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Environmental Science

Study in the Discipline of Environmental Science is jointly offered by the School of Life and Environmental Sciences and the School of Geosciences. Units of study in this major are mostly available at standard and advanced level.

About the program

In the 21st century the demand on the earth’s resources is placing the world’s future on a non-sustainable course, where there is ongoing degradation of natural resources and diminishing biodiversity, and planetary cycles related to climate are reaching points of irreversible change. James Martin states that it is the 'young people who collectively, will be responsible for the greatest transition in human history'. We must teach young people to understand this century and play its complex game.

The Environmental Science program will provide students with the understanding and skills they need to find solutions to environmental problems. In this program students will develop the technical laboratory and field skills to measure, monitor and analyse environmental problems and to integrate this information with spatial data to propose management solutions.

Students will develop a strong multi-disciplinary scientific understanding of regional, national and global environmental issues. Taken in combination with a major in Environmental Studies, Soil Science and Hydrology or another disciplinary major (e.g. Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Microbiology), students will contribute to solving contemporary global issues and sustaining life on earth in this "make or break" century. Students will also have pathways to teach Earth and Environmental Studies and continue to Masters level in Sustainability and Science.

Requirements for completion

The Environmental Science program and major requirements are listed in the Environmental Science unit of study table.

Contact and further information

School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Prof. Damien Field
T +61 2 8627 1138

A. Prof. Daniel Penny
T +61 2 9351 6464

Learning outcomes

Students who graduate from Environmental Science will be able to:

No. Learning outcome
1 Exhibit a broad and coherent body of knowledge in the environmental sciences, with deep understanding of core scientific principles in the context of natural and unmanaged environments.
2 Exhibit depth of knowledge of the interdependencies between human societies and natural and managed environments at multiple scales.
3 Investigate, critically evaluate and synthesise data on environmental issues using appropriate tools and techniques.
4 Communicate concepts and findings in environmental science through a range of modes for a variety of purposes and audiences, using evidence-based arguments that are robust to critique.
5 Assess, evaluate and respond to key sustainability challenges for natural and managed environments.
6 Integrate approaches across disciplines to identify, measure and analyse materials, patterns and processes relevant to contemporary environmental challenges.
7 Address authentic problems in environmental science, working within collaborative, interdisciplinary teams.
8 Participate constructively in decision-making consistent with regulatory frameworks and principles of sustainable development, across social and cultural boundaries.
9 Reflect critically on the process of environmental decision making and on their own and others’ values, knowledge and perspectives.