Intro to Terrestrial Field Ecology (BIOL2009)


This field course provides a practical introduction in the experimental analysis of terrestrial populations and assemblages. The experience is best suited to students who will continue into senior units of study in ecology. Students learn a broad range of ecological sampling techniques and develop a detailed understanding of the logical requirements necessary for manipulative ecological field experiments. The field work incorporates survey techniques for plants, small mammals and other fauna and thus provides a good background for ecological consulting work. Students attend a week-long field course and participate in a large-scale research project as part of a large team, as well as conducting a research project that they design with a small group of students. Invited experts contribute to the lectures and discussions on issues relating to the ecology, conservation and management of Australia's terrestrial flora and fauna. This unit will be available in EVEN years (2014, 2016...) only. You may take an alternative field unit of study when this unit is unavailable. Departmental permission is required for entry into this unit, based on placement availability and merit. Contact the School of Biological Sciences Office for the Special Permission form to request enrolment.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Note: One 6-day field trip held in the pre-semester break (July 20 - July 25 inclusive) and four 4-hour practical classes during weeks 1-4 of semester 2.


Two in-class quizzes (20%), Major research report (40%), Sampling project report (20%), Research proposal and presentation (10%), Data collection and analysis in teams (10%).

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


12cp Junior BIOL or (6cp Junior BIOL and (MBLG1001 or MBLG1901))

Assumed knowledge

(BIOL1002 or BIOL1902) and 12 credit points of Intermediate Biology


BIOL2909 or BIOL3009 or BIOL3909

Additional Information

This unit cannot be combined with more than one other BIOL field unit during the degree. Departmental permission is required for entry into this unit of study. Entry into the unit is based on placement availability and selection is competitive based on academic performance in the pre-requisite units of study. Academic performance in any intermediate BIOL units of study may also be considered. The unit is only available in EVEN years (2014, 2016), but students may apply for entry into an alternative intermediate field unit in ODD years.

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.