Environmental Science

Unit outlines will be available though Find a unit outline two weeks before the first day of teaching for 1000-level and 5000-level units, or one week before the first day of teaching for all other units.
 

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Environmental Science program

A program in Environmental Science requires 60 credit points from this table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 2000-level program core units
(ii) A 48 credit point major in Environmental Science

Environmental Science major

This major is only available to students enrolled in the Environmental Science program.
A major in Environmental Science requires 48 credit points from this table including:
(i) 6 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 6 credit points of 1000-level selective units
(iii) 6 credit points of 2000-level major core units
(iv) 6 credit points of 2000-level major selective units
(v) 6 credit points of 3000-level core units
(vi) 12 credit points of 3000-level disciplinary selective or interdisciplinary project selective units
(vii) 6 credit points of 3000-level interdisciplinary project units

Units of study

The units of study are listed below.

1000-level units of study

Core
CHEM1011 Fundamentals of Chemistry 1A

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Toby Hudson Session: Semester 1 Classes: 3x1-hr lectures; 1x1-hr tutorial per week; 1x3-hr practical per week for 9 weeks Prohibitions: CHEM1001 or CHEM1101 or CHEM1901 or CHEM1903 or CHEM1109 or CHEM1111 or CHEM1911 or CHEM1991 Assumed knowledge: There is no assumed knowledge of chemistry for this unit of study but students who have not completed HSC Chemistry (or equivalent) are strongly advised to take the Chemistry Bridging Course (offered in February). Assessment: quizzes, attendance, laboratory log book, exam Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Students who have not completed HSC Chemistry (or equivalent) are strongly advised to take the Chemistry Bridging Course (offered in February, and online year-round, see https://sydney.edu.au/students/bridging-courses.html).
Chemistry describes how and why things happen from a molecular perspective. Chemistry underpins all aspects of the natural and physical world, and provides the basis for new technologies and advances in the life, medical and physical sciences, engineering, and industrial processes. This unit of study will equip you with the fundamental knowledge and skills in chemistry for broad application. You will learn about atomic theory, structure and bonding, equilibrium, processes occurring in solutions, and the functional groups of molecules. You will develop experimental design, conduct and analysis skills in chemistry through experiments that ask and answer questions about the chemical nature and processes occurring around you. Through inquiry, observation and measurement, you will better understand natural and physical world and will be able to apply this understanding to real-world problems and solutions. This unit of study is directed toward students whose chemical background is weak (or non-existent). Compared to the mainstream Chemistry 1A, the theory component of this unit begins with more fundamental concepts, and does not cover, or goes into less detail about some topics. Progression to intermediate chemistry from this unit and Fundamentals of Chemistry 1B requires completion of an online supplementary course.
Textbooks
Recommended textbook: Blackman, Bottle, Schmid, Mocerino and Wille,Chemistry, 3rd Edition, 2015 (John Wiley) ISBN: 978-0-7303-1105-8 (paperback) or 978-0-7303-2492-8 (e-text)
CHEM1111 Chemistry 1A

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Toby Hudson Session: Intensive January,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 3x1-hr lectures; 1x1-hr tutorial per week; 1x3-hr practical per week for 9 weeks Prohibitions: CHEM1001 or CHEM1101 or CHEM1901 or CHEM1903 or CHEM1109 or CHEM1011 or CHEM1911 or CHEM1991 Assumed knowledge: Students who have not completed HSC Chemistry (or equivalent) and HSC Mathematics (or equivalent) are strongly advised to take the Chemistry and Mathematics Bridging Courses (offered in February) Assessment: quizzes, attendance, laboratory log book, exam Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Students who have not completed secondary school chemistry are strongly advised to instead complete Fundamentals of Chemistry 1A in the first semester of the calendar year (unless you require 12 credit points of Chemistry and are commencing in semester 2). You should also take the Chemistry Bridging Course in advance (offered in February, and online year-round https://sydney.edu.au/students/bridging-courses.html).
Chemistry describes how and why things happen from a molecular perspective. Chemistry underpins all aspects of the natural and physical world, and provides the basis for new technologies and advances in the life, medical and physical sciences, engineering, and industrial processes. This unit of study will further develop your knowledge and skills in chemistry for application to life and medical sciences, engineering, and further study in chemistry. You will learn about nuclear and radiation chemistry, wave theory, atomic orbitals, spectroscopy, bonding, enthalpy and entropy, equilibrium, processes occurring in solutions, and the functional groups in carbon chemistry. You will develop experimental design, conduct and analysis skills in chemistry through experiments that ask and answer questions like how do dyes work, how do we desalinate water, how do we measure the acid content in foods, how do we get the blue in a blueprint, and how do we extract natural products from plants? Through inquiry, observation and measurement, you will understand the 'why' and the 'how' of the natural and physical world and will be able to apply this understanding to real-world problems and solutions. This unit of study is directed toward students with a satisfactory prior knowledge of the HSC chemistry course.
Textbooks
Recommended textbook: Blackman, Bottle, Schmid, Mocerino and Wille,Chemistry, 3rd Edition, 2015 (John Wiley) ISBN: 978-0-7303-1105-8 (paperback) or 978-0-7303-2492-8 (e-text)
CHEM1911 Chemistry 1A (Advanced)

