Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This is a unit for anyone seeking to develop their practical skills in sampling plant and animal populations in ecological studies. It encourages students to adopt good planning and risk assessment practices, and provides them with the tools to be able to confidently sample plant and animal populations using a variety of commonly used techniques. It also emphasises the importance of good study design and appropriate statistical analysis. Students are based in Albany for five days and during this time gain first-hand experience in measuring plant and animal abundance in the South Coast region of Western Australia.

6 points

Students are able to (1) prepare a field and risk assessment plan for ecological sampling; (2) demonstrate an understanding of the principals of sampling and study design in an ecological context; (3) demonstrate an understanding of the methods of ecological sampling for a variety of plant and animal groups, and a range of environments; (4) estimate both plant and animal abundance using commonly used field techniques in a range of environments; (5) demonstrate ability to utilise a variety of field techniques to sample flora and fauna in a range of environments; (6) demonstrate knowledge of appropriate sampling permits and animal ethics approvals; (7) based on data collected during the field camp, refine the sampling program to gain a representative sample of a similar site; (8) curate a dataset of field data; and (9) provide a written report outlining the sampling program for a similar site justified using analysis of pilot data collected during field camp.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) field safety plan; (2) written biodiversity survey plan; and (3) peer review of biodiversity survey plan. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Peter Speldewinde
Unit rules
enrolment in
the Master of Biotechnology (71580)
or the Master of Geographic Information Science (71570)
or the Master of Biological Science (72520)
or the Master of Ecotourism (73510)
or the Bachelor of Science (Honours) (BH004)
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).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
Field Trip (estimated cost - Up to $330 total).
Contact hours
available in two teaching periods which both include a one-week field trip to Albany during the mid-semester break for relevant semester (charges: cost of food and accommodation is borne by the student). The total workload for the unit is 150 hours.
  • 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 one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. 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.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.