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The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at https://www.usq.edu.au/course/specification/current.
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REN3302 Sustainable Resource Use

Semester 2, 2023 Online
Units : 1
School or Department : School of Agriculture and Environmental Science
Grading basis : Graded
Course fee schedule : https://www.unisq.edu.au/current-students/administration/fees/fee-schedules
Version produced : 24 September 2023


Course Coordinator: Christina Birnbaum


Present and future decision-makers require knowledge of the principles of ecological sustainability and sustainable development. As options for sustainable land and resource uses become more constrained, the need for integrated regional resource planning becomes more urgent and more crucial to Australia's future. Students from a range of programs will benefit from this course which provides an overview of natural resource management and resource use in Australia, with a particular emphasis on environmental impacts.

The course provides an explanation of ecological principles as a basis for managing Australia's land and water resources sustainability. The effects of economic growth and traditional management approaches on land use for agriculture, mining, forestry, protected areas, water catchments and urban expansion are analysed and explained. Environmental impacts are studied and compared economically, ecologically and socially. Current approaches to land and resource use are evaluated in terms of their contribution to a sustainable Australian society. A major component of the course is a student project which examines a local resource management issue in detail.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Describe the Australian environment and biota;
  2. Analyse the potential and limitations of Australian land resources;
  3. Examine the history of human settlement in Australia and evaluate early human and contemporary impacts on the Australian environment;
  4. Critically assess the relative advantages and disadvantages of agriculture, mining, forestry, conservation reserves and other land uses;
  5. Evaluate and apply the principles of ecologically sustainable development to sustainable resource use issues;
  6. Apply knowledge of development and conservation.


Description Weighting(%)
1. The Australian Environment and Biota 20.00
2. Human Impacts in Australia: Impacts and Land Use in Early Australia; Overview of Recent Human Impacts 20.00
3. Major Land Issues in Australia: Forestry; Agriculture & Pastoralism; Mining; Energy & Atmospheric Pollution; The Urban Environment 40.00
4. Sustainability in Australia: Communities & Sustainability; Policy & Legislation; Integrating Sustainability 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Assignments Written Quiz A1 of 3 No 10 1,2,3,4
Assignments Written Essay No 35 1,2,3,4,5,6
Assignments Written Quiz A2 of 3 No 10 1,2,3,4
Assignments Oral Presentation (ind, grp, mltmd) No 35 1,2,3,4,5,6
Assignments Written Quiz A3 of 3 No 10 1,2,3,4
Date printed 24 September 2023