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Toby Hudson Session: Semester 1 Classes: 3x1-hr lectures and 1x1-hr tutorial per week; 1x3-hr practical per week for 9 weeks Prohibitions: CHEM1001 or CHEM1101 or CHEM1901 or CHEM1903 or CHEM1109 or CHEM1011 or CHEM1111 or CHEM1991 Assumed knowledge: 80 or above in HSC Chemistry or equivalent Assessment: quizzes, attendance, laboratory log book, exam Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Chemistry describes how and why things happen from a molecular perspective. Chemistry underpins all aspects of the natural and physical world, and provides the basis for new technologies and advances in sciences, engineering, and industrial processes. This unit of study will further develop your knowledge and skills in chemistry for broad application, including further study in chemistry. You will learn about nuclear and radiation chemistry, wave theory, atomic orbitals, spectroscopy, bonding, enthalpy and entropy, equilibrium, processes occurring in solutions, and the functional groups of molecules. You will develop experimental design, conduct and analysis skills in chemistry through experiments that ask and answer questions about the chemical nature and processes occurring around you. Through inquiry, observation and measurement, you will better understand natural and physical world and will be able to apply this understanding to real-world problems and solutions. This unit of study is directed toward students with a good secondary performance both overall and in chemistry or science. Students in this category are expected to do this unit rather than Chemistry 1A. Compared to the mainstream Chemistry 1A, the theory component of this unit provides a higher level of academic rigour and makes broader connections between topics.
Textbooks
Recommended textbook: Blackman, Bottle, Schmid, Mocerino and Wille,Chemistry, 3rd Edition, 2015 (John Wiley) ISBN: 978-0-7303-1105-8 (paperback) or 978-0-7303-2492-8 (e-text)
CHEM1991 Chemistry 1A (Special Studies Program)

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Toby Hudson Session: Semester 1 Classes: 3x1-hr lectures; 1x1-hr tutorial per week; 1x3hr practical per week for 12 weeks Prohibitions: CHEM1001 or CHEM1101 or CHEM1901 or CHEM1903 or CHEM1109 or CHEM1011 or CHEM1111 or CHEM1911 Assumed knowledge: 90 or above in HSC Chemistry or equivalent Assessment: quizzes, attendance, presentations, exam Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Chemistry describes how and why things happen from a molecular perspective. Chemistry underpins all aspects of the natural and physical world, and provides the basis for new technologies and advances in the life, medical and physical sciences, engineering, and industrial processes. This unit of study will further develop your knowledge and skills in chemistry for application to life and medical sciences, engineering, and further study in chemistry. You will learn about nuclear and radiation chemistry, wave theory, atomic orbitals, spectroscopy, bonding, enthalpy and entropy, equilibrium, processes occurring in solutions, and the functional groups in carbon chemistry. You will develop experimental design, conduct and analysis skills in chemistry in small group projects. The laboratory program is designed to extend students who already have chemistry laboratory experience, and particularly caters for students who already show a passion and enthusiasm for research chemistry, as well as aptitude as demonstrated by high school chemistry results. Entry to Chemistry 1A (Special Studies Program) is restricted to a small number of students with an excellent school record in Chemistry, and applications must be made to the School of Chemistry. The practical work syllabus for Chemistry 1A (Special Studies Program) is very different from that for Chemistry 1A and Chemistry 1A (Advanced) and consists of special project-based laboratory exercises. All other unit of study details are the same as those for Chemistry 1A (Advanced).
Textbooks
Recommended textbook: Blackman, Bottle, Schmid, Mocerino and Wille,Chemistry, 3rd Edition, 2015 (John Wiley) ISBN: 978-0-7303-1105-8 (paperback) or 978-0-7303-2492-8 (e-text)
Selective
GEOS1001 Earth, Environment and Society

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Bill Pritchard, Dr Sabin Zahirovic, Dr Bree Morgan, A/Prof Damien Field Session: Semester 1 Classes: One 2 hour lecture and one 2 hour practical per week. Prohibitions: GEOS1901 or GEOG1001 or GEOG1002 or GEOL1001 or GEOL1002 or GEOL1902 or ENSY1001 Assessment: Exam (40%), 2000 word essay (25%), practical reports (15%), presentation (20%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This is the gateway unit of study for Human Geography, Physical Geography, Environmental Studies and Geology. Its objective is to introduce the big questions relating to the origins and current state of the planet: climate change, environment, landscape formation, and the growth of the human population. During the semester you will be introduced to knowledge, theories and debates about how the world's physical and human systems operate. The first module investigates the evolution of the planet through geological time, with a focus on major Earth systems such as plate tectonics and mantle convection and their interaction with the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and human civilisations. The second module presents Earth as an evolving and dynamic planet, investigating global environmental change, addressing climate variability and human impacts on the natural environment and the rate at which these changes occur and how they have the potential to dramatically affect the way we live. Finally, the third module, focuses on human-induced challenges to Earth's future. This part of the unit critically analyses the relationships between people and their environments, with central consideration to debates on population change, resource use and the policy contexts of climate change mitigation and adaptation.
GEOS1901 Earth, Environment and Society Advanced

