and limitations in the diversity of scientific approaches used to understand and manage environmental changes. These approaches include empirical observation, mathematical and statistical modelling, and expert opinion. The subject highlights the breadth of environmental changes, and the range of scientific methods that can be used to address these issues. Collectively, these elements provide a sound foundation for science-based advocacy and management that recognises the scientific and social contexts of environmental debates.
- Industry Project in EnvironmentalScience25
Industry Project in EnvironmentalScience
This subject will provide practical insights into the role of science and scientific thinking within a genuine workplace context. Students will be assigned to syndicate groups and, using a variety of techniques, they will work as a team to solve an industry-relevant problem that has been identified by their assigned Industry client. In addressing this task students will draw upon on their Environmental Science knowledge and other skills developed in the professional tools subjects they have undertaken. On commencement of the project, students will be required to spend a specific time in the business setting and to then maintain regular contact with the business, as well as the project supervisor, across the duration of the subject.
- Graduate Seminar: Environmental Science12.5
Graduate Seminar: Environmental Science
This subject will examine current topics in the discipline of environmental science. The choice of topics will be driven by the students in the subject under the direction of the subject coordinators. Students will organise, lead and participate in discussions of relevant material such as journal articles, media stories and environmental impact assessments. Students will also deliver an oral presentation to communicate their research into a current topic in environmental science.
- Atmosphere Ocean Interaction12.5
Atmosphere Ocean Interaction
This subject gives an overview of the interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere on a wide range of time and space scales. Topics include the planetary boundary layers in the ocean and the atmosphere, momentum and heat exchanges, fundamental causes of ocean circulation, ocean wave theory including wind-waves, Kelvin and Rossby waves, ENSO theory, tidal theory, and the effects of air-sea interaction on the dynamics of tropical cyclones.
- Dynamical Meteorology and Oceanography12.5
Dynamical Meteorology and Oceanography
This subject addresses the fundamental processes that govern atmospheric and oceanic motion, and how these processes interact to control the weather and climate of the Earth. Topics include the fluid dynamics of the atmosphere and ocean, the scaling of the equations of motion, the shallow-water system, vorticity and divergence, buoyancy driven flows, and numerical modelling of atmospheric and oceanic flows.On completion of this subject, students should have an appreciation of the fundamental processes that govern atmospheric and oceanic motion and interactions on a range of time and spatial scales. A qualitative as well as quantitative understanding of the atmosphere is to be gained, with the substantial mathematical analyses covered during the subject. Students will also receive experience in constructing simplified models of the atmosphere and ocean.
- Atmospheric Processes and Composition12.5
Atmospheric Processes and Composition
This subject presents a comprehensive view of the processes that are responsible for the structure, composition and properties of the atmosphere. It will focus on local and regional scales, covering aerosol and cloud processes such as formation, precipitation and lightning. It will address how these atmospheric processes interact with the climate system - discussing major weather systems, land use, air quality and greenhouse gas fluxes. This subject will involve a field trip to the Creswick campus to observe the atmospheric boundary layer state and chemical composition using state of the art monitoring equipment.
- Atmosphere Ocean Interaction and Climate12.5
Atmosphere Ocean Interaction and Climate
This course aims to introduce the student to processes of atmosphere-ocean interaction, their importance in the climate system and its variability, with a particular emphasis on tropical meteorology. Specific topics will include: wind and buoyancy driven ocean circulation, atmospheric convection, atmospheric and oceanic wave phenomena, SST and atmospheric circulation, El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), decadal to centennial scale variability and large scale modelling.
- Climate Analysis and Modelling12.5
Climate Analysis and Modelling
The course introduces students to the philosophy and techniques of the quantitative analysis of weather and climate data, and modelling the large-scale atmospheric system. Among the topics to be covered are the maintenance of the general circulation of the atmosphere, a discussion of the global energy balance and momentum balance, and the role of baroclinic eddies and the meridional circulation. The subject will also cover the growth of error in numerical models and its implications for predictability and climate simulation, as well as an introduction to the structure of General Circulation Models (GCMs) and an appraisal of their simulations of climate. Other parts will include an examination of the philosophy of the design and implementation of climate sensitivity experiments with GCMs. Also covered will be an introduction to the statistical foundations for the analysis of observed and simulated data (including spectral methods, Principal Component Analysis, Monte-Carlo testing, non-parametric tests, trend analysis, the t-test). Other topics to be covered will include the climatology of ozone and the ozone hole, and the mechanics and variability of the ‘semi-annual oscillation’ and the ‘southern annular mode’ and the relevance of these to climate change.
- Convective Clouds and Storms12.5
Convective Clouds and Storms
The aim of this subject is to explore processes governing convection in the atmosphere, with a particular emphasis on severe convective storms and tropical cyclones. Specific topics covered include buoyancy, local convection, cellular convection, stability, severe storms - including supercell storms and squall lines, tornadoes, and tropical cyclones. Forecasting techniques for severe convective storms may also be explored if time permits.
- Atmospheric Modelling12.5
The aim of this unit is to describe the design of global atmospheric models as they are used in Numerical Weather Prediction, seasonal prediction and climate simulation. The unit aims to provide a basic understanding of all aspects of global atmospheric modelling. It will describe modelling techniques required to apply the fundamental equations that govern atmospheric flow in the settings of a modern General Circulation Model.
- Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics12.5
Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics
Knowledge of genome structures from various organisms and the rapid development of technologies that exploit such information are having a big impact in biology, medicine and biotechnology. This subject describes the structure and expression of genomes in higher organisms and provides an understanding of the technologies used to analyse and manipulate genes. Students will learn how the modification of genes in cells and whole organisms can be used to discover gene function or to modify phenotype. The structure of eukaryotic chromosomes is presented to demonstrate how genetic material is replicated and how transcription of RNA is controlled. We illustrate how pathways that regulate RNA and protein are integrated to control cell metabolism and cell fate. The content will cover the bioinformatic techniques used to interpret and extend genomic information. The approaches of functional genomics will be discussed in relation to cancer to illustrate the application of molecular biology to the study of human biology and health.
- Genomics and Bioinformatics12.5
Genomics and Bioinformatics
This subject describes current technologies used to sequence genomes - the starting point for comparative analyses of genes and proteins. The field of informatics has evolved to analyse and interpret large amounts of data generated by the new biotechnologies. Advanced topics will include transcriptome technologies, genome evolution and sequence similarity analysis techniques to identify protein orthologues and paralogues. The subject will cover bioinformatic analysis of protein structure and motifs at the secondary and tertiary levels, and modelling studies aimed at drug design. This subject will explore the latest developments in bioinformatics and detail how systems biology is helping to model complex biological processes.
- Analytical & Environmental Chemistry12.5
Analytical & Environmental Chemistry
The lecture component of this subject covers the main sources and types of environmental contaminants with a focus on water contaminants and their effect on water quality. Frequently used analytical techniques in environmental and industrial monitoring and analysis, not covered in the prerequisite or other second year level chemistry subjects, will be outlined in the context of achieving desirable environmental outcomes. These include: volumetric analysis; gravimetric analysis; optical techniques (inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry); electroanalytical techniques such as potentiometry (ion-selective electrodes, potentiometric stripping analysis) and voltammetry (polarography, anodic stripping voltammetry); analytical separation techniques (ion chromatography, extraction); and automatic analytical techniques (flow injection analysis).
The practical component of this subject involves the application of chromatographic (ion chromatography, gas chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography), electroanalytical (potentiometry, polarography and anodic stripping volatmmetry) and optical (atomic absorption spectrometry) analytical techniques to environmental samples.
- Environmental Chemistry12.5
The subject covers important aspects of the structure and chemistry of the hydrosphere, atmosphere and lithosphere (soil) sources, chemistry and impact of environmental pollution. Subject topics also include the principles and application of quantitative chemical analysis and environmental monitoring (calibration methods; experimental errors; volumetric analysis, spectrophotometry, gas and liquid chromatography, and atomic absorption spectrometry).
A key aspect of this subject will be the comprehensive investigation of a current environmental chemistry issue, which will be covered in a small-group, scenario-based learning mode.
The practical component of this subject will involve the application of titrimetric, optical (spectrophotometry, atomic absorption spectrometry) and chromatographic (gas chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography) analytical techniques to the determination of compounds of environmental interest.
- Applied Ecology12.5
Applied Ecology is the science of understanding and managing ecosystems. The subject describes and evaluates the applications of ecological concepts for the conservation and management of natural and human-altered ecosystems. In particular, it identifies the implications of global and local changes for ecosystems, communities and individual species, especially within the Australian environment. It examines approaches to management and conservation of terrestrial resources and ecosystems, the control of pest species, and restoration of modified habitats.
- Solid Wastes to Sustainable Resources12.5
Solid Wastes to Sustainable Resources
In this subject students will learn about the fundamentals of the solid waste stream in modern society. Emphasis will be placed on the life cycle aspects of waste and the prospect of minimizing waste and maximizing the economic value of waste streams. Interaction between solid wastes and liquid and gaseous waste streams will also be considered. The subject builds on knowledge from subjects such as CVEN90043 Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering where general principles of sustainability are discussed. Student knowledge of systems and material cycles, learnt in subjects such as ENEN90031 Quantitative Environmental Modelling and CVEN30010 Systems Modelling and Design or their equivalent in other subjects forms the basic grounding for the subject. The subject is of particular relevance to students wishing to establish a career in waste management, but is also relevant to a range of engineering design disciplines where design for the total life cycle of the product or infrastructure should be considered.
