ENVT5310 Biodiversity on Country

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit is designed to enhance postgraduate students' knowledge of the theory and practice of cross-cultural biodiversity science. It will cover four main areas: (1) history and practice of cross-cultural scientific understanding of components of biodiversity, including the importance of collections, species theory and cosmology; (2) using cross-cultural knowledge of disturbance ecology, fire regimes and threat abatement for natural resource management; (3) landscape scale understanding of biodiversity, with a special focus on comparing biodiversity from old, climatically buffered landscapes (OCBILs) with that from young often-disturbed fertile landscapes (YODFELs) from cross-cultural perspectives; and (4) approaches to the study of human use, care and transmission of scientific biodiversity knowledge from a cross-cultural perspective. The unit is delivered in two distinct parts—an online component consisting of the above four modules, and a week-long field excursion based in Albany, where students devise a practical research project on biodiversity guided by community elders and the unit coordinators. Students also complete an application for UWA Human Ethics approval to conduct their cross-cultural research project. Students will develop enhanced skills in the scientific study of biodiversity. They learn about respectful cross-cultural protocols in the pursuit of biodiversity knowledge, and develop an enhanced scientific understanding of biodiversity on country, seen through self- and group-learning and project development in a cross-cultural context.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate in-depth knowledge of concepts in cross-cultural biodiversity science; (2) apply knowledge of correct protocols to consult and be guided by Aboriginal Elders regarding biodiversity science; (3) examine a biodiversity science topic that embraces cross-cultural perspectives; and (4) explain research findings in a written report.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes (individual); (2) preparation of Human Ethics application (group); and (3) co-management plan (individual). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Stephen Hopper
Unit rules
enrolled in Master of Environmental Science (72530)
enrolled in the Master of Biological Science (72520)
ENVT3310 Biodiversity on Country
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).
Contact hours
approximately 60 hours—mix of online component (lectures, video footage, reading, quizzes) and field excursion
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
Students are responsible for making their own way to the UWA Albany campus for the field trip. There is a public bus service linking Perth to Albany. The unit coordinator will organise transfers to and from the field stations from the Albany campus. Students also have the option of using accommodation arranged by the unit coordinator for the duration of the field trip.
  • 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 via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.