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Bill Pritchard, Dr Sabin Zahirovic, Dr Bree Morgan, A/Prof Damien Field Session: Semester 1 Classes: One 2 hour lecture and one 2 hour practical per week. Prohibitions: GEOS1001 or GEOG1001 or GEOG1002 or GEOL1001 or GEOL1002 or GEOL1902 or ENSY1001 Assumed knowledge: (ATAR 90 or above) or equivalent Assessment: Exam (40%), 2000 word essay (25%), practical reports (15%), presentation (20%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Advanced students will complete the same core lecture material as for GEOS1001, but will be required to carry out more challenging practical assignments.
ENVI1003 Global Challenges: Food, Water, Climate

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Stephen Cattle Session: Semester 2 Classes: Two lectures per week, 2-hour computer lab per week, two-day weekend field trip Prohibitions: AGEN1002 Assessment: 2-hour exam (45%), field trip report (20%), group work presentation (25%), GIS reports (10%) Practical field work: Computer practicals and two-day field trip Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
In the 21st century the population of the world will increase both in size and its expectation in terms of food, energy and consumer demands. Against this demand we have a planet in crisis where natural resources are degraded, biodiversity is diminishing and planetary cycles related to climate are reaching points of irreversible change. Management of our precious natural resources is a balancing act between production and conservation as always, but now we have to do this against a background of potential large scale changes in climate. In this unit students will gain an understanding of the key environmental challenges of the 21st century; namely food security, climate change, water security, biodiversity protection, ecosystems services and soil security. In the second half, using Australian case studies, we will explore how we manage different agro-ecosystems within their physical constraints around water, climate and soil, while considering linkages with the global environmental challenges. Management now, in the past and the future will be considered, with an emphasis on food production. This unit is recommended unit for students interested in gaining a broad overview of the environmental challenges of the 21st century, both globally and within Australia.

2000-level units of study

Program core
GEOS2116 Earth Surface Processes

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Dan Penny Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2x1-hr lectures; 1x3-hr practical (lab/computer) sessions each week Prohibitions: GEOS2916 or GEOG2321 Assessment: practical and field assignments, final exam Practical field work: 3-5 day field trip Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The surface of the planet on which you live is the product of a balance between tectonic forces and numerous agents of erosion. The landscapes in which you live and work, and from which you draw resources, are therefore the legacy of many processes operating synchronously over long time periods. It is also true that Earth's landscapes are dynamic, and constantly changing around you in response to climate, tectonics and patterns of life. The sustainable management of landscapes is strongly dependent upon an awareness of those processes and the ways that they constrain human-environment interactions. In Earth Surface Processes, you will learn how landscapes are produced, and what this means for contemporary land use. Lectures by experts in physical geography, geology, soil science and environmental science will introduce you to the planetary and regional-scale controls on landforms and landscape dynamics, and the nature and distribution of major Australian landscape types. Focussed around 'hands on' field and laboratory-based tasks, students will gain essential practical, analytical and interpretive skills in the analysis of landscapes and earth surface processes that shape them. This is a unit for anyone wanting to better understand the planet on which they live.
Textbooks
Allen, P.A., 2009. Earth surface processes. John Wiley and Sons. Scitech, 551.3 72 Sharma, V.K., 2010. Introduction to process geomorphology. CRC Press. Scitech, 551.41 113
GEOS2916 Earth Surface Processes (Advanced)

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Dan Penny Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2x1-hr lectures; 1x3-hr practical (lab/computer) sessions each week Prerequisites: Annual average mark of at least 70 Prohibitions: GEOS2116 or GEOG2321 Assessment: practical and research assignments, final exam Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The surface of the planet on which you live is the product of a balance between tectonic forces and numerous agents of erosion. The landscapes in which you live and work, and from which you draw resources, are therefore the legacy of many processes operating synchronously over long time periods. It is also true that Earth's landscapes are dynamic, and constantly changing around you in response to climate, tectonics and patterns of life. The sustainable management of landscapes is strongly dependent upon an awareness of those processes and the ways that they constrain human-environment interactions. In the Advanced mode of Earth Surface Processes, you will learn how landscapes are produced, and what this means for contemporary land use. Lectures by experts in physical geography, geology, soil science and environmental science will introduce you to the planetary and regional-scale controls on landforms and landscape dynamics, and the nature and distribution of major Australian landscape types. Focussed around 'hands on' field and laboratory-based tasks, students will gain essential practical, analytical and interpretive skills in the analysis of landscapes and earth surface processes that shape them. The Advanced mode of Earth Surface Processes challenges you to create new knowledge, and provides a higher level of academic rigour. You will take part in a series of small-group practical exercises that will develop your skills in research design and execution, and will provide you with a greater depth of understanding in core aspects of geomorphology. The Advanced mode will culminate in a research-focussed Advanced Assignment. This is a unit for anyone wanting to better understand the planet on which they live, and who may wish to develop higher-level analytical and research skills in geomorphology and landscape analysis.
Textbooks
Allen, P.A., 2009. Earth surface processes. John Wiley and Sons. Scitech, 551.3 72 Sharma, V.K., 2010. Introduction to process geomorphology. CRC Press. Scitech, 551.41 113
SOIL2005 Soil and Water: Earth's Life Support Systems

