Courses - Faculty of Science

Environmental Science

Stage I

15 Points

15 Points

Environment, Science and Management

Explores the science behind key environmental issues to recognise the role environmental science plays in understanding the interaction between humans and the environment. The complexity of environmental problems and the difficult task of integrating science, knowledge and values are discussed.

Stage II

15 Points

Natural and Human Environmental Systems

An examination of current environmental issues in coupled natural and human systems such as urban environments. Interactions among biological, physical and social processes are discussed and means of measuring and managing the environmental outcomes of their interactions are addressed.

Prerequisite: At least 45 points at Stage I

15 Points

Modelling Environmental Systems

An introduction to the philosophy and use of models in the study of a range of environmental systems, including coastal, ecological, fluvial, atmospheric and social. Students will develop skills in designing, communicating and critically assessing models of the environment.

Prerequisite: STATS 101 or 108

Restriction: ENVSCI 310

15 Points

Special Topic

Stage III

15 Points

Environmental Science in Practice

Advances in environmental science, technology, and policy are explored using case studies of global environmental issues and proposed solutions. Students apply environmental science to assess how science is used to inform environmental intervention and policy, and understand environmental responses.

Prerequisite: ENVSCI 201 or equivalent

15 Points

Environmental Science, Risk and Society

An examination of the contemporary topics that shape the ways in which environmental science may be communicated and understood. Topics of discussion include issues of scientific uncertainty, risk communication, public trust and the role of media.

15 Points

Special Topic

15 Points

Directed Study

Prerequisite: Academic Head approval

15 Points

Capstone: Environmental Science

Students will engage with the research process, as practised in environmental science. Independent or small group research projects will be undertaken under the guidance of an academic mentor. Students will design and complete an independent research project and communicate their findings. The emphasis is on research skills and assisting students in developing and implementing their independent academic research project.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage III in Environmental Science or 15 points at Stage III in Environmental Science and 15 points from other Stage III courses included in the major

Postgraduate 700 Level Courses

15 Points

Research Practice in Environmental Science

An understanding of research in Environmental Science. Students will be introduced to a range of methodologies and will be challenged to critically analyse information and data. Principles of scientific writing and communication will also be addressed. Students will apply these skills by developing and writing a research proposal or critical review.

15 Points

Applied Estuarine Ecology

Emphasises multi-disciplinary science that integrates across different empirical and theoretical approaches to better understand the functioning of soft-sediment ecosystems. Covers fundamental ecological principles of soft-sediment systems through to the impacts associated with human activities. Includes practical exercises in experimental field ecology which will introduce students to key research methods. No formal prerequisite but knowledge of Stage III marine ecology/science, or equivalent, will be assumed.

15 Points

Research Topics in Environmental Science

A course of study prescribed by the Head of the School, in the absence of an appropriate formal course being available.

Prerequisite: Approval of the Programme Coordinator

15 Points

Modelling of Environmental Systems

The design and application of models for the investigation of environmental problems; understanding the role and utility of modelling in environmental science; the analysis and representation of environmental phenomena. Provides an understanding of modelling concepts, approaches and applications. An understanding of the material in ENVSCI 310, GEOG 250, MATHS 108 and STATS 101 will be assumed.

15 Points

Handling Environmental Data

Contemporary approaches to understanding and analysing environmental data with an emphasis on developing skills to support the ‘transformation, visualisation, modelling’ cycle. The importance of adopting reproducible research practices (eg, data and code archiving) will be emphasised. The course focuses on an applied laboratory component and will be taught in open-source software. Assessment will be via projects analysing environmental data. No formal prerequisites but an understanding of basic statistical methods equivalent to STATS 101 will be presumed.

15 Points

Special Topic

15 Points

Directed Study in Environmental Science

Prerequisite: Head of School approval

15 Points

Assessing Environmental Effects - Level 9

A focus on the interdisciplinary, scientific assessment of environmental activities with specific reference to the New Zealand context. Methodologies used in the assessment, monitoring and regulation of environmental effects, trends and risks will be critically evaluated. Aspects of the RMA, including consenting procedures and the role of public and professional participants in the process, will be discussed. A key component of the assessment is the preparation of an individual Assessing Environmental Effects report.

15 Points

Air Quality and Atmospheric Processes

Monitoring, modelling and management will be considered with emphasis on air quality standards and guidelines and applications of science and technology to indoor and outdoor air pollution prevention, mitigation and remediation. Case studies and practical work will link the theoretical and practical aspects of air quality science.

15 Points

Environmental Pollution

Contaminants of soil and water emitted by point and non-point sources. Monitoring of legacy and emerging contaminants, and impact assessment. Application of science and technology to pollution prevention, mitigation and remediation.

15 Points

Applied Freshwater Ecology

Applied freshwater management and restoration issues considered in light of general ecological processes in freshwater systems. Contemporary issues in New Zealand and overseas such as eutrophication, invasive species and climate change are considered. Students will be introduced to methods of measuring ecological health of streams and lakes. Field and laboratory experience in data collection and analysis relevant to environmental management.

15 Points

Biodiversity Management and Conservation

Emphasis will be on current issues associated with the ecological aspects of biodiversity management and conservation in terrestrial habitats. Topics include: biodiversity and ecosystem services, management of species and ecosystems, issues in plant conservation, precaution and adaptation in conservation, pest control in mainland islands, carbon storage and biodiversity. The course will also address national and international mechanisms for the sustainable management of natural resources.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 394 or other Stage III course in Environmental Science, or equivalent

15 Points

Restoration and Landscape Ecology

The integration of ecological principles and ecological services at the landscape level for both management and restoration. Topics include: the ecology of fragmented ecosystems such as demography, metapopulation issues, ecological genetics, biota-physical environment interactions, the consequences and techniques for restoration of damaged ecosystems and mitigation of the effects of development. Emphasis will be on sustainable solutions including biophysical, legal, social, cultural and economic considerations. No formal prerequisite but knowledge of ecology at Stage III level will be assumed.

15 Points

Applied Terrestrial Ecology

The dynamics of change in terrestrial ecosystems with a focus on forest and wetland environments. Students will be introduced to methods for vegetation assessment and ecosystem ecology, including multivariate statistical methods. Students are required to participate in a residential field course. No formal prerequisite but a knowledge of ecology equivalent to Stage II, including associated quantitative analysis, is assumed

15 Points

Water and Society

Probes experiments with radical urban change to examine the co-constitution of water and society in the pursuit of improved futures.

30 Points

15 Points

15 Points

Research Project - Level 9

To complete this course students must enrol in ENVSCI 790 A and B, or ENVSCI 790

30 Points

60 Points

MEnvSci Thesis - Level 9

To complete this course students must enrol in ENVSCI 794 A and B

60 Points

60 Points

MSc Thesis in Environmental Science - Level 9

To complete this course students must enrol in ENVSCI 796 A and B