ENVT4461 Assessing Environmental Quality

Credit
6 points
Offering
(see Timetable)
AvailabilityLocationMode
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Content
This unit gives students a basis for assessing the state of, and human impacts on, various environments. Students learn the different types of pollutants that enter the environment and transport pathways to environmental and human receptors, as well as the potential for attenuation to occur. Natural and agricultural catchments, urban land, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and air quality are discussed. Through case studies, guest lectures from environmental practitioners and a field trip, students will learn the fundamental processes affecting pollutant fate in different environments. Students will also work with practical aspects of environmental quality assessment, including design of sampling programs, analysis of samples, management of data and application of statistical methods for testing hypotheses. The course will result in both a solid grounding in the fundamental controls on pollutant mobility vs attenuation and the practical skills to gather and interpret site-specific data. The result will be a strong basis for formulating conceptual site models, which in turn is key for assessing environmental risk and environmental management.
Outcomes
Students are able to (1) discuss the diverse types of pollutants that threaten environmental quality, and understand environmental controls on their transport and fate; (2) demonstrate an understanding of sampling design and laboratory analysis for appropriate environmental data collection ; (3) critically appraise such data using appropriate statistical methods such as ANOVA and regression analysis; (4) evaluate environmental information quantitatively in a way that allows impact to be assessed; and (5) produce environmental assessment reports with conceptual site models as a basis for source-pathway-receptor analysis of environmental risk.
Assessment
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a portfolio of short assignments based on laboratory activities, computer tutorials and lectures; (2) report on collection and synthesis of environmental data to inform a conceptual site model and sampling plan; and (3) a detailed report on environmental assessment based on applying the statistical and plotting techniques to an environmental data set. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Ursula Salmon
Unit rules
Incompatibility:
ENVT3361 Environmental Assessment
Contact hours
lectures: 1 hour per week; practical classes: 4 hours per week (one practical session involves field work)
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