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 unit is designed to enhance senior undergraduate 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 have 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.

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate in-depth knowledge of concepts in cross-cultural biodiversity science; (2) use their knowledge of correct protocols to consult and be guided by Aboriginal Elders regarding biodiversity science; (3) investigate a biodiversity science topic that embraces cross-cultural perspectives; and (4) communicate their findings in the form of a scientific 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.

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

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Stephen Hopper and Alison Lullfitz
Unit rules
completion of at least 48 points
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 - 55).
Contact hours
approximately 60 hours—mix of online component (lectures, video footage, reading, quizzes) and field excursion
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.
  • 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.