The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in , 2019
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


The course provides an introduction to contemporary issues in the application of science to environmental management with a broad discussion of the technical, social and economic issues. It provides students with an understanding and critique of contemporary issues in, and skills for, the application of biological expertise and principles to major and emerging issues in environmental management.

The course is experientially-based and seeks to develop insights and skills that will be relevant to the wide variety of potential work situations and issues that may emerge over a graduates career.



  • Semester 2 - 2019


  • Semester 2 - 2019

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Understand contemporary issues in the application of science to managing the environment, and that non-technical factors (eg. social and economic) are critically involved

2. Work across disciplines and with multiple stakeholders

3. Undertake literature searching and data collection;

4. Critically analyse and evaluate competing ideas

5. Identify and communicate with diverse environmental stakeholders

6. Communicate through verbal and written presentations

7. Draft, analyse and critique environmental reports and policy documents


Course content delivered through Workshops, Tutorials, Group and Individual Tasks will cover contemporary issues in environmental management and policy at the local, state and national levels. Major theme areas will be drawn from the following: Environmental policy and legislation, Environmental education and communication, Stakeholder relations, Sustainability and the triple bottom line, Natural resource management, Ethics and culture and the environment, Politics and the environment, Environmental economics, Tourism and the environment. Environmental remediation and restoration, Conservation biology, Ecotoxicology - pollutants and remediation, Detecting and monitoring impacts on ecological systems, Application of new technologies and the Environment, Wildlife management. Workshops will involve visiting industry personnel and practitioners and academics from across the University, in presentations, discussions and activities in their areas of expertise. The major emphasis will be on practical environmental management and the interface between science and environmental management. The workshops will not primarily be technical in focus but include the social, community, economic and political aspects of the issues under discussion. Workshops will include role play of stakeholder perspectives to increase awareness of the diverse views and values that come together on environmental issues and how these will inevitably have impacts on management and policy outcomes. Online tutorials will provide an opportunity for work on and critical analysis of: issues raised from the workshops, specific topic areas based on literature searches and development of individual and group projects. Individual projects will involve written exercises emphasising effective communication of environmental issues and relevant science to a variety of lay or non-specialist audiences. The Group project will either take the form of a review of a major environmental issue or be a critique of a published policy document or report. The final Seminar will be in the form of a conference where each group makes a presentation on its project to the entire class and visiting professionals and academics.


This course replaces ENVS3020. If you have successfully completed ENVS3020 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

This course is designed for final year BESM students to prepare them for the transition from University study to professional practice and the workplace. It assumes completion of all 1000 and 2000 level BESM Core courses. However, because many of the issues and challenges are common for many professionals, particularly with technical training, the course is appropriate for final year students in other programs such as the BSc.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Essays / Written Assignments: Individual short article

Journal: Journal: Individual course/workshop - journal/logbook

Online Learning Activity: Online Discussion: including individual participation in group project planning and activity

Project: Group Project

Contact hours

Callaghan and Ourimbah

Field Study

Face to Face Off Campus 32 hour(s) per Term Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 12 hour(s) per Term Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 12 hour(s) per Term Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 24 hour(s) per Term Full Term