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


An education (and interpretation) component is considered fundamental to the ecotourism experience, and is recognised as one of the three key core criteria that defines ecotourism. This unit aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to develop interpretative material aimed at facilitating an understanding of the natural environment. It entails a detailed evolutionary and taxonomic coverage of all major (and some minor) groups of animals and plants. For plants, particular attention is paid to the Western Australian flora. Students explore differences and similarities in form and function among phyla, and assign biota observed or collected in the field to selected taxonomic levels based on distinguishing characteristics. Students also learn how flora and fauna interact with the abiotic landscape.

6 points

Students are able to (1) demonstrate a knowledge of, and the ability to discriminate between major groups of plants and animals found in a variety of ecosystems; (2) document patterns of biodiversity and landscapes through means of observation and hands-on sampling and surveying of local flora, fauna and geology; (3) prepare appropriate interpretation material on aspects of biodiversity for an ecotourism enterprise; and (4) demonstrate an understanding of the importance of cultural aspects of biodiversity.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a practical field assessment (individual); (2) an interpretation report (individual); and (3) reflective journal (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)
Dr Paul Close
Unit rules
enrolment in
the Master of Ecotourism (73510) or equivalent as determined by the unit coordinator
Contact hours
lectures/field work/labs: approx. 55–60 hours

Clarke, I and Lee, H. Name that Flower: the Identification of Flowering Plants: Melbourne University Press 2003

Hickman, C. P., Roberts, L. S. and Larson, A. Animal Biodiversity: McGraw Hill 2003

  • 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.