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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

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: Approval of Programme Director or Major/Specialisation Lead

15 Points

Ecosystem Dynamics

Ecosystems have a critical role in regulating climate, soil, water, and air quality. Basic concepts of ecosystem ecology are introduced and the effects of human-induced changes on ecosystem processes are examined. The dynamics of key ecosystem processes (e.g. carbon and water cycling) and their driving factors are investigated. Students will conduct a research project linking theoretical and practical aspects of ecosystem science.

15 Points

Environmental Impact Assessment - Level 9

A focus on the interdisciplinary, scientific assessment of environmental impacts with specific reference to applying this discipline in New Zealand. Methodologies used in the assessment, monitoring and regulation of environmental impacts will be discussed and critically evaluated. The contribution of Environmental Impact Assessment to policy and regulatory decisions in environmental management, including consenting procedures and plan-making processes and the roles and duties of public and professional participants, will be covered. A key component of the assessment is the preparation of an individual Environmental Impact Assessment 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

Restoration and Landscape Ecology

Restoration ecology is the scientific study of repairing degraded, damaged or destroyed ecosystems. It is a young but rapidly growing field that represents fundamental changes in human relationships to nature. Restoration draws on concepts from landscape ecology, and the two disciplines are inextricably linked. The course covers the issues of habitat fragmentation and edge effects in a restoration framework.

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 Sensitive Cities

This course probes experiments with radical urban change to examine the co-constitution of water-society in the pursuit of improved futures. A case study is built around the aspiration to become a Water Sensitive City. Students first employ quantitative methods to design a water sensitive neighbourhood. Students then critique reductionist approaches to becoming sustainable. The aim is to better understand the sustainable city debate and its emerging logics.

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