ENVS10001 Natural Environments

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2017:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.Show/hide details
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Feb-2017 to 28-May-2017
Assessment Period End 23-Jun-2017
Last date to Self-Enrol 10-Mar-2017
Census Date 31-Mar-2017
Last date to Withdraw without fail 05-May-2017

Timetable can be viewed here.
For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours of lectures, 20 hours of tutorials, 4 hours of lab classes and a one day excursion
Total Time Commitment:

170 Hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Dr Tony Weatherley



Subject Overview:

The subject introduces students to the elements of natural systems that underpin Agricultural production and Natural Resource Management. A critical understanding of these elements and systems is fundamental for the sustainable management of our natural resources. The subject will demonstrate how science can be applied to evaluate and manage ecosystems, and to maintain and improve the productivity of land resource-based industries. Major themes explored include earth processes and materials; landscape processes and soil formation; weather, climate and climate change; microclimate; nutrient cycling in terrestrial systems; the water cycle and catchment hydrology and; agroecosystems. Practical skills in landscape assessment and interpretation are emphasised, as well as an appreciation of the effect of scale and temporal change in the examination of natural and managed systems.

Learning Outcomes:

At the completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Discuss how sustainable management stems from a respect of our planet’s natural systems;
  • Recognise the processes that shape our agricultural and natural landscapes;
  • Describe and begin to quantify the principles and nature of the global atmospheric circulation system and implications for agriculture;
  • Describe and begin to quantify the water cycle, including the impact of catchment hydrology on stream flow and water resources;
  • Apply the principles and practices developed in relation to major land systems in Australia and other regions of the world;
  • Discuss various practices in the management of land systems at different scales, and the adverse impacts of mismanagement on Agricultural systems.
  • Assignment 1: tutorial/practical notes (for Weeks 3 to 11) (10%)
  • Assignment 2: In-semester test of 45 min (for assessment of subject knowledge) due Week 6 (15%)
  • Assignment 3: Background research report of 1500 words (group task) due Week 7 (15%)
  • Assignment 4: Oral presentation of site visit findings (15 mins) (group task) due Week 10 (20%)
  • Assignment 5: Landscape Function Analysis (LFA) Report of 1800 words due two weeks after the end of semester (40%)

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum 90% of scheduled workshops/practical classes.

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

At the completion of this subject students should have the following skills:

  • An ability to utilise a systems approach to analysing the natural systems that underpin Agriculture
  • A capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning
  • A profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of scholarship
  • Begun to develop a technical competence in analysing natural systems as they relate to Agriculture

Students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course will receive science credit for the completion of this subject.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Agriculture
Bachelor of Environments
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Civil (Engineering) Systems major
Environmental Engineering Systems major
Environmental Geographies, Politics and Cultures major
Environmental Geography
Environmental Science major
Geomatics (Geomatic Engineering) major
Landscape Ecosystem Management major
Production Animal Health
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.
Selective subjects for B-BMED
Sustainable Production
Related Breadth Track(s): Ecology
Greening Urban Landscapes
Natural systems and our designed world
Living in Australia's Hazardous Ecosystems
Engineering and Environments

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