Regulatory aspects of waste management, sustainability programs in government and private sector, life cycle assessment, organic waste treatment and management, inorganic waste treatment and management, landfill hydrology and design, cleaner production strategies, hazardous waste management, collection and transport logistics.
- Energy Efficiency Technology12.5
Energy Efficiency Technology
This subject explores the scope and methods for improving energy efficiency across a range of sectors. Improving energy efficiency is one of the key responses to increasingly scarce natural resources and problems caused by pollutants arising from energy production and use. A range of energy supply and usage scenarios will be considered including transport, manufacturing, commercial and domestic sectors. Collection of information by auditing and then using this information for planning, demand management and impact assessment will be investigated.
Knowledge gained in this subject will allow graduates to practice in the area of energy efficiency. This subject draws on students’ fundamental understanding of engineering efficiency, as well as their ability to use mathematics and statistics to analyse data to inform innovative solutions. The subject complements other subjects offered in the energy theme of the Department such as Energy for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering.
Areas of study include: potential for improvements in energy efficiency in petrol and diesel vehicles; energy efficiency technologies for the manufacturing, commercial and domestic sectors; demand side management; integrated resource planning; energy auditing; and economic and environmental impacts.
These are applied to the following thematic areas;
- Introduction: fundamentals, energy conversion, supply, distribution and utilisation of energy, Indices, indicators and measurements
- Advanced energy systems
- Energy audits
- Manufacturing sector
- Commercial sector (office & retail)
- Residential sector
- Transport sector
- Life cycle energy analysis
- Developing countries & remote areas
- Energy policy and planning
- Energy for Sustainable Development12.5
Energy for Sustainable Development
This subject provides understanding of the principles of development and sustainability in the context of renewable and non-renewable energy sources. Social, environmental and financial implications of technologies to de-carbonise emissions and technologies that can offer a future non-carbon energy supply are discussed.
This subject uses project based learning where students work in teams to investigate the appropriateness of a selected energy source or a selected technology for a particular country, region or a location. Students learn to apply the principles of sustainability and development.
Knowledge gained in this subject will allow graduates to practice in the area of energy policy and planning. The subject complements other subjects offered in the energy theme of the Department such as Solar Energy, Energy Efficiency Technology and Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering.
- Introduction: What does 'sustainable' mean? What is development? A model for sustainable development
- Consumption (needs versus wants), Global perspectives (inequality and resource distribution)
- Role of energy in development
- Requirements for an sustainable energy supply
- Carbon versus non-carbon energy supply - overview (resources, usage)
- Problems with past patterns of energy use
- Energy efficiency (potential and limits)
- Energy Policy
- Transport futures and peak oil (resources)
- Carbon capture and storage
- Nuclear fission and fusion
- Renewable energy technologies - large and small
- Discussion Forum: Reality of Sustainability.
- Water and Waste Water Management12.5
Water and Waste Water Management
In this subject students will learn about the fundamentals of water quality and the associated standards for use as potable water, recycled water or discharge into the environment in a sustainable manner. The subject will include the identification of risks and measures to control those risks and various treatment processes including physical, chemical and microbiological treatment of water and wastewater. The concept of integrated water management will be introduced and reinforced in the group based project work throughout the semester. Students will learn about the systems for water reclamation and reuse. This subject builds on a range of student’s general knowledge of water systems engineering that is developed in subjects like Systems Modelling and Design and builds on general knowledge of chemistry and biology. It is also assumed that students have developed skills on identifying and sourcing information, and can effectively work as a team to solve larger problems.
Graduates from this subject may apply the skills developed in the water supply, waste water treatment, or water sensitive urban design areas.
This subject covers theoretical and practical management aspects of sustainable water supply and treatment, wastewater treatment and reuse. Specific topics include:
- Integrated water management
- Risk identification and management for water services
- Water quality guidelines, regulations and performance criteria for treatment plant design
- Water treatment processes and waste disposal
- Wastewater treatment - physical, chemical and biological treatment technologies
- Systems for water reclamation and reuse.
The students will produce a conceptual design of a water and wastewater treatment system for a small town.
- Groundwater Hydrology12.5
This subject covers theoretical and practical aspects of groundwater flow, and groundwater contaminant transport. The subject includes the field methods to characterise aquifers, the modelling of groundwater flow, and transport of, pollutants through porous media and reactions. The subject takes students fundamental knowledge of advanced differential calculus and flow processes and applies them to movement of pollutants in groundwater systems. Techniques learnt in this course may be applied in capstone design and research projects.
Concepts and techniques learnt in the subject are directly applicable to contemporary industry issues such contaminant movement through soils from poor historical industrial practice, the design and performance prediction of containment structures such as sanitary landfills or carbon dioxide geo-sequestration projects. The growth of manipulation of geological strata for coal seam gas extraction is another burgeoning area of industrial application of the learning of this subject.
Specific topics include:
- Groundwater flow in saturated aquifer systems
- Characterisation of acquifer systems using various hydraulic tests
- Numerical solution of groundwater flow
- Groundwater flow in the vadose zone
- Characterisation of unconfined aquifer systems
- Mass transport in saturated media
- Transformation, retardation and attenuation of solutes
- Organic/inorganic compounds in groundwater
- Nonaqueous-phase liquids in groundwater
- Introduction to site remediation.
- Solar Energy12.5
This subject provides the application of principles of solar energy engineering. A number of solar technologies and applications methods are investigated.
This subject uses a project based learning where students work in teams to design a solar system for a particular application considering environmental, social and financial constraints. Students learn to apply the principles of solar energy and design.
Knowledge gained in this subject will allow graduates to practice in the area of renewable energy industry. The subject complements other subjects offered in the energy theme of the Department such as Energy for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering.
- Introduction to Solar Energy in the energy economy; Fundamental heat & mass transfer; Radiation properties of materials; and selective surfaces
- Solar Geometry and solar angles; atmospheric effects and radiation prediction; and Solar radiation measurement
- Flat plate collectors design and performance characteristic
- Concentrating collectors design and performance characteristic; Evacuated tube collectors
- Solar System design methods
- Fundamentals of photovoltaic systems
- Solar process heating
- Solar drying, Solar cookers, Green houses and Solar stills
- Solar water pumping; Solar refrigeration
- Built environment applications passive and active systems
- Solar hot water and solar heat pump systems.
- Environmental Applied Hydrology12.5
Environmental Applied Hydrology
In this subject students will learn to analyse hydrologic data, to build computer models of catchments, and apply these to hydrologic analysis and real-world design problems. Quantitative analyses of physical hydrology are introduced and emphasis will be placed on the application of fundamental principles of mathematics and physics to the conceptualisation and analysis of the complex interactions that are the hallmark of earth systems. The subject builds on knowledge from ENEN20002 Earth Processes for Engineering where climate and water cycles are studied. It also complements knowledge of modelling and analysis from subjects such as ENEN90031 Quantitative Environmental Modelling and ENEN90028 Monitoring Environmental Impacts. The subject is of particular relevance to students wishing to establish a career in the catchment management or water resources fields, but is also relevant to a range of engineering disciplines where the water cycle should be considered.
Topics covered include a range of engineering hydrology techniques, precipitation, evapotranspiration, runoff processes, flood hydrology, unsaturated zone, interaction between surface and subsurface water and hydrological modelling.
- Non-Renewable Energy12.5
This subject examines in detail the main forms of non-renewable energy and their uses, including:
- The composition and origin of coal, oil, natural gas and uranium
- The performance of coal, gas, liquid fuel and nuclear power generation
- The performance of power plants featuring steam turbines, gas turbines and reciprocating engines.
- Climate Modelling and Climate Change12.5
Climate Modelling and Climate Change
This subject describes the physics of the climate system, and how the system is represented in numerical models.
Key aspects include:
- Radiation balance and heat balance of the earth
- Carbon dioxide, water vapour and other Greenhouse Gas absorption spectra
- Other key climate drivers including solar variability, aerosols and clouds
- The global carbon cycle and the modelling of other greenhouse gases
- Impacts of climate change including sea level rise and extreme events
It covers aspects of uncertainty and chaos to understand why climate models are imperfect but invaluable tools. Students will build a simple climate model and run numerical experiments with different greenhouse gases. Existing knowledge in python programming is recommended but can be acquired throughout the course. The subject will also briefly discuss the processes of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNCCC) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The 12 lectures cover the following themes: 1. Introduction; 2. Radiative forcing; 3. Climate feedbacks; 4. Carbon & gas cycles; 5. Oceans & sea level rise; 6. Aerosols & Clouds; 7. Variability and El Nino*; 8. Water Cycle and Extremes; 9. Ensemble & probabilistic projections, D&A; 10. Scenarios, carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management; 11. Climate Targets, carbon budgets and the Paris Agreement*; 12. Wrap Up
The lectures are accompanied with weekly exercises that provide students with hands-on conceptual learning, modelling and data analysis experience.
- Urban Soils, Substrates and Water12.5
Urban Soils, Substrates and Water
Urban soils can present distinct and unique challenges to the land manager, landscape architect or horticulturist responsible for developing, maintaining or improving urban landscapes. Often compacted, contaminated, or otherwise unsuitable for plant growth, urban soils require assessment, solutions and practical methods to ensure successful outcomes. This applications-oriented subject covers several fundamental soil science issues with direct relevance to urban landscape impacts, uses and requirements. Topics covered include compaction, nutrition, contamination, water supply, drainage and structural soils.
