Rivers, Lakes and Wetlands

Subject GEOG20009 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2011.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2 x 1hr lectures and 1 x 2hr practical plus up to 3 days fieldwork.
Total Time Commitment: Estimated 6 hrs per week for 12 weeks
Prerequisites: Completion at least 25 points points of second year subjects from one or more of the following study areas or equivalent subjects with the approval of the co-ordinator:
Agriculture, Australian Indigenous Studies, Atmosphere and Ocean Sciences, Biology, Botany, Ecology, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Studies, Environments, Earth Sciences, Forest Science, Geography, Geology, Natural Resource Management, Science, Zoology
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 Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Objectives, 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 the Disability Liaison Unit: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Melbourne School of Land & Environment Student Centre
Ground Floor, Land & Food Resources (building 142)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)
Email: 13MELB@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview: This subject introduces students to the functioning, classification and management of terrestrial water systems. Water systems are fundamental components of the Earth environment and vital to all life. The subject focuses on the geomorphological and biological processes that impinge upon these systems. It also considers human impacts and climate change, and how these help determine the ecological and geomorphological trajectories of these systems. Students will develop an understanding of how rivers, lakes and wetlands operate at the catchment scale, and how these systems are classified. Through lectures, practicals and field exercises, skills will be developed in a range of analytical techniques used to investigate the relevant environmental processes and change.
Objectives: Students will develop an understanding of how rivers, lakes and wetlands function in the landscape. Through lectures, practicals and field exercises students will gain knowledge and develop skills in the following:
  • how terrestrial water systems are classified;
  • how rivers, lakes, groundwater systems and wetlands are controlled by processes operating over catchment and regional scales;
  • how rivers, lakes, groundwater systems and wetlands are important for the maintenance of biodiversity and the quality of human life;
  • how changes due climate change or human impacts affect the timing and scale of environmental processes.
Assessment: Weekly practical classes, 35%, an individual 1500-word field report, 30% (due in the second half of the semester) and a 2-hour examination 35% (in the examination period). Students must submit written field report within deadlines, submit 80% of the laboratory work within deadlines and attend field work to be eligible to pass the subject.
Prescribed Texts: Gordon, N.D., McMahon, T.A., Finlayson, B.L,, Gippel C.J., Nathan, R.J. 2004. Stream Hydrology: an Introduction for Ecologists. 2nd Edition. John Wiley & Sons.
Hakan Rydin and John K. Jeglum 2006 The Biology of Peatlands, Oxford Uni Press.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: Be able to:
  • critically evaluate the published literature concerning river, lake, groundwater and wetland systems;
  • write clear and concise reports and reviews;
  • understand important methods of environmental analysis;
  • conduct library-based research;
  • identify general patterns and processes which can be applied to other landscape scale systems.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Science credit subjects* for pre-2008 BSc, BASc and combined degree science courses

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