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Balwant Singh Session: Semester 1 Classes: Lectures: 3 hours per week; lab: 3 hours per week for 10 weeks Prohibitions: SOIL2003 or LWSC2002 Assessment: Field excursion: attendance and creative assessment (5%), the attendance at the excursion is compulsory to get any mark for this assessment task; quiz: (10%); written assignment: modelling assessment including modelling (15%); laboratory report: group oral presentation and written assignment (20%); final exam: written exam (50%) Practical field work: Approximately eight hours working field at Cobbitty Farm Wk 0 (Friday, 22 Feb 2019) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Soil and water are the two most essential natural resources on the Earth's surface which influence all forms of terrestrial life. This unit of study is designed to introduce students to the fundamental properties and processes of soil and water that affect food security and sustain ecosystems. These properties and processes are part of the grounding principles that underpin crop and animal production, nutrient and water cycling, and environmental sustainability. You will participate in a field excursion to examine soils in a landscape to develop knowledge and understanding of soil properties, water storage, water movement and cycling of organic carbon and nutrients in relation to food production and ecosystem functioning. At the end of this unit you will be able to articulate and quantify the factors and processes that determine the composition and behaviour of soil, composition of water, soil water storage and the movement of water on the land surface. You will also be able to describe the most important properties of soil and water for food production and sustaining ecosystem functions and link this to human and climatic factors. The field excursion, report and laboratory/computer exercises have been designed to develop communication, team work and collaborative efforts.
Textbooks
Brady, N.C. and Ray R. Weil. (2007). The Nature and Properties of Soils. 14th Edition, Prentice Hall, New Jersey. White, R.E. (2006) Principles and Practice of Soil Science: the Soil as a Natural Resource. 4th ed., Blackwell Science, Oxford. Diana H. Wall, Richard D. Bardgett, Valerie Behan-Pelletier, Jeffrey E. Herrick, T. Hefin Jones, Karl Ritz, Johan Six, Donald R. Strong, and Wim H. van der Putten (Eds.) (2012). Soil Ecology and Ecosystem Services. Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780199575923. Kutllek, M and Nielsen, D.R. (2015). Soil: The Skin of the Planet Earth, Springer, ISBN: 978-94-017-9788-7 (Print) 978-94-017-9789-4 (Online). Gordon, N. D., McMahon, T. A., Finlayson, B. L., Gippel, C. J., and Nathan, R. J. (2004) Stream Hydrology: an Introduction for Ecologists, John Wiley and Sons Inc.
Major core
ENSC2001 Environmental Monitoring

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Feike Dijkstra Session: Semester 1 Classes: One 2-hour lecture per week; one 3-hour computer/laboratory practical per week; one 1-hour tutorial every three weeks; two half-day field trips Prohibitions: AGCH3033 Assumed knowledge: Understanding of scientific principles and concepts including biodiversity, human impacts on the environment, properties of substances (e.g., acidity, alkalinity, solvents) and basic knowledge of statistics. Assessment: Group presentation (10%), quiz (10%), lab reports (30%), final exam (50%) Practical field work: Two half-day field trips Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Human population growth is causing irreversible change to almost all environments on earth. The extent of human change has been so great that a new geological epoch, the anthropocene, has been defined. Global warming, the introduction of pollutants and excessive use of nutrients are stressors affecting the biodiversity and resilience of ecosystems, and pose threats to human and environmental health. These human impacts carefully need to be monitored to guide appropriate management of urban, natural and agricultural systems. In this unit you will learn about transport pathways of pollutants, bioaccumulation, environmental toxicology (e.g., LD50 values), environmental monitoring and remediation techniques. Through lectures, laboratories and group work, concepts and methods of environmental monitoring will be illustrated and discussed including findings from the latest research. You will participate in structured practical exercises and field trips where you will apply sampling techniques, use bio-indicators and diversity indices to monitor ecosystem functioning. You will interpret the results and assess what the implications are for the ecological functioning and sustainable management of the environment. These hands-on exercises will be complemented with case-studies to guide you in critically analysing and evaluating environmental monitoring data. By taking this unit, you will acquire the necessary skills and knowledge in monitoring sites impacted by human activity.
Textbooks
Artiola, Pepper, and Brusseau. 2004. Environmental Monitoring and Characterization. Elsevier Academic Press.
Major selective
BIOL2032 Australian Wildlife Biology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Catherine Herbert Session: Semester 2 Classes: Three lectures; one 2-hour tutorial or practical session each week Prohibitions: ANSC2005 Assessment: Quizzes, presentation assignment, exam Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Australia is home to a broad diversity of vertebrate wildlife species, many of which are unique to the Australian environment, having evolved in isolation from other large land-masses for millions of years. This unit examines the diversity of Australian reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals (including all three mammalian lineages; monotremes, marsupials and eutherian mammals). We focus on the unique anatomical, physiological and behavioural adaptations that have enabled our wildlife to survive and thrive within varied Australian ecosystems. We also examine how the uniqueness of our wildlife is also one of its greatest challenges, being naive to the new threats that are present in our rapidly changing environments. At the end of this unit you should have an appreciation of the diversity and uniqueness of Australian wildlife; be able to determine the links between form and function in wildlife and understand the significance of these functional adaptations in relation to ecological challenges. You will also have an understanding of the interactions between humans and wildlife, and how the unique characteristics of our wildlife also make them vulnerable to threats within the rapidly changing Australian environment. Students will also develop enhanced scientific literacy and communication skills through tutorial activities and assessment tasks.
Textbooks
No text book requirements. Recommended reading throughout semester provided by each lecture relevant to their class content. Relevant scientific papers will be uploaded to LMS
BIOL2031 Plants and Environment