- Environmental Geochemistry6.25
This course will cover a variety of aspects of environmental geochemistry, including equilibrium processes (thermodynamics, solubility, mineral precipitation, redox reactions), kinetics and rates of reactions, application of geochemical and isotopic tracers to understanding environmental processes, and environmental mineralogy. Applications will include hydrology and hydrogeology, contaminants, weathering and CO2 sequestration, and acid-mine drainage. The course will develop the geochemical tools required to understand processes in these environments.
- Advanced Hydrogeology6.25
Course content includes: Physical Hydrogeology, Chemical Hydrogeology, Field Study/Methods and Management and Assessment.
- Problem Solving in Environmental Science12.5
Problem Solving in Environmental Science
Students completing this subject should have an appreciation of environmental decision-making and the role of scientists in that process; have developed a critical understanding of methodologies used for the assessment of human impacts on the natural environment; understand the statistical principles underlying the design of environmental impact assessment and monitoring; and have experience in conducting and presenting the results of a multi-disciplinary research project in environmental impact assessment.
Topics include methodologies of hypothesis development, experimental design and testing in environmental impact assessment, design and analysis of sampling and monitoring programs and their subsequent analysis, evaluating proposed solutions for their technical feasibility and risk, and the role of scientists in environmental decision-making. Part of the tutorial component and the field day will involve students undertaking a modest original investigation of an environmental problem.
- Environmental Risk Assessment12.5
Environmental Risk Assessment
Environmental Risk Assessment aims to provide you with the skills to undertake and critically evaluate environmental risk assessments. We outline the history and social context of risk and explore the psychology of risk perception. You will be introduced to quantitative and qualitative tools with the objective of giving you the ability to select, apply and assess technical and socially based risk assessment. The subject is structured to develop your skills in writing reports and participating in group exercises.
While the contact period is six intensive days, the learning period is longer. Reading materials are distributed in September and a small assessment task is set to encourage you to be fully prepared. You will be required to complete a take-home examination and a substantial practical report in the weeks following the course.
The subject is made up of lectures in the mornings and practical exercises in the afternoons. It assumes no formal background in quantitative methods. An understanding of basic statistical concepts (means, medians, standard deviations, confidence intervals, basic linear regression) is an advantage. If you have not been involved in an undergraduate statistics class before, contact the subject coordinator to discuss your options.
- Environmental Impact Assessment12.5
Environmental Impact Assessment
This subject prepares students for environmental management roles by providing them with the principles of how human impacts on the environment might be detected and managed. The principles will be placed within the legal and social contexts of environmental impact assessment. At the completion of the subject, students should understand three aspects: prediction of the kind of changes that might occur with human activities; the design and implementation of proper monitoring programs that can detect changes; and assessment of those changes. Additionally, a strong emphasis is placed on the practical implementation of principles.
- Environmental Modelling12.5
Modelling is a fundamental component of Environmental Science, being used for prediction, monitoring, auditing, evaluation, and assessment. This subject introduces students to a wide range of models used by environmental scientists including models of climate change, population dynamics, pollution, hydrology, habitat and species distributions. Both deterministic and stochastic models are used as examples. The subject explains how to develop conceptual models that can then be quantified and analysed using mathematical and statistical methods. Topics covered include development of the basic model structure, estimation of parameters and calibration, methods of analysis, sensitivity analysis, model evaluation and model refinement. The subject teaches students how to simplify apparently complex problems.
- Water Sensitive Urban Design12.5
Water Sensitive Urban Design
There is increasing recognition around the world of the threats facing urban environments and their water resources. In many cities water demand is approaching or exceeding limits of sustainability, leading to increasing interest in alternative water sources, such as stormwater harvesting, wastewater recycling and desalination. At the same time, receiving environments such as urban streams and bays are threatened by pollution and erosion from stormwater runoff, or eutrophication due to discharge of poorly-treated wastewater. There is also increasing recognition of the importance of water in the urban landscape, and of its role in the welfare and health of humans.
The concept of “water sensitive urban design” (WSUD), also known as Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) has developed in response to these changes. It aims to better integrate water into the urban landscape, improving the sustainability and liveability of cities (for example through the sustaining of health urban vegetation), while securing adequate resources for growing cities.
This subject reflects the integration inherent in WSUD. The course will teach you about the individual urban water cycle components (water supply, wastewater, stormwater, groundwater), but will primary focus on their interactions and integration, and particularly their interaction with the built and natural environment.
The subject includes a mix of lectures and project-based learning, including a major project (broken up into stages throughout the semester), a full-day excursion and workshops involving leading WSUD experts from public and private industry. The subject will cover:
- An introduction to WSUD (its principles, objectives, context within other urban planning and sustainability policy & practice) in developed and developing countries
- Water in the urban landscape, the urban water cycle and its component characteristics
- Social, environmental and economic impacts of urban water management
- Structural tools and techniques (conceptual design, operation, maintenance)
- Non-structural tools and techniques
- Choice of scales
- Analysis methods (water balance calculations, water end-use analysis)
- Lifecycle cost analysis and multi-criteria evaluation frameworks
- Design tools and software (e.g. MUSIC, Urban Developer, House Water Expert)
- Institutional and implementation issues
- Integration between water and other urban design elements
- Modelling Species Distributions & Niches12.5
Modelling Species Distributions & Niches
This subject focuses on statistical models of the distribution of species and ecophysiological models of species niches. These two areas of environmental modelling have grown substantially in the last decade or two, and have become core parts of ecology. They are closely related, but they differ philosophically and practically. They are both used for understanding and predicting the distributions of species. The statistical models (also known as habitat suitability models, bioclimatic envelopes or ecological niche models) use observed geographical distributions to characterise relationships between a species and its environment and can be considered ‘top-down’ in approach. Ecophysiological (or mechanistic) models take a ‘bottom-up’ approach by characterising the physiological processes influencing a species’ distribution and integrate models of microclimates, energy balance, heat balance, and water balance.
You will learn about both approaches from lecturers who are world experts in these topics. The subject will help you to understand the merits and drawbacks of the two approaches to species modelling and equip you with important skills that are in high demand in ecology and conservation. The subject includes the following topics: compilation, processing and management of data, fitting models by statistical estimation and empirical measurement, spatial prediction of distributions (mapping), and model evaluation.
- Environmental Science Research Project25
Environmental Science Research Project
In this subject, students undertake a substantial research project in the area of Environmental Science. The research will be conducted under the supervision of a member of academic staff. A list of research expertise and interests in the Environmental Sciences is outlined on the Faculty of Science website. The results of the project will be reported in the form of a thesis and an oral presentation.
- Sustainable Food Production12.5
Sustainable Food Production
Currently, there is more than sufficient food produced on a global scale to feed the population. This has been an upward trend throughout agricultural history, whereby humans have altered their cultivation habits to produce more. However, the continued rise in productivity is unlikely to continue under current systems within which resources are finite. The full impacts of this on a global scale are yet to be experienced by much of the population, largely in developed areas, although viability has dropped in many food producing systems due to increases in input costs of fuel, water, fertilizers and pest and disease control. Meanwhile, at the regional scale, food production systems are already found to be unsustainable with dropping productivity in previously fertile and highly productive areas. The reasons for the production declines are varied and complex, ranging from climate impacts to unsustainable cultivation methods leading to land degradation, reduced fertility and biodiversity required for healthy ecosystems. This subject will explore the biological issues contributing to the reduction of productivity we are currently observing in these fragile agricultural systems and explore the future issues that are likely to impact on systems thought to currently be more stable. We will thereby understand the components that contribute to sustainable food productivity and learn which of these are most unsustainable and will require future investment in systems change to maintain productivity.
- Landscape Ecology12.5
The interactions between spatial context and ecosystem composition and structure can have a significant influence on the management of our natural environment. Spatial and temporal patterning of ecosystems can influence ecosystem functioning which in turn can affect resource availability for flora and fauna, dynamics of plant communities, and lead to the alteration of disturbance regimes. Humans play a critical role in shaping the spatial context on ecosystems within landscapes, both creating and affecting these relationships. This subject will cover the principles of landscape ecology with a focus on understanding how spatial heterogeneity, spatial extent, agents of change (i.e. fire, climate) and the role of humans (i.e. forest management, urbanisation) influence ecosystem patterns and in turn ecological processes (i.e. plant migration, meta-population dynamics, provisioning of ecosystem services). Case studies will be drawn from international and domestic examples from urban, agricultural, and forested landscapes.
This subject will involve lectures, pracs and a 3 day field trip.
- Forest Assessment and Monitoring12.5
Forest Assessment and Monitoring
This subject promotes understanding of quantitative assessment of forest carbon, timber and biodiversity. Specifically, the aim is to:
- Present the state of the art of forest assessment for carbon, timber and biodiversity
- Present methods for formulating and planning an effective and efficient forest assessment
- Enable participants to implement a modern assessment and determine the advantages and disadvantages of available methods
- Enable participants to analyse assessment data to determine reliable estimates and confidence limits
Topics include: introduction to statistics and sampling theory, issues in forest assessment design, modern measurement tools and techniques, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, and specific techniques for assessment of carbon, timber and biodiversity.
- Ecosystem Processes of Water and Soil12.5
Ecosystem Processes of Water and Soil
The subject follows the fate of water as it moves into and through a broad range of land systems and the soil processes that influence the quality and quantity of water. These landscapes include upland forested catchments, extensively managed rural landscapes, intensive land use along floodplains and urban landscapes. The subject develops knowledge of the key water and soil processes that interact with natural and managed terrestrial systems, and students will gain a solid understanding of ecosystem functioning that will allow them to apply soil and water knowledge to address environmental, conservation and rehabilitation issues. Understanding the role of hydrology and soils across these ecosystems is critical for a range of professions including environmental and agricultural scientists, geographers, ecologists and plant scientists.
