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


Technological advancements are promising new frontiers for data access, processing and analysis capabilities. Spatial location is key to understanding ecological processes, variability in models, and climate change refugia. This unit will introduce participants to geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing. Participants will explore GIS and remote sensing methods through real-world scenarios, exploring impactful applications, such as the use of timeseries satellite data in measuring climate change impacts, or blue carbon hotspots. Participants will use multispectral satellite data, and high resolution drone imagery to derive indicators of terrain, habitat condition and structure. Typical activities that participants will undertake include:

  • Develop biomass assessments of mangroves and explore spatial variability in habitat condition from environmental indices derived from multispectral imagery,
  • Develop structural and rugosity measurements for coral reefs from high resolution drone imagery and reflect how coral bleaching affects reef structure.

After completion, participants will be better prepared to apply GIS and remote sensing to environmental monitoring scenarios. These skills can be integrated into various aspects of environmental analysis and impact assessments.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1OnlineOnline flexible
Semester 2OnlineOnline flexible

Students are able to (1) apply GIS and remote sensing data to a real-world environmental scenario; (2) demonstrate an understanding of the complexities of spatial data, including recognising different types of spatial data, and applying correct projections and transformations to spatial data; (3) develop a geoprocessing model that uses spatial data and multiple spatial techniques to evaluate environmental questions; and (4) effectively communicate the geoprocessing method and environmental assessment in written and visual formats.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) laboratory assessments and (2) online reporting. 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 Sharyn Hickey
Contact hours
150 hours total. Each week approximately 1 hour of online recorded lectures, 3 hours of guided computer practical examples, and 8 hours of self-directed learning and completing assessments for 12 weeks.
  • 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.