Forest Assessment and Monitoring

Subject FRST90019 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

May, Creswick - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 18-Apr-2016
Teaching Period 02-May-2016 to 13-May-2016
Assessment Period End 08-Jul-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 20-Apr-2016
Census Date 06-May-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 10-Jun-2016

Please note that this subject has a pre-teaching period and during this time students will be required to read:

  • West, P. W. (2009) Tree and Forest Measurement, chapters 9 and 10
  • Elzinga, C. L. et al (2007) Measuring and Monitoring Plant Populations, chapter 2

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours of lectures, 36 hours practical work and excursions, delivered in a two-week intensive teaching block
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
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 Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, 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 Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Julian Di Stefano


Subject Overview:

This subject promotes understanding of quantitative assessment of forest carbon, timber and biodiversity. Specifically, the aim is to:

  • Present the state of the art of forest assessment for carbon, timber and biodiversity
  • Present methods for formulating and planning an effective and efficient forest assessment
  • Enable participants to implement a modern assessment and determine the advantages and disadvantages of available methods
  • Enable participants to analyse assessment data to determine reliable estimates and confidence limits

Topics include: introduction to statistics and sampling theory, issues in forest assessment design, modern measurement tools and techniques, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, and specific techniques for assessment of carbon, timber and biodiversity.

Learning Outcomes:

This subject will provide students with an advanced understanding of:

  • The role of assessment in forest management
  • Statistical techniques for sampling design and analysis, sources of assessment errors and their significance
  • The use of standard equipment to estimate tree and stand parameters such as diameter, basal area, height, crown cover and stem volume
  • The use of modelling tools to estimate forest carbon
  • Techniques to asses forest biodiversity including species richness and composition
  • The use of GIS for forest assessment and creating maps using ArcGIS
  • The use of remote sensing in forest assessment and project management. Ability to access and use various satellite data for specific purposes

At subject completion students should be able to design and implement a forest assessment.


Progress exercises (total of 40% and 2000 words; due within 2 weeks of the intensive subject end date. There will be several progress exercises based around the main components of the course).

Major Report (60%, 3000 words; due 6 weeks after the intensive subject end date.

Prescribed Texts:

Recommended Texts:
  • P Burrough, Principles of Geographical Information Systems for Land Resources Assessment.
  • P.W. West, Tree and Forest Measurement.
  • Elzinga, C.L., D.W. Salzer, J.W. Willoughby and J.P. Gibbs, 2001 Monitoring Plant and Animal Populations. Blackwell, Malden
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Forest Systems Management
Graduate Diploma in Forest Systems Management
Master of Forest Ecosystem Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Conservation and Restoration
Master of Science (Ecosystem Science) - Discipline Elective subjects
Sustainable Forests
Sustainable Forests

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