Environmental GIS (ENVX3001)


This unit is designed to impart knowledge and skills in spatial analysis and geographical information science (GISc) for decision-making in an environmental context. The lecture material will present several themes: principles of GISc, geospatial data sources and acquisition methods, processing of geospatial data and spatial statistics. Practical exercises will focus on learning geographical information systems (GIS) and how to apply them to land resource assessment, including digital terrain modelling, land-cover assessment, sub-catchment modelling, ecological applications, and soil quality assessment for decisions regarding sustainable land use and management. A 3 day field excursion during the mid-semester break will involve a day of GPS fieldwork at Arthursleigh University farm and two days in Canberra visiting various government agencies which research and maintain GIS coverages for Australia. By the end of this UoS, students should be able to: differentiate between spatial data and spatial information; source geospatial data from government and private agencies; apply conceptual models of spatial phenomena for practical decision-making in an environmental context; apply critical analysis of situations to apply the concepts of spatial analysis to solving environmental and land resource problems; communicate effectively results of GIS investigations through various means- oral, written and essay formats; and use a major GIS software package such as ArcGIS.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Three-day field trip, (2 lec & 2 prac/wk).


One 15 min presentation (10%), 3500w prac report (35%), 1500w report on trip excursion (15%), 2 hr exam (40%)


Burrough, P.A. and McDonnell, R.A. 1998. Principles of Geographic Information Systems. Oxford University Press: Oxford.
Clarke, K. C. 2003. Getting Started With Geographic Information Systems. 4th Edition. Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


6cp from (ENVI1003, AGEN1002) or 6cp from GEOS1XXX or 6cp from BIOL1XXX

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.