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


What factors have shaped human dealings with the natural world? How have people changed the environment? And how have different societies responded to environmental change over time? These are the questions at the heart of this unit, which offers an introduction to the flourishing field of environmental history. Workshops focus on lively historical debates around topics including Indigenous environmental impacts, human–animal relations, the causes of the American dust bowl, the management of fisheries, the cultural significance of wilderness, the 'green' policies of Nazi Germany, and the politics of climate change. Students gain an understanding of the myriad factors shaping relationships between people and environments in the past; an understanding that is essential for interpreting the environmental problems we face today.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1OnlineOnline timetabled
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1AlbanyFace to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 core unit in the Social and Environmental Sustainability major sequence
  • Level 1 option in the History major sequence
  • Level 1 elective

Students are able to (1) formulate sound arguments about how human actions have been shaped by their historical contexts (social, political, economic, cultural and environmental); (2) describe the processes leading to environmental change in a range of places and periods; (3) demonstrate knowledge of a range of key debates in environmental history; (4) identify, critically evaluate and respond to arguments presented in secondary sources; (5) identify, critically evaluate and respond to evidence presented in primary sources; (6) express ideas cogently in verbal and essay forms; (7) reference written work in accordance with the History guide to documentation of sources; and (8) demonstrate an awareness of the ways in which historically determined ideas about the environment inform current environmental policies and debates.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) workshop participation; (2) a short essay; and (3) a review essay. 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 Joe Christensen
Unit rules
HIST2201 Environmental History
Contact hours
2 hours per week
  • 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.