- Patterns and Processes of Landscape Fire12.5
Patterns and Processes of Landscape Fire
The course covers the fundamentals of fire behaviour and the key drivers. Students will examine the importance of the key factors affecting fire behaviour including fuels, weather, topography and ignitions. Methodologies for measuring fuels, fuel moisture, and weather will be examined through theoretical and practical approaches. Using these skills, students will learn computer and manual approaches for predicting the extent and intensity of landscape fires in a range of ecosystems. Students will apply the knowledge of fire patterns to examine how prescribed burning might be used for land management and the fundamentals of wildfire suppression strategies and tactics. Finally, we will assess the potential changes to fire patterns under global climate change.
- Bushfire & Biodiversity12.5
Bushfire & Biodiversity
The course covers the basic effects of fire on aspects of biodiversity and ecological processes. Managers are committed to developing science-based ecological burning strategies which achieve both biodiversity and asset protection objectives. Increased knowledge of the ecological impacts of fire on plants and animals facilitates a better understanding of how more effective management can be achieved.
- Forests, Carbon and Climate Change12.5
Forests, Carbon and Climate Change
This subject will investigate the role of forests in the carbon cycle and in a changing climate. Students will learn the scientific basis for climate change and the impact that a changing climate might have on tree physiology and forest ecology. We will discuss the role forests play in the global carbon cycle and the degree to which forests or plantations can be used as a carbon sequestration option. We will evaluate the requirements for forest carbon accounting and will apply carbon accounting tools in hands-on accounting sessions with industry partners. This scientific understanding will be extended to discuss policy instruments under consideration in Australia and in the international arena for the potential role of forests in carbon emissions trading. The subject will equip students with state-of-the-art knowledge on the impact of climate change on forest ecosystems and with practical experiences in forest carbon accounting.
- Ecological Restoration12.5
Ecological Restoration examines the principles and practices needed to restore terrestrial ecosystems in a range of modified landscapes from settled to agricultural to forested. Its focus is ecological, although consideration is also given to socio-economic factors that influence restoration programs. Lectures and field trips explore ecological principles and projects from site to landscape scales, encompassing biodiversity values and ecosystem services. The subject is delivered as a two-week intensive, including a four-day field-based component run from the Creswick campus, followed by an overnight field trip to north-eastern Victoria, and then three final days at the Parkville campus.
- Conserving and Managing Native Forests12.5
Conserving and Managing Native Forests
Native forests are globally important natural resources. Their conservation and management is critical to local and regional populations for the biodiversity that they harbour and the ecosystem services that they provide. This subject will explore the conservation and management of native forests around the world.
We will cover the principles of forest dynamics and sustainable forest management for a range of objectives, including wildlife habitat, water yield, carbon sequestration, and timber production. The subject will integrate ecological, environmental, economic, and social perspectives on the conservation and management of native forests through lectures, forest modeling exercises, and a week-long field trip to the Central Highlands of Victoria.
- Riverine Landscapes: Hydrology & Ecology12.5
Riverine Landscapes: Hydrology & Ecology
This subject examines principles in the two disciplines of hydrology and ecology, emphasising the application of both to understand how to solve environmental management problems in river ecosystems. The subject examines water in terms of quantity and quality; and the physical channel and floodplain systems in which it is conveyed and stored, along with transported materials such as sediments and organic matter. The subject also examines population, community and ecosystem dynamics of riverine organisms and their geographical distributions and diversities. Through practicals and fieldwork, students should develop skills in acquiring, analysing and presenting hydrological and ecological data, and in the identification and proper field sampling of stream biota. Students should become aware of the multidisciplinary nature of environmental management and the need for critical examination of ideas in the literature.
- Integrated River & Catchment Management12.5
Integrated River & Catchment Management
Rivers are amongst the hardest of natural resources to manage. They are long and thin, and so maximise the impact of catchment changes; they also focus environmental, social and production pressures. Rivers are the archetypal example of the conflict between private and public goods. In most western countries we have done an effective job of degrading these resources. The last 20 years has seen a transformation in the way rivers have been managed. We are now less concerned with protecting people from rivers (via flood mitigation), and more focused on environmental rehabilitation and protection. This subject equips students to manage rivers more effectively by integrating catchment management activities. In reality, there are not many things that we do to manage rivers: change landuse, change flow, change water quality, change riparian vegetation, or make structural changes to the river. In this course we concentrate on (a) how much do you have to alter each of these management levers in order to produce the most cost effective improvements in river condition and sustainability; (b) how do we integrate the management of many levers at different scales; and (c) how do we evaluate whether we have had any effect. The subject has a strong emphasis on how to develop strong and successful policy for managing natural systems. The principles for managing rivers apply to managing most natural resources, so students can be confident of learning general management and policy principles.
- Coastal Landforms and Management12.5
Coastal Landforms and Management
This subject provides a detailed understanding about the dynamics of coastal landforms, the processes driving change and the impact on human occupation of the coastal zone. The coast is one of the most intensively utilised landscapes worldwide and Australia is no exception. Population densities and development pressures are all rapidly rising providing ever increasing stress on the landscape. Intense human development is however a relatively recent phenomena. Coastal landforms operate over much longer timescales than people. Beaches and dunes have natural cycles of erosion and deposition of decadal to centennial scales while cliffs may have a history of several thousand years. It is therefore impossible to successfully manage, or simply enjoy this environment without knowledge of how it evolved and operates. During this course we will explore the operation and management of the key landforms found at the shore.
- Global Climate Change In Context12.5
Global Climate Change In Context
This subject examines the nature and causes of past changes in Earth’s climate during the Quaternary Period (the last 2.7 million years), with a particular emphasis on the last glacial-interglacial cycle. It aims to place modern climate and the projections of future global warming into a longer-term perspective, and will allow students to understand why human interference in the climate system may be a legitimate cause for concern. Emphasis is placed on how Earth materials (ice, rocks, sediments, biological materials) record past climate changes, the techniques used to extract this ‘palaeoenvironmental information’, and the principles that govern how this information is interpreted. A series of lectures covering the theoretical elements of the subject will immediately precede 10 days of field study (in either Tasmania, mainland SE Australia or New Zealand). The field component focuses on how particular environments (e.g. coastal, lake, fluvial, cave, and glacial) preserve evidence of past climate change. Additional lectures and practicals following completion of the field work will focus on the types of analytical methods employed in this field, the nature of the data that are produced and how these are processed and interpreted. By the end of the subject, students will not only appreciate the dynamics of Earth’s past climate and the mechanisms that have forced it, but also the way in which we practice this important and growing field of study.
Student numbers are subject to a quota. . The estimated cost of the field trip is in the vicinity of $900.
- Biogeography and Ecology of Fire12.5
Biogeography and Ecology of Fire
Fire is one of the most important controls over the distribution of vegetation on Earth. This subject examines the role of fire in natural systems, with a particular emphasis on the importance of fire in determining global vegetation patterns and dynamics over long periods of time. The aim is to understand how terrestrial systems have evolved to cope with and exploit fire, and to place the extreme flammability of Australia's vegetation within a global context. The subject will examine concepts such as resilience, positive feedback loops, hysteresis and alternative stable states. The use of fire by humans to manipulate environments will be examined, with a particular emphasis on the variety of approaches employed by people across a diversity of environments over long periods of time, allowing an exploration of the social and cultural dynamics of fire and environmental management. A March field excursion in Tasmania will visit a number of sites which will exemplify the subject themes. The practical exercises leading up to the field trip will focus on how to gather fire-related ecological data. The practical exercises following the field trip will be devoted to processing, analysing, interpreting and reporting on the field data. At the end of the subject, students will have gained an understanding of the way in which fire has shaped natural systems, as well as acquiring the skills necessary to formulate and test hypotheses.
More information about the subject and field trip can be seen at: http://michaelsresearch.wordpress.com/GEOG30025/
The estimated additional cost of the 7 day field trip to Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, is in the vicinity of $750.
- Sedimentary Geology12.5
Topics covered include facies analysis and petrology of carbonate, terrigenous and chemical sediments; techniques used in stratigraphic analysis and sequence stratigraphy; sedimentary geochemistry and its applications; principles and applications of palaeontology with respect to stratigraphy; post-depositional processes, including diagenesis and weathering, that alter rocks after their formation; chemical interactions between minerals and groundwater in weathered rocks and weathering products; the processes involved in hydrocarbon generation and organic maturation; and application of sedimentary geology to understanding sediment-hosted ore deposits.
- Geomicrobiology and Biogeochemistry12.5
Geomicrobiology and Biogeochemistry
Geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry involve the study of interactions across interfaces of minerals, water, and microbes, and how such interactions impact environmental conditions and reflect evolution. This subject will survey the fundamental principles of geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry, explain how modern biological processes constrain many geochemical reactions, and show how palaeoenvironmental conditions impacted the evolution and preservation of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms across geologic time. This subject will demonstrate how geomicrobiological and biogeochemical knowledge can be applied to problems in academic and government research, and in the petroleum, mineral or environmental industries. We will also look at contemporary “cross-over” applications of geomicrobiology/biogeochemistry to medical microbiology (e.g., coevolution of metals and antibiotic resistance), the microbiology and biogeochemistry of urban/built environments and astrobiological investigation of life’s potential to exist elsewhere in the known universe
- Hydrogeology/Environmental Geochemistry12.5
This subject will investigate, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the fundamental physical and chemical processes governing groundwater flow and composition, including aquifer properties, regional geology and hydrology, water-rock interactions, and subsurface microbial activity. Field and laboratory methods used to characterize aquifer properties and groundwater chemistry, including well pumping tests, chemical tracers, and major ion and isotope analyses will also be covered. A two-day field excursion will draw together many of these concepts and topics.
