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Unit (2019)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2019 academic year.

Foundations of the Environment (ENV102)

School School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S2-internal, S2-external
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S2
Description Environmental science is a problem-oriented, multidisciplinary field that attempts to assess environmental problems scientifically. This unit acquaints the students with the broad principles and methodology of environmental science. The nature of environmental systems and the methods used to learn more about them are introduced. The interrelations between land uses and geomorphology, soils, climate, plant communities, wetlands, rivers and estuaries and their interaction with humans are examined from an integrated, problem-solving perspective.
Unit Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this unit students should have a:
· Sound awareness of the characteristics of the land, air and aquatic (freshwater and marine) environment; as well as a familiarity with management tools
· Be aware of the impact of human activities on these environmental components
· Use scientific inquiry skills to collect, analyse and communicate primary and secondary data on Earth hazards and related impacts on Earth systems
Appreciate processes for developing strategies to control and ameliorate adverse human impacts
Timetabled Learning Activities Lectures: 1 x 1 hour plus 1 x 2 hours (total 3 hours per week); laboratories/semester: 4 x 3 hours (2x 3 hours wet labs; a 1 x 3 hours Computerlab (GIS) and a 1 x 3 hours on-campus vegetation disturbance field practical). Internal students are required to sign-up (online) to a laboratory group. External students should note that this unit has a compulsory four-day on-campus component.
Unit Learning Experiences Students are expected to spend a total of 120 hours over a semester on this unit. Per week students will have approximately 4 hours of face-to-face contact (lectures & laboratories), with approximately 6 hours available for independent and self-directed learning (research, assessment & revision).
Specialist lecturers, in a wide range of disciplines, introduce students to environmental concepts and practices that will form the basis of their future studies. Students gain practical experience in the laboratory and field using equipment and techniques used by practitioners. They collect and analyse data sets to solve real world examples of environmental issues and obtain a first-hand understanding of how the environment works while considering implications for management.
A closed-book exam will form the final assessment for this unit, during which students are required to analyse questions to enable them to apply and interpret the appropriate unit content.

Communication with and among students will be facilitated through the Moodle website, which is integral to the running of this unit. Activities/facilities include:
* Echo recordings for lectures.
* Discussion boards widely utilized by all modes of enrolment.
* A unit reader - available only electronically on the website.
Other Learning Experiences A Swan Coastal Survey, where students are required to work in groups off-campus to complete an environmental assessment. This field trip provides practical experience of underlying environmental theoretical principles and training in group work.
Internal students are required to sign-up (online) to a laboratory group. External students should note that this unit has a compulsory four-day on-campus component.
Assessment Laboratories (x 4): 20% (in class assignments),
Essay: 15%;
Swan Coastal Plain: 15%,
Short written work, quizzes and participation: 10%;
Final exam: 40%
Assessment work mainly relates to comprehension and reproduction of unit content. Laboratories (both in labs and on campus field facilities) provide students with training in environmental techniques along with introducing them to the necessary occupational health and safety practices.
Feedback to students is provided in labs and lectures or via completed marking sheets/rubrics dependant on assessment type.
Prerequisites Nil.
Exclusions Students who have successfully completed ENV102 Introduction to Environmental Science may not enrol in this unit for credit.
Previously 2013: 'Introduction to Environmental Science'
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Biology and Environmental Science Major Teaching Area (BEd(Sec)) [New in 2019]
Conservation and Wildlife Biology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Earth and Environmental Science Major Teaching Area (BEd(Sec)) [New in 2019]
Environmental Management and Sustainability (BSc) [New in 2014]
Environmental Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Marine Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Environmental Engineering Honours (BE(Hons)) [New in 2015]
Appears in these Co-Majors Earth and Environmental Science Minor Teaching Area
Appears in these Minors Environmental Issues
Waste and Water Management
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


Unit Coordinator
Dr Jennifer Verduin
Senior Lecturer

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 6412
e: J.Verduin@murdoch.edu.au
o: 340.2.036 - Physical Sciences, Murdoch Campus
Unit Contacts

MURDOCH: S2-External
MURDOCH: S2-Internal
Dr Jennifer Verduin
Senior Lecturer

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 6412
e: J.Verduin@murdoch.edu.au
o: 340.2.036 - Physical Sciences, Murdoch Campus
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