GIS in Coastal Management (GEOS3014)


Coastal Management is about how scientific knowledge is used to support policy formulation and planning decisions in coastal environments. The course links coastal science to policy and practice in management of estuaries, beaches and the coastal ocean. The principles are exemplified through specific issues, such as coastal erosion, pollution, and impacts of climate-change. The issues are dealt with in terms of how things work in nature, and how the issues are handled through administrative mechanisms. These mechanisms involve planning strategies like Marine Protected Areas and setback limits on civil development in the coastal zone. The coastal environments and processes that are more relevant to coastal management including: rocky coasts; beaches, barriers and dunes; and coral reefs will also be introduced. At a practical level, the link between science and coastal management is given substance through development and use of 'decision-support models'. These models involve geocomputing methods that entail application of simulation models, remotely sensed information, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The course therefore includes both principles and experience in use of these methods to address coastal-management issues. (It thus also involves extensive use of computers.) Although the focus is on the coast, the principles and methods have broader relevance to environmental management in particular, and to problem-solving in general. That is, the course has vocational relevance in examining how science can be exploited to the benefit of society and nature conservation.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


2x1 hour lectures and 1x3h practical/week


One 2 hour exam, two project reports, quizzes (100%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


Either 12 credit points of Intermediate Geoscience units or [(GEOS2115, GEOS2915) and (BIOL2018 or BIOL2918 or BIOL2024 or BIOL2924 or BIOL2028 or BIOL2928)]


GEOS3914 or MARS3104

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.