GEOS2711 – Australian Climate and Vegetation

GEOS2711 – Australian Climate and Vegetation explores contemporary climatic patterns and controls in Australia, development of the Australian vegetation, elements of the Australian vegetation and their distribution, cimate change with particular emphasis on the Quaternary, ENSO phenomena and climatic variability in Australia, fire and vegetation interactions, and the impact of European occupation in Australia. Field-work is an important component of the course and will involve expense to individuals.

Session 2, 2017

Study level: Undergraduate

6 units of credit

Hours per week: 4 - 2 hours lectures, 2 hours labs, plus field trips.

Current handbook entry Current timetable 2016 Course Outline

Who should I contact?

Coordinator: A. Prof. Scott Mooney

Co-convener: A. Prof. Jason Evans

Co-convener: Prof. David Keith

What does this course cover?

  • Contemporary climatic patterns in Australia 
  • The Australian vegetation: patterns and controls
  • Biogeography of Australian vegetation 
  • The vegetation of the Sydney Basin
  • Field methods for the description of vegetation
  • Synoptic processes and rainfall in Australia
  • Twentieth Century climatic variability in Australia 
  • Extreme climatic events in Australia
  • Fire and plant populations in Australia
  • Vegetation change in Australia since 1788

Where does this course fit into my degree?

Australian Climate and Vegetation is distinct from, but complementary to the Stage 2 course GEOS2721 - Australian Surface Environments and Landforms. Together with GEOS2821 - Introduction to GIS and Remote Sensing, these courses make up Stage 2 of Physical Geography at UNSW and provide the background for more advanced Physical Geography courses. The course also has synergies with other geoscience and environmental science courses at UNSW and thereby provides an important element of geo- and environmental science programs. The course also has synergies with the session 2 course BIOS2051 - Flowering Plants, which introduces the discipline of botany at UNSW. GEOS2711 also forms part of the Australian Studies group of courses at UNSW.

Are there mandatory activities for this course?

Fieldwork is an important component of the course and participation is essential to meet the Learning Outcomes of GEOS2711. Generally fieldwork for GEOS2711 happens over 3 days: students generally have to attend at least 2 of these 3 trips. These trips are generally scheduled for Saturdays early in the session.

The field labs require an average level of fitness and mobility. Please contact the course convener if you think this may be an issue.

Travel to and from the field sites will result in some personal expense (for bus hire: this is approximately $50 for the 3 trips).

Is there anything else I should know?

In the UNSW MyExperience survey for Session 2, 2016, 96.3% of respondents agreed with the statement “Overall I was satisfied with the quality of the course”. The most common words in response to the question “What were the best things about this course?” included interesting, supportive, informative and enthusiastic. In the freeform section to this question students often stated that the field trips really supported their learning.


NB: All information provided on this page is superseded by information provided by the course coordinator or lecturer(s).

All photos by A. Prof. Scott Mooney.