Fire in the Australian Landscape

Subject EVSC30005 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hrs lectures, 20 hrs tutorials & 8 hours Fieldwork (over one day)
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


25 points of 200 level subjects in any area

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Proficient at using MS-Word and MS-Excel. Some understanding of temperate ecosystems.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

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. This course requires all students to enrol in subjects where they must actively and safely contribute to field excursions and laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Subject Coordinator and Disability Liaison students email:


Dr Trent Penman


Faculty of Science


Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)


Dr Trent Penman

Subject Overview:

This subject introduces students to bushfires in Australia. The effects of fuel, weather and climate on the nature and periodicity of bushfires; the history of fire in Australia; the importance of fire to aboriginal culture and life; the effect bushfires have on fauna, flora, soils and hydrology; the importance of bushfire as an ecological process; the social and economic impact of bushfires; the role and impacts planned fire in the landscape; bushfire smoke and greenhouse gas production; design and planning of houses and towns in bushfire-prone environments.

Learning Outcomes:
  • To understand how bushfires behave.
  • To understand the factors affecting fire intensity, frequency, size, patchiness and seasonality.
  • To understand the ecological role of bushfires.
  • To understand how we can live in a bushfire environment.
  • To learn what impact climate change might have on bushfires and the environment.
  • Tutorial tasks including short quizzes throughout the semester (500 word equivalent) and one 5-minute oral presentation in a tutorial late in the semester (together, 20%)
  • Major Assignment (1500 words) due in approximately week 10, 30%
  • Final exam (2 hours) end of semester exam period, 50%
Prescribed Texts:


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:
  • High level ability to synthesize and critically evaluate information from a range of sources
  • Moderate level ability to organise and evaluate quantitative data
  • High level ability to apply theory to practical problems
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Environmental Science major
Environments Discipline subjects
Landscape Management major
Related Breadth Track(s): Forests and Fire
Living in Australia&'s Hazardous Ecosystems

Download PDF version.