SCIE5505 Global Change and the Marine Environment

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Multi-mode
This unit examines the concept of global change and its drivers, and focuses on how global change affects the ocean ecosystem. Students learn about ocean warming, acidification, eutrophication, increased UVB radiation, habitat modification and the emission of pollutants, as well as the complex interactions between them. The impacts on the ocean ecosystem are examined both globally and regionally, with particular attention to Australia, as well as other sensitive regions. The unit also evaluates different strategies to mitigate the impacts of global change on ocean ecosystems. Students are given the opportunity to conduct a research project in small groups, as well as to participate in debates and colloquiums that allow a better grasp on the uncertainties at forecasting the trajectories of marine ecosystems under global change.
Students are able to (1) understand the concept of global change and differentiate this process from previous processes of change in the Earth system; (2) analyse the complex interactions between different drivers of global change; (3) assess the uncertainties in forecasts of future trajectories of marine ecosystems under global change; (4) compare the relative impact of global change in different marine regions and extract the traits of these regions that render them more or less vulnerable; and (5) analyse the effectiveness of actions to mitigate the impacts of global change in the marine environment.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes; (2) facilitated class discussion; and (3) research presentation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Thomas Wernberg
Unit rules
enrolment in Master of Environmental Science (72530) or Master of Biological Science (72520) or Master of Biotechnology (71580) or Master of Geographic Information Science (71570) or Bachelor of Science (Honours) (BH004)
Contact hours
7 hours per week for 6 weeks
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
  • 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.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus. Copies of textbooks and other readings will be made available for students to access from the Library, online wherever possible as well as in print.