Faculty of Science

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment


Dr Xuan Zhu



  • First semester 2016 (Day)


  • First semester 2016 (Flexible)


Previously coded GES3810, GES3820


This unit introduces GIS (Geographical Information Systems) for environmental science, and discusses basic principles, techniques and applications of GIS in the field of environmental management and research. Subjects covered include basics of GIS, spatial data sources, spatial data quality, spatial data analysis, terrain modelling, hydrological modelling, habitat potential mapping, land suitability modelling, spatial analysis of landscape values and decision support systems. Case studies and hands-on practice allow students to gain experience in the use of GIS in environmental management.


Upon successful completion, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the utility of digital spatial data handling for mapping and analysis from digital data, referring to themes in environmental science;
  2. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the key concepts concerning the application of GIS to environmental problems;
  3. Explain how value can be added to the data in any information management system with geocodes, by implementing digital spatial data analysis;
  4. Assess the nature of digital spatial data;
  5. Demonstrate a high level of skills in the use of GIS software (ArcGIS) to solve environmental problems;
  6. Develop their own environmental applications of GIS.


Within semester assessment: 75%
Exam: 25%

Workload requirements

Two hours of online activities per week, one 1-hour workshop per week and seven 3-hour practicals during the semester

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


A first year sequence in Geographical science; or two gateway units in Geography, climate and physical environments or Society, cities and sustainability; or persmission of the unit coordinator.


ATS2259, AZA2259, AZA3259