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Claudia Keitel Session: Semester 2 Classes: Two lectures; one 4-hour practical session on a weekly basis Prohibitions: AGEN2005 or BIOL3043 or BIOL3943 or BIOL2931 Assumed knowledge: Knowledge of concepts and skills in BIOL1XX6. Assessment: Online quiz (20%), lab assignment (15%), presentation (15%), exam (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Plants grow across a range of environments, influencing form, function and ultimately reproductive success. Being sessile, plants lack the luxury of seeking an alternative 'stress-free lifestyle' and therefore rely on genetic and physical adaptations to survive and reproduce. To understand how a plant can achieve such flexibility requires knowledge of plant structure and the influence of environmental drivers on plant growth and function. In this unit, you will examine the physiological processes controlling plant growth and reproduction linked to environmental constraints. You will understand the relationship between tissue and cellular structure and their underlying role in physiological and metabolic activities, particularly processes involving light capture, photosynthesis, water regulation, nutrient management and metabolite redistribution. Lectures and interactive practicals will together introduce you to plant processes that underpin life on earth. Experimentation and analysis of plant physiological processes will develop a skill base that will lead to a greater understanding and appreciation of common plant processes. As a component of the Plant Science minor and the Plant Production major, BIOL2031 will provide an important platform to extend your interests in plant science and plant related fields across the curriculum.
Textbooks
Taiz, L. and Zeiger, E. (2010) Plant Physiology, Fifth Edition. Sinauer Associates. Sunderland, MA.
BIOL2931 Plants and Environment (Advanced)

This unit of study is not available in 2020

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Brent Kaiser Session: Semester 2 Classes: Two 1-hour lectures/week; one 4-hour practical/week Prerequisites: Annual average mark of at least 70 in previous year Prohibitions: AGEN2005 or BIOL3043 or BIOL3943 or BIOL2031 Assumed knowledge: Knowledge of concepts and skills in BIOL1XX6. Assessment: On-line quiz (20%), lab assignment (15%), independent project (15%), exam (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Plants grow across a range of environments, which influence form, function and ultimately reproductive success. Being sessile, plants lack the luxury of seeking an alternative 'stress-free lifestyle' and therefore rely on genetic and physical adaptations to help survive and reproduce. To understand how a plant can achieve such flexibility requires an understanding of plant structure and the influence that environmental drivers have on plant growth and function. In this unit, you will examine the physiological processes controlling plant growth and reproduction linked to environmental constraints. You will understand the relationship between tissue and cellular structure and their underlying role in physiological and metabolic activities, particularly processes involving light capture, photosynthesis, water regulation, nutrient management and metabolite redistribution. Lectures and interactive practicals will together introduce you to plant processes that we commonly depend upon for food production, and plant related materials. Experimentation and analysis of plant physiological processes will develop a skill base that will lead to a greater understanding and appreciation of common plant processes that guide plant growth. As a component of the Plant Science minor, this unit will provide an important platform to extend your interests in plant science and plant-related fields, including ecology, cell biology, genetics, breeding, agriculture, molecular biology, environmental law, education and the arts. The advanced unit has the same overall concepts as BIOL2031 but material is discussed in a manner that offers a greater level of challenge and academic rigour. Students enrolled in BIOL2931 participate in alternative components, which include a separate practical stream. The content and nature of these components may vary from year to year.
Textbooks
Resources required by the unit will be provided on the Blackboard learning management page for the unit. Taiz, L. and Zeiger, E. (2010) Plant Physiology, Fifth Edition. Sinauer Associates. Sunderland, MA.
BIOL2022 Biology Experimental Design and Analysis

