ENVT1103 Natural History

6 points
(see Timetable)
(see Summer Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Multi-mode
Summer teaching periodUWA (Perth)Multi-mode
Semester 2AlbanyMulti-mode
Summer teaching periodAlbanyMulti-mode
Details for undergraduate courses
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Life and Health Sciences
Humans from all cultures interact with biodiversity on a daily basis. A degree of scientific literacy in regard to biodiversity is essential for sustainable living across all walks of life. There is a globalised approach and common language to recognising and describing biodiversity that has been successful for centuries. This unit explores how and why the theory and practice of natural history have enjoyed such universal and voluntary acceptance worldwide.

It covers five main areas: (1) the importance of biodiversity to humans; (2) the historical emergence of the natural historian, voyages of discovery, and a system of biological inventory that is unrivalled in its voluntary application globally; (3) modern techniques for recognising and describing biodiversity; (4) the role of biological collections in museums, gardens and herbaria; and (5) the use and importance of natural history knowledge to reverse global biodiversity decline and to improve sustainable living with biodiversity.

The unit is delivered in two distinct parts—an online component consisting of the above five modules, and a short field excursion based in the Great Southern region, where students undertake practical natural history studies.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of the relevance of biodiversity to their daily lives on a local to global scale; (2) demonstrate an understanding of how and why the theory and practice of natural history has gained such universal acceptance worldwide; (3) use this knowledge to undertake studies of plants and animals in the field; and (4) communicate their findings both orally and in a written format.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) module quizzes; (2) group oral presentations; and (3) practical assignment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Steve Hopper and Dr Barbara Cook
Incidental fees
Incidental student fees and charges are costs incurred by students as part of their studies at UWA that are in addition to their tuition fees (further information is available here or contact your Faculty Office).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
Field trip (estimated cost - $55 per day).
Contact hours
this unit consists of five on-line modules and one face-to-face module; semester 2: the unit is taught over a 12-week period, with a one-week fieldwork module taking place in the town of Albany during the mid-semester break; summer school: the unit is taught intensively over a six-week period, with the face-to-face module taking place in the town of Albany during the week 15-19 January 2018
Unit Outline
Non-standard teaching period [TS-SUMM-E_2019]
Students are responsible for making their own way to the UWA Albany campus for the face-to-face module run either in the mid-semester break in semester 2 or in the third week of January for the Summer School version of the unit. There is a public bus service linking Perth to Albany. The unit coordinator will organise transfers to and from field sites and field camp accommodation from the Albany campus. Students have the option of using accommodation arranged by the unit coordinator for the semester 2 version of the unit. Once enrolled, students are able to access information on the LMS for accommodation options in Albany.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.