ENVT5505 Biodiversity and Landscapes

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1AlbanyFace to face
An education (and interpretation) component is considered fundamental to the ecotourism experience, and is recognised as one of the three key core criteria that defines ecotourism. This unit aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to develop interpretative material aimed at facilitating an understanding of the natural environment. It entails a detailed evolutionary and taxonomic coverage of all major (and some minor) groups of animals and plants. For plants, particular attention is paid to the Western Australian flora. Students explore differences and similarities in form and function among phyla, and assign biota observed or collected in the field to selected taxonomic levels based on distinguishing characteristics. Students also learn how flora and fauna interact with the abiotic landscape.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate a knowledge of, and the ability to discriminate between major groups of plants and animals found in a variety of ecosystems; (2) document patterns of biodiversity and landscapes through means of observation and hands-on sampling and surveying of local flora, fauna and geology; (3) prepare appropriate interpretation material on aspects of biodiversity for an ecotourism enterprise; and (4) demonstrate an understanding of the importance of cultural aspects of biodiversity.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a practical field assessment (individual); (2) an interpretation report (individual); and (3) reflective journal (individual). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Paul Close
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Ecotourism (73510)
equivalent as determined by the unit coordinator
Contact hours
lectures/field work/labs: approx. 55–60 hours
Unit Outline
Semester 1_2019 [SEM-1_2019]

Clarke, I and Lee, H. Name that Flower: the Identification of Flowering Plants: Melbourne University Press 2003

Hickman, C. P., Roberts, L. S. and Larson, A. Animal Biodiversity: McGraw Hill 2003

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  • 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.