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Clare McArthur Session: Semester 2 Classes: Two lectures per week and one 3-hour practical per week. Prerequisites: 6cp from (BIOL1XXX or MBLG1XXX or ENVX1001 or ENVX1002 or DATA1001 or MATH1XX5) Prohibitions: BIOL2922 or BIOL3006 or BIOL3906 Assumed knowledge: BIOL1XXX or MBLG1XXX Assessment: Practical reports/presentations (60%), one 2-hour exam (40%). Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit provides foundational skills essential for doing research in biology and for critically judging the research of others. We consider how biology is practiced as a quantitative, experimental and theoretical science. We focus on the underlying principles and practical skills you need to explore questions and test hypotheses, particularly where background variation (error) is inherently high. In so doing, the unit provides you with an understanding of how biological research is designed, analysed and interpreted using statistics. Lectures focus on sound experimental and statistical principles, using examples in ecology and other fields of biology to demonstrate concepts. In the practical sessions, you will design and perform, analyse (using appropriate statistical tools) and interpret your own experiments to answer research questions in topics relevant to your particular interest. This unit of study provides a suitable foundation for senior biology units of study.
Textbooks
Recommended: Ruxton, G. and Colegrave, N. 2016. Experimental design for the life sciences. 4th Ed. Oxford University Press
BIOL2922 Biol Experimental Design and Analysis Adv

This unit of study is not available in 2020

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Clare McArthur Session: Semester 2 Classes: Two lectures per week and one 3-hour practical per week. Prerequisites: [An annual average mark of at least 70 in the previous year] and [6cp from (BIOL1XXX or MBLG1XXX or ENVX1001 or ENVX1002 or DATA1001 or MATH1XX5)] Prohibitions: BIOL2022 or BIOL3006 or BIOL3906 Assumed knowledge: BIOL1XXX or MBLG1XXX Assessment: Practical reports/presentations (60%), one 2-hour exam (40%). Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The content of BIOL2922 will be based on BIOL2022 but qualified students will participate in alternative components at a more advanced level. The content and nature of these components may vary from year to year.
Textbooks
Required: Ruxton, G. and Colegrave, N. 2016. Experimental design for the life sciences. 4th Ed. Oxford
ENVX2001 Applied Statistical Methods

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Floris Van Ogtrop Session: Semester 1 Classes: Two 1-hour lectures per week, one 3-hour computer practical per week Prerequisites: [6cp from (ENVX1001 or ENVX1002 or BIOM1003 or MATH1011 or MATH1015 or DATA1001 or DATA1901)] OR [3cp from (MATH1XX1 or MATH1906 or MATH1XX3 or MATH1907) and an additional 3cp from (MATH1XX5)] Assessment: final exam (55%), reports (2 x 10%), ten online quizzes (5% total), group work presentation (20%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Available as a degree core unit only in the Agriculture, Animal and Veterinary Bioscience, Food and Agribusiness and Taronga Wildlife Conservation streams
This unit builds on introductory 1st year statistics units and is targeted towards students in the agricultural, life and environmental sciences. It consists of two parts and presents, in an applied manner, the statistical methods that students need to know for further study and their future careers. In the first part the focus is on designed studies including both surveys and formal experimental designs. Students will learn how to analyse and interpret datasets collected from designs from more than 2 treatment levels, multiple factors and different blocking designs. In the second part the focus is on finding patterns in data. In this part the students will learn to model relationships between response and predictor variables using regression, and find patterns in datasets with many variables using principal components analysis and clustering. This part provides the foundation for the analysis of big data. In the practicals the emphasis is on applying theory to analysing real datasets using the statistical software package R. A key feature of the unit is using R to develop coding skills that are become essential in science for processing and analysing datasets of ever increasing size.
Textbooks
No textbooks are recommended but useful reference books are: Mead R, Curnow RN, Hasted AM (2002) 'Statistical methods in agriculture and experimental biology.' (Chapman and Hall: Boca Raton). Quinn GP, Keough MJ (2002) 'Experimental design and data analysis for biologists.' (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK).