- Fundamentals of Geological CO2 Storage6.25
Fundamentals of Geological CO2 Storage
The assessment and development of deep subsurface CO2 l storage sites requires a diverse range of technical skills as well as a good understanding of regulatory and environmental protection requirements and objectives, and socio-political advocacy. This course comprises five days of lectures and practical exercises covering the workflow of technical / scientific assessments, discussing common problems and industry best-practice to achieve safe and secure geological storage of CO2. Following an introductory ‘back-story’ to carbon capture and carbon utilisation, the work flow will commence with basin and play scale analyses and rapidly focus onto portfolio management for storage site screening, storage site selection and site analysis for future appraisal and development operations.
- Environmental Geology Field Techniques6.25
Environmental Geology Field Techniques
This module outlines the fundamental theory and techniques of field work in environmental geology. It aims to give students the essential tools for the assessement of environmental hazards associated with mining operations and how to measure their effects.
- Imaging the Environment12.5
Imaging the Environment
This subject will introduce students to the use of imagery in the mapping of both human and natural environments. Imagery is often the cheapest way to gain spatial information about the environment, especially for large areas, but analysis and interpretation of the data requires sophisticated techniques. Usually the light or other electromagnetic radiation being emitted or reflected from the surface being imaged needs to be interpreted into another variable of interest, such as the type of vegetation on the surface. Once interpreted, the information must be communicated to others; usually in the form of maps or reports.
This subject builds on a student’s knowledge of the physical and built environment relevant to their discipline and allows them to interpret and communicate that knowledge. On completion of the subject students should have the skills to perform routine image analysis tasks in the workplace using industry standard software. This subject partners with others to the Spatial Systems majors of the undergraduate science and environments degrees to allow the student to progress to the Master of Engineering (Spatial) or to enter the workforce in a paraprofessional role.
- Image interpretation basics
- Image acquisition and formation
- Fundamentals of image processing and measurement
- Both aerial photography and satellite imagery will be used to illustrate the techniques of measurement and interpretation by which both spatial position and semantic content can be extracted from image data.
- Remote Sensing12.5
To introduce students to the techniques and technology of remote sensing: the extraction of information from satellite and airborne image data. This subject assumes prior knowledge of image processing techniques such as that acquired in subjects such as GEOM30009 Imaging the Environment. Students passing this subject will have the skills to work under supervision in a spatial information or remote sensing agency of consultancy providing services, for example, to natural resource managers.
Use of image processing systems. High level digital image processing, correction and classification; applications of remote sensing in the geosciences, engineering, and resource assessment and inventory; image data in geographic information systems. Detailed application studies in emergency/disaster management, environmental assessment and geological mapping.
- Plants and the Urban Environment12.5
Plants and the Urban Environment
This subject explores the relationship between the urban environment and the plants that grow in urban landscapes. It examines how urbanisation alters the physical and climatic environment of cities and the influence of these changes on urban vegetation and the ecosystem services they provide. Topics include: the ecology and characteristics of remnant, spontaneous and designed vegetation in cities, identification of species typical of these communities, designed systems that use plants to provide ecosystem services, the effects of urbanisation on climate, air, water and soils and the response of plants and animals to these changes.
- Food Production for Urban Landscapes12.5
Food Production for Urban Landscapes
In this subject you will learn about the history of urban agriculture in countries around the world and explore the various roles of urban agriculture in modern-day cities. Given the nature of the subject, a wide diversity of topics will be covered including but not limited to: plant growth requirements, agricultural inputs (such as water and nutrients), soil contamination, pests and diseases, urban-specific production methods, design and management of community gardens and edible landscapes, mainstream and alternative crops (fruit and vegetables), agro-ecology principles and practices ; and the economic value of residential food gardens. You will be required to implement and maintain an allocated crop plot in the Burnley Field Station throughout semester. Field visits will also form part of this subject.
- Biosecurity: Managing Invasive Species12.5
Biosecurity: Managing Invasive Species
Invasions are natural ecological phenomena. Dispersing individuals encounter suitable habitat, establish, spread and evolve. In this way, species have radiated outwards from their origins, colonised distant offshore islands, and species have spread in response to changes in climate.
Human-induced invasions of plants, animals and diseases in modern times have dramatically altered the scales of time and distance over which invasions take place. Their impacts can be considerable, wiping out unique communities, endangering rare species, adding considerable costs to agriculture, horticulture and forestry, and having effects on the health, leisure and livelihoods of people. Tools such as pesticides and biological control can often be used to great effect, while for other invaders there are no obvious solutions. There may be unwanted side-effects of control methods on non-target species, they may adversely affect human health, and may cause considerable public concern. Integrated management strategies can be developed using ecological information about the species but these must be implemented in a real world that involves economics, politics, opinions and social interactions.
- Communities and Ecosystem Management12.5
Communities and Ecosystem Management
In this subject, ideas and theories from the social sciences are applied to people’s involvement in social-ecological systems. Subject teaching includes lectures, group exercises and case studies, including at least one full day field trip. The subject covers the following areas:
- Philosophy and approaches in participation and community management in social-ecological systems in Australia and other countries;
- Participation by landowners, volunteer groups, indigenous people and others in planning or management of forests, waterways, fisheries, conservation areas, revegetation projects and other ecosystems;
- Communities and stakeholders, including their values, knowledge, networks and practices in relation to ecosystems;
- Interactions between community members and governments, businesses and non-government organisations, including issues such as level of engagement, power, knowledge, policy environments, institutions and social licence;
- Processes and techniques for relationship building, engagement planning, group facilitation, conflict management, evaluation and reflective practice;
- Epidemiology 112.5
This subject is a core subject within the Master of Public Health, the Master of Epidemiology and the Master of Science (Epidemiology). Students should enrol in this subject early in their program of study.
Epidemiology is the discipline of studying the distribution and determinants of disease in populations and is a fundamental science of public health.
The subject covers the role of epidemiology in public health and ethical conduct of quantitative research. Within this subject the measures of population health and disease frequency, measures of association and measures of the impact of specific risk factors are studied. The subject includes descriptive epidemiology using routinely collected data. The common experimental and observational study designs, and systematic reviews, and their relative strengths and weaknesses are discussed. The implications of common types of bias (selection bias, information bias, and confounding) are discussed, as are methods to minimise them. Causal inference is considered within a framework of critical appraisal of epidemiological evidence. The validity and performance of screening and diagnostic tests are considered. Current infectious diseases will also be examined by considering the principles of infectious disease transmission and surveillance systems used for health protection. The cultural considerations in undertaking research within indigenous populations, and epidemiological measures in the context of indigenous health will be considered in an online module.
- Renewable Energy12.5
This subject examines the science, technology and policy instruments of a broad range of renewable energy technologies including solar, wind and water as well as other thermal renewables. Specifically, the subject covers:
- Solar: Overview of the fundamental physics of solar radiation; Technical details of photovoltaic cells and concentrating solar power systems
- Wind and water: Overview of the fundamental physics of motion involved in energy in wind & water; Technical details of wind turbines and hydro-power systems, including pumped Hydro-Energy Storage
- Other thermal renewables: Overview of the chemistry and technologies for biomass for heat and electricity and liquid biofuels
- Renewable integration and policy: Overview of renewable energy policy considerations; Understanding challenges of integration of renewables into power systems. This includes managing variability and the opportunities provided by storage and demand-side management.
Broadening Environmental Studies Subjects
- Climate Science for Decision-Making12.5
Climate Science for Decision-Making
Climate change is one of the most important issues of our time. This subject covers the basics of climate science - including climate change, natural variability, extremes, climate scenarios, and detection and attribution - and how this translates into impacts on society, ecosystems and economies. The subject focuses on the production of climate science and data and how its creation, analysis, and use informs decisions made from multiple perspectives and across multiple levels, including governments, industry and communities. The subject has a particular focus on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. To develop practical skills, students are required to apply knowledge from the course to develop and justify various stakeholder positions, policies, or business cases. Students will build climate profiles for relevant stakeholders in order to assess and debate how national or other circumstances frame responses at the local, state and international level.
- Environmental Economics and Strategy12.5
Environmental Economics and Strategy
The subject provides an understanding of the economic analysis of market and government decisions affecting the environment. Topics include economic principles used in analysing private sector decisions on resource use and preservation, externalities and public goods reasons for government intervention, the theory and practice of benefit cost analysis, case study illustrations to water, forests, greenhouse gases and biodiversity.
- Monitoring Environmental Impacts12.5
Monitoring Environmental Impacts
The subject has a strong practical component with a five-day field camp during the week before the mid-semester break involving student-led environmental monitoring. There is also a semester long project to design and implement an environmental monitoring program supported by weekly practice classes.
Component skills taught in this subject:
- Conceptualising environmental responses
- Selecting and using environmental measurement techniques (considering scale issues)
- Analysis of environmental monitoring data.
This subject is a critical foundation for a career for environmental engineering but is also relevant to civil and other engineering disciplines where environmental impacts of engineering projects must be addressed to ensure sustainable engineering solutions.
Selection of measurement techniques and consideration of measurement scale, conceptualising environmental responses to human activities, environmental sampling and monitoring design, systematic review of causal evidence, statistical analysis of environmental effects, risk assessments for occupational health and safety during environmental field programs.
