Geography and Biodiversity of Landscapes

Subject GEOG20009 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
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


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, 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:


Assoc Prof Russell Drysdale


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

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Coordinator:

Subject Overview:

The investigation of ecosystems and their relationships to landforms and earth surface processes allows us to understand patterns and drivers of biodiversity across the globe. The subject focuses on the geomorphological and biological processes that control processes and diversity in key systems including rivers, wetlands, caves, forests, mountains and hillslopes. It also considers human impacts and climate change and how these help determine biodiversity and the ecological and geomorphological trajectories of these systems. An understanding of biogeography at the catchment scale and the nature of change through time and space is essential if efficient management is to be achieved. This subject introduces students to the functioning, classification and management of the geography of terrestrial landscapes. Through lectures, practicals and field exercises, skills will be developed in a range of analytical techniques used to investigate relevant environmental processes and changes.


Students will develop an understanding of how key ecosystems function in the landscape. Through lectures, practicals and field exercises students will gain knowledge and develop skills in the following:

• how ecosystems are controlled by processes operating over catchment and regional scales;

•how ecosystems 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.


Weekly practical classes, 35%, an individual 1,500-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: None
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 Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Environmental Geographies, Politics and Cultures major
Science credit subjects* for pre-2008 BSc, BASc and combined degree science courses
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG. Core selective subjects for B-BMED.

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