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 gives students a strong basis for assessing the state of, and human impacts on, various environments. Students discuss natural and agricultural catchments, urban land, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and focus on urban ecosystems from an earth science perspective. Students conduct scientific investigations of such environments in a class project involving design of a sampling program, collection and analysis of samples and interpretation of data after applying recognised methods for management of data and metadata and rigorous statistical techniques. The interpretations of data are used to provide recommendations on the state and use of the environments studied. Students acquire experience, as a useful member of multidisciplinary teams of scientists, that create opportunities for independent practice as an environmental consultant.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1AlbanyFace to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Environmental Science; Environmental Science and Management; Environmental Science and Ecology major sequences
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) collect quantitative environmental data through sampling and analysis of water, soil, sediment and biological samples; (2) critically appraise such data using appropriate statistical methods and spatial analysis such as ANOVA, regression analysis, and geostatistics including variograms; (3) convey environmental information quantitatively in a way that allows impact and risk to be assessed; and (4) produce a science-based environmental assessment report.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a portfolio of short assignments focused on problem solving in a given environment; (2) a group report on research approach, data collection, site information, and methods for the final report; and (3) a detailed report on environmental assessment based on the class project. 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 Andrew Rate
Unit rules
Successful completion of
one Unit(s) ENVT2236 Soil Science
or Unit(s) ENVT2251 Hydrology and Water Resource Management
or Unit(s) ENVT2221 Global Climate Change and Biodiversity
or Unit(s) ENVT2250 Ecology
Advisable prior study
for pre-2012 courses: EART2222 Geomorphology and Soils
and ENVT2251 Environmental Hydrology
Contact hours
lectures: 1 hour per week
practical classes: 4 hours per week (one practical session involves field work)
  • 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.