3000-level units of study

Core
ENVX3001 Environmental GIS

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Aaron Greenville Session: Semester 2 Classes: Three-day field trip, (two lectures and two practicals per week) Prerequisites: 6cp from (ENVI1003 or AGEN1002) or 6cp from GEOS1XXX or 6cp from BIOL1XXX or GEOS2X11 Assessment: 15-minute presentation (10%), 3500 word prac report (35%), 1500 word report on trip excursion (15%), 2-hour exam (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit is designed to impart knowledge and skills in spatial analysis and geographical information science (GISc) for decision-making in an environmental context. The lecture material will present several themes: principles of GISc, geospatial data sources and acquisition methods, processing of geospatial data and spatial statistics. Practical exercises will focus on learning geographical information systems (GIS) and how to apply them to land resource assessment, including digital terrain modelling, land-cover assessment, sub-catchment modelling, ecological applications, and soil quality assessment for decisions regarding sustainable land use and management. A three day field excursion during the mid-semester break will involve visiting Canberra to hear from various government agencies which research and maintain GIS coverages for Australia. By the end of this unit, students should be able to: differentiate between spatial data and spatial information; source geospatial data from government and private agencies; apply conceptual models of spatial phenomena for practical decision-making in an environmental context; apply critical analysis of situations to apply the concepts of spatial analysis to solving environmental and land resource problems; communicate effectively results of GIS investigations through various means- oral, written and essay formats; and use a major GIS software package such as ArcGIS.
Textbooks
Burrough, P.A. and McDonnell, R.A. 1998. Principles of Geographic Information Systems. Oxford University Press: Oxford.
Disciplinary Selective
ENVX3003 Hydrological Monitoring and Modelling

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Willem Vervoort Session: Semester 2 Classes: lecture 2hrs/week, computer practical 3hrs/wk Prerequisites: Completion of 72 credit points of units of study Prohibitions: LWSC3007 Assumed knowledge: SOIL2005 or GEOS2116 or ENVI1003 or GEOS1001 or ENSC2001 Assessment: Three individual assignments (25%), group based field report (25%), 2 hr final exam (50%). Practical field work: 3 days fieldwork near Cootamundra Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Globally, and in Australia in particular, water quantity and quality problems are growing due to increasing human use and a changing climate. In this unit, you will engage with field-based and quantitative problems related to water quantity and quality. This includes a multi-day field trip to regional NSW to collect samples and engage with field-based activities. During these activities, you will develop field-based skills for collection of hydrological data. The data will be used later in the unit to analyse and map the water quantity and quality issues in the catchment, relating this to landscape, management and climate. The second part of the unit focusses on developing an insight into model building, model calibration, validation and sensitivity analysis. It links back to the field experience by using long-term data collected by previous student cohorts and focussing on the identified landscape issues. This part of the study will allow you to directly engage with numerical approaches in prediction and forecasting in landscape hydrological models. The unit of study is specifically designed to extend your field hydrological knowledge and to strengthen your analytical and numerical skills in this area.
AVBS3004 Wildlife Conservation

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: a mixture of lectures, practicals and tutorials for up to 6 hours per week, plus up to 2 days on field activities Prerequisites: 12 credit points from (AVBS2XXX or BIOL2XXX or GEGE2X01 or QBIO2XXX) Prohibitions: AVBS3003 or AVBS4003 Assessment: participation in tutorials and practicals - quiz and presentation (25%), group project - written report and oral presentation (20%), written assignment (15%), final exam (40%) Practical field work: Day field trips may be included . Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
With multiple pressures on earth's biodiversity, the field of Wildlife Conservation is increasing in importance, empowering decision makers to understand and protect wildlife and the ecosystems which support them. This unit of study explores the techniques and methods for undertaking conservation research, including population genetics and forensic analysis of eDNA, the complexity introduced when considering multiple stakeholders, and the use of the scientific method to inform wildlife conservation issues. You will investigate biodiversity surveys, species identification, forensics, phylogeography, population genetics and genetic management applied to wildlife conservation, and the socio-political and cultural issues which influence stakeholders. You will analyse current issues within wildlife conservation and articulate and acknowledge a variety of stakeholder views including Indigenous Australian perspectives, both orally and in written form. You will understand the processes involved in formulating an evidence-based management approach to contentious wildlife conservation issues, and how the scientific method can be leveraged to build a compelling conservation management plan.
BIOL3004 Terrestrial Plant Ecology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Tina Bell Session: Semester 2 Classes: The general weekly schedule comprises 2 x 1 hour lectures and 1 x 3 hour practical session. A mandatory 2-3 day field trip to southern New South Wales will take place in the middle of the semester. Prerequisites: 6cp of BIOL2X23 or BIOL2X30 or AGEN2001 or GEOS2X21 or AGEN2005 or BIOL2X09 Prohibitions: ENSY3003 or ENSY3002 Assumed knowledge: Students should have a basic understanding of plant biology, plant ecology and/or plant physiology. Some background knowledge in mathematics and chemistry would be beneficial. Assessment: Assessment tasks include two in-class quizzes (10% each); field report (20%); 2000w group-based land management plan (35%); 500w individual component to the land management plan (15%); group-based oral presentation (10%). Practical field work: A mandatory 2-3 day field trip to southern New South Wales will take place in the middle of the semester. Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Australian native vegetation is a unique resource for diversity, ecosystem services and public use. The objective of this unit is to provide a broad understanding of three major plant terrestrial ecosystems that are found across Australia: forests, heathlands and grasslands and how they are managed. While the focus will be on native plant systems in an Australian setting, their importance at a global level will also be discussed. You will develop an understanding of the characteristics of key plant ecosystems, including where they are found and their main ecophysiology features. Each of the ecosystems described has the potential to be affected (positively or negatively) by a range of natural and anthropogenic disturbances. They include fire, climate change (drought and temperature), changes in nutrient flows and more broadly human-induced disturbances such as logging, mining, urban development and agricultural management. The impact of these disturbances along with mitigation via conservation and associated management changes will also be covered. Finally, government policy around conservation/management of these ecosystems will be examined. At the completion of this unit you will have developed an understanding of the environmental and economic importance of forests, heathlands and grasslands, their vulnerability to a range of external factors and the extent that these can be mitigated.
SOIL3009 Contemporary Field and Lab Soil Science

