Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedGippsland Second semester 2012 (Day)
Gippsland Second semester 2012 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Fiona Hogan


This unit emphasises the basic physical and chemical processes involved in creating and shaping the physical environment. Relevant human impacts and management issues are discussed. Topics covered include environmental ethics; the structure of the Earth; plate tectonics; minerals, rocks and weathering; earthquakes, volcanoes and glaciation; streams and flooding; mass movement; coastal zones; energy resources; waste management; sustainable development. There is no prerequisite for this subject.


On completion of this unit, students will have

  1. an awareness of the physical processes involved in creating and shaping the physical environment; those changes in the environment over which humans have no control, and those which we are able to control and manage; some of the ethical and economic factors that influence our approach to resource management;
  2. a knowledge of: the basic geological processes and structures occurring within the environmental systems of the Earth; the basic terminology used in describing geological and hydrological systems; the various resources used by plants and animals (including humans) for their existence, and ways in which these can be adequately managed and maintained; and
  3. the skills to identify a range of representative rocks and minerals; determine what role humans can take in managing the physical environment, assess the human impacts on selected environmental resources, critically comment on the existing management of those resources and propose an effective resource management plan.


Two assignments: 40%
Examination (2.5 hours): 60%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Fiona Hogan

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures per week and the equivalent of three hours of practical/tutorial/fieldwork per fortnight