- Social Impact Assessment and Evaluation12.5
Social Impact Assessment and Evaluation
This subject develops the skills to understand and assess the social impacts of development, including international development projects, resource management, and proposed infrastructure or new policies. We do this in two ways: by looking at how to assess the impacts of proposed projects, and through evaluation techniques for existing developments or projects. In each case we develop practical skills and interdisciplinary techniques to appraise and evaluate impacts. These techniques draw from anthropology, development studies, and the policy sciences, and move beyond simple summative assessments and financial accounting. We consider the social and environmental contexts in which any form of appraisal is embedded, and the capacities of different actors (from the state to NGOs and community groups) to avert or mitigate negative impacts through learning, negotiation, and citizen participation. Examples, some presented by guest speakers, are drawn from Australia, Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. At the completion of the subject students will have developed the conceptual skills to understand the impacts of development; be familiar with the range of methodologies and techniques used in impact assessment; understand development evaluation; and will be able to apply this in critical evaluation of the impact of projects and programmes.
- Climate Change Politics and Policy12.5
Climate Change Politics and Policy
This subject introduces and analyses critical concepts and terms central to debates over climate change, including risk and uncertainty, adaptation and mitigation, burden sharing, and problems and issues relating to regimes, strategies and policy instruments for addressing global warming. The subject considers the rise of climate change as a policy problem. It reviews and analyses the history of climate change policy as it has evolved nationally and internationally. It examines the interactions between national and regional climate policy, including in Australia, the United States, the European Union and China. It analyses debates and concerns that have led to the evolution of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol, and more recent arrangements. Students will consider a range of policy instruments, including carbon taxes and emissions trading, and technologies that have been proposed or deployed to address this issue. This subject enables students to understand the evolution of a critical global environmental issue. It offers insights into technical, political, ethical and ecological issues that have framed climate change policy, particularly since 1992, and enables students to think critically about and participate in developing policy in this domain.
- Environmental Policy12.5
This subject provides an introduction to critical concepts and issues related to environmental policy development and implementation, with specific reference to national and international policy domains. Students are introduced to relevant concepts, theoretical issues and practical tools for policy makers. They consider case studies relating to climate change, ozone depletion, water, land degradation, forest preservation, waste and 'sustainability planning'. These case studies include Australian, developing country and international dimensions and considerations. The subject is taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. Students will gain a practical understanding of issues confronting policymakers for a range of environment problems and solutions available to them.
- Environmental Policy Instruments12.5
Environmental Policy Instruments
The subject focuses on the development and critical assessment of a range of past, current and proposed environmental policies in Australia, Europe, the US and other parts of the world. The subject covers a range of topics including energy, transport, biodiversity loss, fisheries management, rural and urban water use, air pollution, and climate change. Policy instruments covered in class include taxes, rebates, fees, permit trading, bans, informational policies, and legal instruments. Real-world issues and real-world policy responses are compared and discussed. The subject equips students with a set of economic principles and decision-framework that can help develop arguments for or against environmental policies. Students will learn about innovative policy solutions as well as policies with potential pitfalls and unintended consequences.
- Sustainability and Behaviour Change12.5
Sustainability and Behaviour Change
It is perhaps obvious that human behaviour is having a negative impact on our environment. Behavioural change, thus, is pivotal to ensure a more environmentally sustainable future. However the question of behavioural change is vexed. Some argue that humans are ‘naturally’ greedy and selfish, others suggest that we are ‘puppets’ - the victims of the social structures engendered by capitalism, and yet others trust that good behaviour will follow from the ‘truth’; knowledge about environmental problems. These and other views of behaviour set up particular change strategies. The above examples suggest three strategies for changing behaviour: provide people with incentives that will lead them to ‘choose’ different behaviours, or the transformation of social structures such as capitalism and patriarchy, or the provision of environmental education.
This subject examines the question of behavioural change from a number of disciplinary perspectives (psychology, sociology ecology, marketing and economics). Each discipline ‘sees’ the problem differently and this allows us to map insights and gaps in these knowledges. These purported differences can be understood and reconciled; behaviour is show to be a function of the physical, social and psychological aspects of social practices. This allows for a more holistic understanding of behaviour and the strategies that might create behaviour change.
NB: This subject uses a ‘flipped classroom’ mode of delivery. Most weeks require the watching of a vodcast prior to attending a 2 hour seminar. The success of the seminars and student learning is governed by individuals’ preparation and participation. This subject covers a lot of theory and requires active engagement. The consideration of societal behaviour change will likely engender a consideration of your own behaviour, including as a student.
- Climate Change Mitigation12.5
Climate Change Mitigation
This subject will focus on the complex topic of climate change mitigation. Climate change mitigation includes actions we take globally, nationally and individually to limit changes in the global climate caused by human activities. Mitigation activities are designed to reduce greenhouse emissions and/or increase the amount of greenhouse gases removed from the atmosphere by greenhouse sinks.
The subject will provide a critical and multidisciplinary overview of strategies for climate change mitigation but focuses on the technical feasibility and effectiveness of different mitigation options in the many different sectors that emit or sequester greenhouse gases. We will discuss in detail the emissions profiles and potentials for reducing emissions in energy systems, transport, buildings and industry, but we also include agriculture and land based systems and new breakthrough technologies. The subject will discuss the criteria and considerations for evaluating climate change mitigation, assess the feasibility in a technical and economic sense and the potential transformation pathways.
The strengths and weaknesses of mitigation strategies will be discussed in the context of national and international frameworks and economies. It will be demonstrated that climate change mitigation cannot be achieved by a single action but that multiple approaches may be necessary to achieve meaningful mitigation and that many societal sectors will be required to take action.
- Adapting to Climate Change12.5
Adapting to Climate Change
This subject focuses on climate change adaptation, and in particular its environmental, political, social and policy dimensions. It explores the ways which climate change poses risks to human wellbeing, and the ways these risks can be managed. It draws on examples from Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. It explains that adaptation and its success can be thought of and approached in multiple ways, shaped in part by existing interests and the varied and dynamic places in which adaptation is being consciously or unconsciously implemented. The subject also highlights that adaptation poses as well as addresses risks, and that decisions about adaptation need to be considered critically and iteratively. Topics include:
- Issues of complexity, uncertainty, knowledge, power, and practice in researching and implementing climate change
- The relationship between adaptation and other processes of change, including development
- Strategies for change at global, regional, local and individual scales, their inter-relations and how they may be facilitated.
- Bushfire Planning & Management12.5
Bushfire Planning & Management
The course covers the fundamentals of setting and achieving bushfire management objectives for ecological and fire protection purposes in natural ecosystems. It covers the contents of a fire management plan, setting objectives, developing fire prescriptions, undertaking monitoring and evaluation of the management process, and review.
- Forests in the Asia Pacific Region12.5
Forests in the Asia Pacific Region
The Asia Pacific region is of crucial importance to Australia and to the future management of global forest resources. The region has over half the world’s population and countries with the fastest growing populations and economies. This is placing increased demand on forest resources in the region and elsewhere. There are extensive spiritual and cultural associations between people and forests in this region and an extensive history of forest use and development. In this subject students experience the diversity of connections between forests and people in Laos and Vietnam to illustrate the importance of forests to local and national development, and contemporary forest policy and management challenges in the region. The program includes policy briefings and site visits to conservation and production forests, local village forests, hydropower and plantation development projects and small- and large-scale forest industries.
- China Field Class PG25
China Field Class PG
This subject consists of a two-week field class in China in July with some pre-departure (in semester 1) and post-field-trip (in semester 2) workshops/seminars in Melbourne. The subject is designed to develop students' interests in Asia, in China in particular, and in the interactions between society, economy, government, and the environment. While in China, students will interact with local communities, academics and environmental managers who will inform them about issues and processes in China. These interactions will be supplemented by site visits and household interviews. The field trip will be under the supervision of the subject coordinator. Students are responsible for the cost of travel, accommodation and food.
- Indigenous Land Management12.5
Indigenous Land Management
As Australian landscapes continue to degrade under current land management practices, land managers and stake-holders are looking toward alternative and more sustainable land management strategies, such as indigenous land management and traditional knowledge. This subject looks at how indigenous people in Australia manage their environment and how management practices vary across the Australian landscape. The subject will examine indigenous land management in Australia and abroad, and evaluate how traditional knowledge and beliefs guide approaches to land management. We will examine examples where indigenous land management has been reintroduced to landscapes in Australia and investigate the potential application of similar schemes across different parts of Australia. The subject will be taught as a 14-day intensive during the mid-semester break, comprising lectures and field observations in western Victoria and the Northern Territory. These two very different regions will be used to examine the relationship between environmental context, indigenous land management and post-colonial history. Lectures will provide the necessary conceptual framework with which to engage and understand the different environmental contexts and indigenous land management practices of these regions.
More information about this subject and the field trips can be seen at: http://michaelsresearch.wordpress.com/geog90019/
This subject will incur additional fees in the vicinity of $900 per student to cover travel.
- Risk Management and Public Participation12.5
Risk Management and Public Participation
This subject will provide students with the skills needed to examine, analyse, and report on risk management and public participation. The subject addresses the primary challenge of risk management, which involves determining what stakeholders want, analysing how they interpret risks, and understanding how their knowledge(s) shapes their behaviour. Added to this very complex topic is the question of how government can attempt to reshape that behaviour.
The subject will be available to social and physical scientists whose interests and/or research involve risk, vulnerability, adaptation, and resilience. It will be particularly appealing to students interested in how research can inform governance.