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Budiman Minasny (Coordinator), Prof Balwant Singh, A/Prof. Stephen Cattle, Prof Alex McBratney Session: Semester 1 Classes: Two lectures and two practicals, or one lecture and three practicals per week, 6-day field excursion north-western NSW commencing 15 days prior to beginning of Semester 1 Prerequisites: SOIL2003 or SOIL2004 or SOIL2005 Assessment: one viva voce exam (35%), field trip written assessments (30%), soil judging (15%), laboratory reports (15%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This is a theoretical and empirical unit providing specialised training in three important areas of contemporary soil science, namely pedology, soil chemistry, and soil physics. The key concepts of these sub-disciplines will be outlined and strengthened by hands-on training in contemporary field and laboratory techniques. All of this is synthesized by placing it in the context of soil distribution and use in North-Western New South Wales. The unit is motivated by the teaching team's research in this locale. It builds on students, existing soil science knowledge gained in SOIL2003. After completion of the unit, students should be able to articulate the advantages and disadvantages of current field and laboratory techniques for gathering necessary soil information, and simultaneously recognise key concepts and principles that guide contemporary thought in soil science. Students will be able to synthesise soil information from a multiplicity of sources and have an appreciation of the cutting edge areas of soil management and research. By investigating the contemporary nature of key concepts, students will develop their skills in research and inquiry. Students will develop their communication skills through report writing and will also articulate an openness to new ways of thinking which augments intellectual autonomy. Teamwork and collaborative efforts are encouraged in this unit.
Textbooks
Textbooks: D. Hillel, 2004. Introduction to Environmental Soil Physics. Elsevier Science, San Diego, CA, USA.
Interdisciplinary Project
SOIL3888 Protecting the Soil Resource

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Stephen Cattle Session: Semester 2 Classes: 4 hrs/week; some weeks 2 hrs lect, 2 hrs prac, other weeks 4 hrs prac Prerequisites: 12cp from (GEOS2X16 or SOIL2005 or ENSC2001 or BIOL2032 or BIOL2X31) Prohibitions: SOIL2004 Assessment: Status of the problem report (500-1000 words, individual work) - 10%; Consultants' report (2000-3000 words, group work) - 35%; Consultants' presentation (30 mins, group work) - 20%; Viva voce examination (20 mins per student) - 35% Practical field work: Between 2 and 5 days of soil survey/soil sampling in regional or peri-urban NSW Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The University of Sydney's new curriculum aims to provide increased experiential, collaborative and interdisciplinary learning and project-based learning is a core component of this. The SOIL3888 interdisciplinary project unit provides an opportunity for you to be part of an interdisciplinary student team that investigates a real world problem involving soil inregional or peri-urban NSW. Each student will select to work on a project related to agriculture or to the environment. Both projects will involve 2-5 days of fieldwork for soil observation and sampling. Students will work collaboratively in a series of practical sessions (before and after the fieldwork) to digitally map soil attributes, and to critically analyse all collected and mapped data. Each project group will then compile a 'consultant's report' for the landholder(s), detailing the issue or problem, the diagnosis and the recommended management strategies to optimize crop production/ecosystem services, while protecting the soil resource. For all students enrolled in SOIL3888, the fieldwork and practical sessions will be scaffolded with a series of lectures covering the high capability agricultural soils of eastern Australia and the various forms of soil degradation that must be managed for to protect our valuable soil resources. The project experience in this unit will give you the opportunity to apply your soil science skills and disciplinary knowledge (Graduate Quality 1) to an authentic problem and develop the other Graduate Qualities (2-6) that will be valuable for your future career.
SCPU3001 Science Interdisciplinary Project

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Pauline Ross Session: Intensive February,Intensive July,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: The unit consists of one seminar/workshop per week with accompanying online materials and a project to be determined in consultation with the partner organisation and completed as part of a team with academic supervision. Prerequisites: Completion of 2000-level units required for at least one Science major. Assessment: group plan, group presentation, reflective journal, group project Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit is designed for students who are concurrently enrolled in at least one 3000-level Science Table A unit of study to undertake a project that allows them to work with one of the University's industry and community partners. Students will work in teams on a real-world problem provided by the partner. This experience will allow students to apply their academic skills and disciplinary knowledge to a real-world issue in an authentic and meaningful way. Participation in this unit will require students to submit an application to the Faculty of Science.