Biogeography and Biodiversity Management

Course code GEOS3310Units 10Level 3000Faculty of Science and Information TechnologySchool of Environmental and Life Sciences

Students who want to explore the environment and understand why major environmental changes occur are encouraged to take this course. Biogeography is the scientific study of the distribution of life. It includes the study of how living things change through time and across the surface of the earth. The research literature of biodiversity and biogeography is explored and students develop skills and expertise in vegetation surveying, mapping, computer modelling and the use of proxy records. Practical laboratories provide the support required to build scientific literacy. Fieldwork provides experience in research and working with Australian biodiversity management.

Not available in 2015

Objectives1. To introduce students to the concepts and principles of biogeography, to the patterns in the distribution of plants and animals and the reasons why they occur.

2. To develop skills in researching, measuring and communicating the results of biogeographic and environmental change science. This is fundamentally biodiversity management.

3. To develop critical perspectives on ecological and biogeographic theories, especially those of ecosystems, island biogeography, biodiversity, intermediate disturbance and sustainability.

4. To enable students to identify the impact, and plan the use of disturbance regimes in Australian and International ecosystems using specific examples, such as weed invasion, river regulation, fire, forestry and rangeland management.

5. To develop students' research and writing skills, methods of collection of field data and other information, and training in writing of reports and publications.
ContentThe research literature of biogeography is explored. Skills and expertise in the biogeographic research methods are developed in the field and in laboratories. This includes vegetation surveying, mapping, computer modeling and the use of proxy records. Topics covered include ecosystem and management analysis methods, the impact of humans over the last 2 million years, using sustainability and biodiversity in practical settings, vegetation surveying and explanation of vegetation characteristics, distribution studies of plants and animals, extinction, biotic adaptations, speciation and riparian and rangelands functionality. Island biogeography is one of the rich conceptual frameworks used in the course for understanding species formation and the management of the greatest threat to biodiversity - habitat loss. There is a strong emphasis on management using ecological principles and case studies including forestry, habitat clearance, conservation management and mining. Students wanting to understanding major environmental changes are encouraged to undertake this course.
Replacing Course(s)This course replaces:
GEOS2030 Biogeography and Climatology, and
GEOS3210 Advanced Biogeography and Climatology
TransitionIf a student has previously taken GEOS2030 or GEOS3210 and wishes to enroll in GEOS3310, a directed studies program will be substituted for the components the student has already studied. Students who have completed both GEOS2030 and GEOS3210 cannot count GEOS3310.
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeNil
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsField Study
Assessment Items
Essays / Written AssignmentsLiterature research assignment
Examination: Formal2 hour examination
Presentations - Class
ReportsField trip and laboratory reports
Contact HoursLecture: for 4 hour(s) per Week for 8 weeks
Tutorial: for 2 hour(s) per Week for 8 weeks
Laboratory: for 4 hour(s) per Week for 2 weeks
Field Study: for 24 hour(s) per Term for Full Term