For further detail please see:
- Conservation and Cultural Environments12.5
Conservation and Cultural Environments
This subject provides students with advanced level analysis and interpretation of the range of issues associated with the conservation and management of cultural environments. The subject advances student knowledge of cross cultural issues as they relate to natural and cultural resource management in diverse socio-cultural environments and examines specific issues pertaining to the evaluation and management of cultural resources. The range of topics includes conservation trends; world heritage cultural landscapes; heritage and conservation management tensions; valuing nature through diverse knowledge interfaces; and the reclamation of ethnographic images and objects by indigenous and local peoples
- Plant Production and Establishment12.5
Plant Production and Establishment
This subject provides an overview of the horticultural industry from plant production to installation and establishment of plants in the landscape. It introduces plant propagation techniques and plant growing systems; site analysis, with specific reference to the properties of urban soils and related issues affecting plant performance; plant quality; planting techniques; plant establishment; water delivery and management issues; and the plant maintenance activities during production and at planting that are required for designed landscapes to succeed.
- Plants in the Landscape12.5
Plants in the Landscape
This subject explores the identification, selection and design use of plants in urban landscapes. The content includes an introduction to botanical nomenclature, plant selection, sources of information, planting design, planting plans, the design use of major plant groups, and recognition and identification of representative plants. Case studies of plant use and management in urban landscapes and relevant site visits are also discussed.
- Green Infrastructure for Liveable Cities12.5
Green Infrastructure for Liveable Cities
Green infrastructure is the network of natural and designed vegetation elements within our cities and towns, in both public and private domains. Green infrastructure includes traditional green elements such as urban parks, gardens and trees, as well as newer green roofs, green walls and rain garden technologies. Green infrastructure provides a number of significant economic, social and environmental benefits and is an effective means of helping to adapt our buildings, communities and cities to future climate change conditions. In this subject students will gain insights into aspects of planning, design and management of green infrastructure including green roofs, green walls, urban forests and water sensitive urban design strategies. The use of green infrastructure as ‘living architecture’ and the design considerations involved will be discussed. At the building scale, this will include an understanding of the improved energy efficiencies provided by green infrastructure and their role in building star energy rating systems. At the neighbourhood and landscape scale, the role and function of different green infrastructure technologies and systems will be discussed, including roles in ameliorating urban climates, improving urban water retention, use and quality and providing more liveable urban communities.
- Designing Green Roofs and Walls12.5
Designing Green Roofs and Walls
This subject explores the design, specification and management of green roofs and walls. The content will include guidelines and policies supporting green roofs and walls, relevant typologies and categories of use, requirements for successful design, construction and maintenance, development of specifications and project management and local and international case studies. Students will gain a thorough understanding of green roof and wall design and function, the benefits provided to cities and people and gain hands on experience through practical activities and visits to local project sites.
- Sustainability Governance and Leadership12.5
Sustainability Governance and Leadership
Sustainability Governance & Leadership (SGL) is one of two core subjects for the Master of Environment course, and is designed to develop the knowledge and skills you will need to succeed as a sustainability leader in a world of complex challenges and global change. This subject provides you with a strong foundation in interdisciplinary understanding of critical concepts and issues, and how they relate to policy, management, leadership, and governance in a range of contexts and across different scales and sectors. You will learn to anticipate and envision environmental change, and design and implement strategic plans to manage impacts or create positive pathways.
Exploring the broad agenda of sustainable development, SGL considers concepts and principles fundamental to the understanding of interdependent human-nature systems, including ecology and biodiversity, social justice and equity, technology, and issues of global change. SGL covers:
- Different perspectives on sustainability;
- Global and local environmental challenges, including for water, energy, food, and human communities in relation their natural and built environments;
- Vulnerability and resilience in complex social-ecological systems;
- The processes of policy design and implementation in these areas;
- The economics of sustainability, and the role of business and innovation in building a sustainable future; and
- Recurring management, governance, and leadership issues for achieving environmental sustainability.
SGL includes extensive use of scenario-based learning and simulation activities.
- Sustainable Landscapes12.5
This subject will consider the wider landscape issues associated with:
- rural and urban land use and land use change, clearing, fragmentation and modification of native vegetation, and the influences of these on biodiversity, and ecosystem services and processes;
- utilisation, degradation and management of rural and urban biophysical resources, especially in regard to the soil and water;
- climate change and sustainable rural futures;
- population - the regional, the service town, the rural, urban fringe;
- agriculture - agro-ecology, trends in modern agricultural production, and the sustainability of production, food sovereignty, post-production landscapes;
- industrialisation - intensification and pollution;
- the commons - public and private good;
- environmental security and institutions;
- governance - deliberative democracy, empowerment; community based natural resource management; and
These issues will be situated within the systems theory paradigm. Theories of complex adaptive systems, social-ecological systems, uncertainty, complexity, and emergence will frame the investigation of these issues and provide the foundation for a critique of command and control approaches to landscape management. Central to the framework explored in this subject are notions of resilience and community based knowledge systems. Students will engage deeply with the literature that informs these ideas and develop a critical understanding of their value and limitations.
Students will analyse the meaning of landscape through landscape sciences (ecology, resource management, extension, etc) and policy frameworks.
This subject uses a combination of Australian and overseas case studies to provide a framework for student analysis.
- At the completion of this subject, students should:
- be able to discuss the implications in landscape changes for urban and rural or regional populations;
- be able to map agro-ecological and social community interrelations;
- be familiar with policy and planning tools that influence biodiversity, community and ecological resilience and governance; and
- be familiar with methodologies and methods to analyse and process issues of uncertainty and risk in landscape decision making and landscape management practice.
- Insurance Risk Models12.5
Insurance Risk Models
Topics include collective risk model, calculation of moments and mgf of aggregate claims, recursion formulae, effect of reinsurance; individual risk model, De Pril's recursion formula; fundamentals of decision theory; credibility theory; exact credibility and the Buhlmann-Straub model; basics of ruin theory.
- Business Tools: Money People & Processes12.5
Business Tools: Money People & Processes
This subject will give an overview of the tools required to operate successfully in an organisational environment. The focus of the subject is the internal workings of an organisation and specifically addresses three main areas: working with people, managing budgets and understanding basic accounting, and managing processes and projects.
- Algorithms and Complexity12.5
Algorithms and Complexity
The aim of this subject is for students to develop familiarity and competence in assessing and designing computer programs for computational efficiency. Although computers manipulate data very quickly, to solve large-scale problems, we must design strategies so that the calculations combine effectively. Over the latter half of the 20th century, an elegant theory of computational efficiency developed. This subject introduces students to the fundamentals of this theory and to many of the classical algorithms and data structures that solve key computational questions. These questions include distance computations in networks, searching items in large collections, and sorting them in order.
Topics covered include complexity classes and asymptotic notation; empirical analysis of algorithms; abstract data types including queues, trees, priority queues and graphs; algorithmic techniques including brute force, divide-and-conquer, dynamic programming and greedy approaches; space and time trade-offs; and the theoretical limits of algorithm power.
- Introduction to Programming12.5
Introduction to Programming
This subject introduces the fundamental concepts of computing programming, and how to solve simple problems using high-level procedural language, with a specific emphasis on data manipulation, transformation, and visualisation of data.
Fundamental programming constructs; fundamental data structures; abstraction; basic program structures; algorithmic problem solving; use of modules.
The subject assumes no prior knowledge of computer programming.
- Science in Schools12.5
Science in Schools
This subject will provide an understanding of your university studies within Victorian schools through a substantial school based experience.
The subject includes a placement of up to 20 hours within a Victorian school classroom, offering an opportunity to collaborate as a Tertiary Student Assistant (TSA) under the guidance of a qualified teacher.
- Quantitative Environmental Modelling12.5
Quantitative Environmental Modelling
Environmental problems are highly complex and challenging to analyse and are often addressed through modelling. Being skilled at environmental modelling is a core professional requirement for an Environmental Engineer. This subject focuses on environmental modelling methodology including the steps of model conceptualisation, model construction, model evaluation and model application using a range of energy, water and waste models in Matlab. The subject complements ENEN90032 Environmental Analysis Tools and ENEN90028 Monitoring Environmental Impacts which provide other core environmental engineering skills. It provides modelling skills for a wide range of discipline based subjects such as ENEN90006 Solid Wastes, ENEN90034 Environmental Applied Hydrology and ENEN90027 Energy for Sustainable Development. The subject is of particular relevance to all Environmental Engineers but is also of relevance to a range of engineering and environmental analysis disciplines that require advanced modelling skills.
The relationship between theoretical and empirical understanding and their use in model conceptualisation and construction will be explored. This subject introduces a range of environmental modelling techniques applicable to different environmental problems. In this subject students will conceptualise and construct, evaluate and utilise their own model to undertake a technical evaluation of a specified range of potential solutions to an environmental problem. Students will also develop professional judgement skills to critically evaluate models and model results.
Specific topic areas:
- System conceptualisation
- Model construction and validation (computational accuracy)
- Model evaluation
- Calibration and optimisation
- Model uncertainty assessment techniques
- Issues of appropriate model complexity
- Students will have an opportunity to review a modelling topic of their choice.
Students will use MatLab to undertake modelling tasks and will be required to learn some MatLab programming skills in the subject.
- Environmental Analysis Tools12.5
Environmental Analysis Tools
The aim of this subject is to help students develop capability to effectively summarise environmental variables met in the course of research and design, to select appropriate statistical models describing the data structure, and to conduct statistical inference on underlying processes. Students will apply a variety of models from a conventional or Bayesian approach to solve the problems at hand and derive deterministic or stochastic inferences from them.
