Fieldwork Units

Get out into nature and study in the field! The School of Life and Environmental Sciences runs a variety of intensive field trip units that allow intermediate and senior students in the biological sciences area to get hands-on, fieldwork experience in different environments.

Each unit runs once every two years, so students get a chance to experience a variety of environments, climates, fauna and related biological studies.

Odd years

February Intensive

July Intensive

Even years

July Intensive


Enrolment Process

These units require departmental permission to enrol due to special requirements, pre-requisites and enrolment numbers. Unless specified otherwise, you will need to submit an expression of interest via an online form and your application to enrol will be assessed. You cannot enrol directly via Sydney Student without prior confirmation from the School of Life and Environmental Sciences.


BIOL2009 Intro to Terrestrial Field Ecology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Professor Glenda Wardle Session: Int July Classes: Intensive, 6-day field course in July; 4 practical classes held in weeks 1-4 of semester 2; introductory lecture in last week of semester 1. Prerequisites: 12cp Junior BIOL; or 6cp Junior BIOL and (MBLG1001 or MBLG1901) Prohibitions: BIOL2909, BIOL3009, BIOL3909. Assumed knowledge: BIOL1002 or BIOL1902 and 12 credit points of Intermediate Biology Assessment: 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%). Campus: Camperdown/Darlington Delivery Mode: Field Experience

Note: Department permission required for enrolment. Note: 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.

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.


BIOL2909 Intro to Terrestrial Field Ecology – Advanced

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Professor Glenda Wardle Session: Int July Classes: Note: One 6-day field trip held in the pre-semester break in July and four 4-hour practical classes during weeks 1-4 of semester 2. Prerequisites: Distinction average in either 12cp Junior BIOL; or 6cp Junior BIOL and (MBLG1001 or MBLG1901). Prohibitions: BIOL2009, BIOL3009, BIOL3909 Assumed knowledge: BIOL1002 or BIOL1902 and 12 credit points of Intermediate Biology Assessment: Discussions and quiz (10%), research project proposal and brief presentation (10%), sampling project report (20%), specimen collection (10%), research project report (50%). Campus: Camperdown/Darlington Delivery Mode: Field Experience

Note: Department permission required for enrolment. Note: 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 (2016, 2018), but students may apply for entry into an alternative intermediate field unit in ODD years.

This unit has the same objectives as BIOL2009 Terrestrial Field Ecology, and is suitable for qualified students who wish to pursue certain aspects at a more advanced level. Entry is restricted, and selection is made from the applicants on the basis of their previous performance. Students taking this unit of study will participate in alternatives to some elements of the standard course and will be required to pursue the objectives by more independent means. