ENVT3362 Environmental Dynamics

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2AlbanyMulti-mode
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Environmental Science; Natural Resource Management major sequences
  • Level 3 core unit in the Coastal and Ocean Systems specialisation in the Marine Science major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit are Life and Health Sciences, Management and Commerce
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 3 elective
Decision making for managing environmental systems is increasingly guided by modelling studies in which risks to environmental condition are quantified and future scenarios are assessed. Students are introduced step-by-step to model building of environmental systems drawn from examples such as climate change and land-use change impacts on biodiversity, water and contaminant movement in natural and disturbed landscapes, rivers and also coastal systems. The unit covers issues including the use of models in decision support frameworks, uncertainty and model assessment methods.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate a good knowledge of systems analysis, its terminology, core concepts and its use in environmental science; (2) develop an overview of model approaches and the utility of different types of models for understanding environmental systems; (3) develop conceptual models describing interactions and processes relevant to environmental systems, ranging from catchment to coast and considering both physical and ecological dimensions; (4) translate conceptual models into simple quantitative compartment models and demonstrate use of more advanced modelling packages; and (5) assess how models can be used as decision support tools for environmental management, and understand the basic principles of model sensitivity and uncertainty assessment.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) modelling workbook (40 per cent); (2) online theory quiz (20 per cent); and (3) written report (40 per cent). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Matthew Hipsey
Unit rules
ENVT2250 Ecology
ENVT2220 The Climate System
ENVT2251 Environmental Hydrology
SCIE2204 Marine Systems
EART2204 Coastal Processes
SCIE2267 Quantitative Methods in Environmental Management
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; labs and computer labs: 3 hours per week

Wainright, J. and Mulligan, M. Environmental Modelling: Finding Simplicity in Complexity, 2nd edn: Wiley Publishers 2013

  • 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.