The subject is composed of four wide-ranging topics from exploratory data analysis to spatial modelling. At the beginning of each topic, students are provided with a set of data from environmental research, and a number of analysis tools are conveyed in the lectures. The mathematical aspects of the subject build on concepts developed in fundamental engineering mathematics and statistics courses from undergraduate courses. It supports student learning in the capstone design and research projects where data analysis skills are assumed.
The subject provides a fundamental skill for a career in environmental engineering where the ability to analyse and communicate the meaning of time series and spatial data sets are expected.
Specific topics include:
1. Exploratory Data Analysis
- Summary statistics and probability models
- Analysis of variability and hypothesis test
- Linear regression and verification/validation.
2. Time Series Analysis
- Introduction to multivariate analysis
- Principle component analysis
- Stochastic forecast and verification.
3. Methods for Multivariate Data
- Multivariate linear regression
- Principle component analysis.
4. Analysis of Spatial Data
- Simple spatial interpolations
- Analysis of spatial variability
- Spatial models and Kriging.
- Analysing Energy Systems12.5
Analysing Energy Systems
This subject forms one of the core units in the Masters of Energy Systems and the overall aims are to introduce the students to the tools and skills needed to analyse energy systems. To accomplish this overall aim, the subject introduces material and energy balances used in energy system calculations, and introduces and applies the Laws of Thermodynamics to simple energy systems.
This subject, together with ENGR90028 Introduction to Energy Systems, ENGR90030 Non-Renewable Energy, SCIE90014 Renewable Energy and ENGR90032 Energy Supply and Value Chains provide the core technical content for the Masters of Energy Systems.
The ability to analyse existing or new proposed energy systems is essential in assessing the merits and economics of our energy supply. This subject gives the students the opportunity to learn and apply these fundamental tools and skills with relevant and realistic energy systems.
- Thermodynamic properties
- Equations of state
- The conservation of energy in and around energy processing systems
- Evaluation of enthalpy changes with and without phase change
- Simplified energy balances for batch, steady-state and adiabatic systems
- Estimation of heats of combustion
- Simultaneous material and energy balances
- Entropy, the Second Law of Thermodynamics and Carnot’s principle
- Simple thermodynamic cycles
- Exercises in process optimisation and the solution of ill-defined process problems.
- Foundations of Spatial Information12.5
Foundations of Spatial Information
This is an introductory subject to Geograhpic Information Systems (GIS) and Geographic Information Science, both practically and theoretically, at postgraduate level. Spatial information is ubiquitous in decision making. Be it in urban planning, in traffic or disaster management, in way-finding, in issues of the environment, public health and sustainability, or in economic contexts: the question of 'where' is a fundamental one. Spatial information is also special in many respects, such as its dimensionality and autocorrelation, its volume, its links to the Internet of Things (things are always located somewhere), to social networks (which exist in space and time), to streaming data from sensors everywhere, or to intelligent (location-aware) systems. The subject provides the foundations for more specialized subjects on spatial data management, spatial data analysis and spatial data visualization, and is of particular relevance to people wishing to establish a career in the spatial information industry, the environmental or planning industry. It is also suited for every postgraduate student who is looking for solid GIS skills.
We will discuss representations and analysis of this information in spatial information technologies, from location-based services to geographic information systems. Topics addressed are observing the environment; spatial and spatiotemporal data representations, spatial analysis and spatial communication. The practical part will introduce to GIS in a hands-on manner, starting in individual software training and then applying new skills in a team-designed GIS project.
- Presenting Academic Discourse12.5
Presenting Academic Discourse
This subject aims to develop the advanced language required for successful graduate study in English. In this subject students will develop critical approaches to researching, reading and writing. They will also develop the ability to plan and present confidently on a research topic and to write a literature review fluently and accurately. Particular attention is paid to grammatical and stylistic aspects of written and spoken academic discourse. Students write and present on a research topic that is relevant to their field of study. This subject is divided into engineering and general streams.
- Graph Theory12.5
Graphs model networks of all types such as telecommunication, transport, computer and social networks. They also model physical structures such as crystals and abstract structures within computer algorithms.
This subject is an introduction to the modern field of graph theory. It emphasises the relationship between proving theorems in mathematics and the construction of algorithms to find the solutions of mathematical problems within the context of graph theory. The subject provides material that supplements other areas of study such as operations research, computer science and discrete mathematics
- Linear Statistical Models12.5
Linear Statistical Models
Linear models are central to the theory and practice of modern statistics. They are used to model a response as a linear combination of explanatory variables and are the most widely used statistical models in practice. Starting with examples from a range of application areas this subject develops an elegant unified theory that includes the estimation of model parameters, quadratic forms, hypothesis testing using analysis of variance, model selection, diagnostics on model assumptions, and prediction. Both full rank models and models that are not of full rank are considered. The theory is illustrated using common models and experimental designs.
- Statistics for Research Workers12.5
Statistics for Research Workers
This subject is designed to provide students with detailed training in statistical methods as applied to the design and analysis of projects undertaken by postgraduate students, across all disciplines.
- Thinking and Reasoning with Data12.5
Thinking and Reasoning with Data
What conclusion can be drawn from a pool of data? How can a scientist draw meaningful conclusions while not overreaching? How can modelling help the scientist interpret data? This subject will address these questions by teaching students critical thinking and data analysis skills. After completing this subject students will understand the basic principles of sampling and experimental design, how the results of statistical analyses are reported, the statistical thinking behind common statistical procedures and will be able to carry out a range of standard statistical techniques.
- Systems Modelling and Simulation12.5
Systems Modelling and Simulation
Modern science and business makes extensive use of computers for simulation, because complex real-world systems often cannot be analysed exactly, but can be simulated. Using simulation we can perform virtual experiments with the system, to see how it responds when we change parameters, which thus allows us to optimise its performance. We use the language R, which is one of the most popular modern languages for data analysis.
- Laboratory and Computational Physics 312.5
Laboratory and Computational Physics 3
The subject offers a range of projects in modules that offer experience in laboratory techniques and computational methods; the relative weights are indicated in the module descriptions. Students must select four projects with a combined weighting that contains at least 25% Computational Physics and 25% Laboratory Physics. The laboratory projects include nuclear physics, particle physics, diffraction, electronics, atomic physics, optical physics and astronomy. The computational projects are designed to develop programming skills and to introduce a range of numerical methods commonly used in physics research will be based on model problems in physics; these may include electronic structure theory, molecular vibrations, stellar structure, quantum spin systems, large-scale magnetic systems and gravitational lensing by point masses. Some projects may be offered that merge laboratory and computational work with approximately equal weighting.
- Ethics and Responsibility in Science12.5
Ethics and Responsibility in Science
What is conflict of interest? What should a scientist do when he or she finds fraud is occurring on a scientific research team? How does a scientist write and defend an animal ethics submission and get it approved? What are the ethical issues associated with peer review? This subject is intended to give students a broad overview of research ethics in a scientific context. It will include topics on scientific integrity; conflicts of interest; data recording management; authorship and peer review; animal experimentation and regulations; privacy and confidentiality of records; and, finally, research in humans.
- Science Communication12.5
Why is it essential that scientists learn to communicate effectively to a variety of audiences? What makes for engaging communication when it comes to science? How does the style of communication need to change for different audiences? What are the nuts and bolts of good science writing? What are the characteristics of effective public speaking?
Weekly seminars and tutorials will consider the important role science and technology plays in twenty-first century society and explore why it is vital that scientists learn to articulate their ideas to a variety of audiences in an effective and engaging manner. These audiences may include school students, agencies that fund research, the media, government, industry, and the broader public. Other topics include the philosophy of science communication, talking about science on the radio, effective public speaking, writing press releases and science feature articles, science performance, communicating science on the web and how science is reported in the media.
Students will develop skills in evaluating examples of science and technology communication to identify those that are most effective and engaging. Students will also be given multiple opportunities to receive feedback and improve their own written and oral communication skills.
Students will work in small teams on team projects to further the communication skills developed during the seminar programme. These projects will focus on communicating a given scientific topic to a particular audience using spoken, visual, written or web-based communication.
- Science and Technology Internship12.5
Science and Technology Internship
This subject involves completion of an 80-100 hour science or technology work placement integrating academic learning in science areas of study, employability skills and attributes and an improved knowledge of science and technology organisations, workplace culture and career pathways. The placement is supplemented by pre- and post-placement classes designed to develop an understanding of science and technology professions, introduce skills for developing, identifying and articulating employability skills and attributes and linking them to employer requirements in the science and technology domains. The placement will draw on students’ specific discipline skills associated with the science core of their degree. Pre-placement seminars will also include consideration of career planning and professional skills.
Students will be responsible for identifying a suitable work placement prior to the semester, with support of the Subject Coordinator. In the semester prior to your placement you should attend Careers & Employment (C&E) employment preparation seminars and workshops as well as accessing other C&E resources to assist you in identifying potential host organisations http://careers.unimelb.edu.au .You will need to commence your approaches to organisations at least 4 weeks before the placement. More information is available in the Subject Guide. Placements must be approved by the Subject Coordinator. If you have problems finding a placement you should approach the Subject Coordinator.
On completion of the subject, students will have completed and reported on a course-related project in a science or technology workplace. They will also have enhanced employability skills including communication, interpersonal, analytical and problem-solving, organisational and time-management, and an understanding of career planning and professional development.