Australia's Terrestrial Environment

University of Queensland

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Australia's Terrestrial Environment

  • Host University

    University of Queensland

  • Location

    Brisbane, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Animal Science, Biology, Field Component, Pacific Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    *This course has a field trip component. Additional fees, paid directly to the university, may apply.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Description

    BIOL2001 introduces you to the flora and fauna of the Australian continent. Through lectures and fieldtrips (Brisbane Forest Park, Fraser Island World Heritage Area, Lamington National Park and Australia Zoo), you will examine a range of Australian animals and vegetation types, and learn about Australian climate, soil, and geomorphology, along with those historical factors that have helped shape this continent's distinctive terrestrial environment. The course will also give you a broad understanding of ecological principles and processes that are specific to Australia, and will allow you to critically assess the impacts of human activities on our fragile terrestrial ecosystems.

    Course Introduction
    BIOL2001 is intended to provide a solid foundation in the fields of animal and plant biology, ecology, conservation and ecosystem management.
    Lectures in BIOL2001 cover the following topics: evolution of the Australian continent, its flora and fauna; Australian geomorphology, soil and climate; Australian plants and vegetation types; diversity and conservation of Australian insects; Australian rivers, freshwater lakes, their fauna and related conservation issues; Australian reptiles and amphibians; Australian birds; Australian mammals; human impacts on Australia's terrestrial environment; current conservation and land management issues; indigenous perspectives on Australia's terrestrial environment. Lecture notes are available through Blackboard. Passing the course requires regular attendance to lectures, participation in field trips and successful completion of all assessment items.
    Four field trips are included in the course. All have the objective of reinforcing content delivered through lectures and allow participation in research projects. Attendance in field trips is highly recommended, and activities related to two of the field trips form part of the course assessment. If you are not able to attend any of the assessable field trips, alternative assessment activities are provided. There are additional costs associated with each of the field trips.
    Brisbane Forest Park - related assessment activity - prices to be confirmed
    Brisbane Forest Park is a rugged national park that encircles the Brisbane region from the west. This full day field trip offers a great chance to experience some of south-eastern Queensland's magnificent rainforest. At Walkabout Creek Wildlife Centre students get to see a platypus, a wombat and mainland Australia's largest marsupial carnivore, the spotted quoll. Other animals include various rainforest birds, freshwater fishes, turtles, snakes, lizards and local wallabies and kangaroos.
    Fraser Island - related assessment activity - prices to be confirmed
    Fraser Island World Heritage Area is the world's largest sand island. The 5 day BIOL2001 field trip to Fraser includes 4WD transport, accommodation and meals. Activities include hikes and four-wheel drive excursions to various island ecosystems, including spectacular beaches, sub-tropical rainforest, freshwater lakes and giant sand dunes. Wildlife surveys include spotlighting for dingos.
    Lamington National Park - optional, limited to 50 students - prices to be confirmed
    Lamington National Park is part of the World Heritage Central Eastern Rainforest Reserve on the Queensland/New South Wales border. On this optional full day fieldtrip, students will have an opportunity to see a fascinating variety of rainforest, eucalypt, mallee and heath vegetation. The 12km return walk also provides magnificent views of Springbrook, Mt Hobwee, and the Tweed Volcano (Mt Warning/ Wollumbin), and a chance to encounter red-necked pademelons, Albert's Lyrebirds and Richmond birdwing butterflies.
    Australia Zoo - optional, - prices to be confirmed
    Australia Zoo, once home to the late great 'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin and one of Australia's largest and most popular zoos, is only 1 hour from Brisbane. During the BIOL2001 trip to Australia Zoo you will be given a series of 'behind the scene' tours with Australia Zoo staff, who will share with you their passion for Australian animals, including crocodiles, snakes, echidnas, kangaroos, wombats and birds.
    Learning Objectives
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    • Identify and describe representatives of the main groups of animals and plants that inhabit Australia's terrestrial environments
    • Explain those historical factors that have helped shaped Australia's unique terrestrial biota and ecosystems
    • Evaluate those climatic and geographical factors that are unique to Australia and how these influence ecological relationships between animals and plants in different terrestrial habitats
    • Describe and evaluate management strategies that are used in the conservation of Australia's terrestrial animals, plants and ecosystems
    • Evaluate and critically assess the impact that humans and exotic species have had on Australian terrestrial ecosystems
    • Apply a basic set of survey techiques to collect, analyse and interpret ecological data in the field
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which information about terrestrial environmental science is communicated
    • Deliver clearly written reports using presentation styles and standards appropriate for scientific communication
    Class Contact
    6 Contact hours

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.