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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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CLI8204 Global Environmental Systems

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 : 21 March 2023


The notions of sustainable development and environmental management recognise the fact that humanity alters its living environment often in an irreversible manner. Global environmental systems such as ocean, atmosphere, and land mass interact with human socio-economic structures via a range of physical processes and over a wide range of temporal and spatial scales. The recent development of sustainability science provides an integrated and interdisciplinary approach that recognises that past efforts at sustainable development often took place without a robust scientific framework. Understanding how global environmental systems influence and respond to human impacts is a critical component of developing methodology and policy frameworks based on credible scientific knowledge. This course provides students with an understanding of the physical processes that link the global environmental systems and the modelling tools to support sustainable management of these systems.

The course provides an overview of the dynamics of global environmental systems and how they influence and impact on human activities. In particular, the course focuses on the structure of the atmosphere and ocean, and the drivers of global climate that determine the composition of the natural environment. The important global data sets of the physical environment are introduced and key physical processes within the ocean and atmosphere, and the physical processes that link these to human systems are discussed. Models based upon sound scientific understanding of the physical mechanisms are introduced and their development into tools that provide credible scientific guidance in sustainable development and management are reviewed. The course concludes with a brief review of successful policy development and application guided by scientific knowledge. The course requires the student to have access to the internet.

Course offers

Study period Mode Campus
Semester 1, 2023 Online
Date printed 21 March 2023