ENVT4461 Assessing Environmental Quality

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit gives students a basis for assessing the state of, and human impacts on, various environments. Students first learn the types of pollution that enter the environment and pathways from source to exposure. Natural and agricultural catchments, urban land, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are discussed, and focus on understanding threats to environmental quality and risk to exposure. Students conduct scientific investigations of such environments in a project involving design of a sampling program, collection and analysis of samples and interpretation of data after applying recognised methods for management of data and metadata and rigorous statistical techniques. The interpretations of data are used to provide recommendations on the state and use of the environments studied. Students acquire experience, as a useful member of multidisciplinary teams of scientists, that create opportunities for independent practice as an environmental consultant.
Students are able to (1) categorise the diverse types of pollutants that threaten environmental quality, and their sources; (2) demonstrate appropriate environmental data collection through sampling and laboratory analysis of water, soil, sediment and biological samples; (3) critically appraise such data using appropriate statistical methods and spatial analysis such as ANOVA, regression analysis, and geostatistics including variograms; (4) report environmental information quantitatively in a way that allows impact and risk to be assessed; and (5) produce a scientifcally defendable environmental assessment report.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a portfolio of short assignments focused on problem solving in a given environment; (2) a group report on research approach, data collection, site information, and methods for the final report; and (3) a detailed report on environmental assessment based on the class project. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Ursula Salmon
Unit rules
ENVT3361 Environmental Assessment
Contact hours
lectures: 1 hour per week; practical classes: 4 hours per week (one practical session involves field work)
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