SCIE5500 Modelling Natural Systems

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit develops skills in modelling ecological, environmental, agricultural and economic systems, and the relationships between them. It builds on skills and experience developed at the undergraduate level through a series of modules that provide an overall understanding of the place of modelling in the natural sciences and a general overview of common modelling approaches and issues including the goals and purposes of modelling, types of models, the modelling process, systems analysis and conceptual modelling, and validation and testing. A range of practical laboratory exercises and a project allow a more detailed focus on techniques and issues specific to disciplines such as botany, zoology, theoretical ecology, agro-ecology, agricultural and resource economics, marine and aquatic ecosystems, and conservation ecology.
Students are able to (1) explain the possible purposes of modelling natural systems; (2) discuss the relationship between modelling and experimental work; (3) describe a range of different modelling approaches; (4) explain how models can be evaluated and validated; and (5) understand, explain, use, modify, construct and evaluate models of ecological, agricultural, environmental and economic systems.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments; (2) a quiz; and (3) a small project. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Michael Renton
Unit rules
enrolment in Master of Professional Engineering (62550)
Master of Agricultural Science (72510)
Master of Biological Science (72520)
Master of Environmental Science (72530)
Master of Geoscience (72550), Master of Hydrogeology (72540), Master of Science (70630)
Master of Biotechnology
honours in the Faculty of Science
Advisable prior study:
SCIE4401 Data Use in the Natural Sciences
SCIE4402 Data Management and Analysis in the Natural Sciences
ENVT3362 Environmental Modelling
SCIE3367 Decision Tools for Natural Resource ACCT2112 Management Accounting
Contact hours
30 contact hours, total workload 160 hours
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  • 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.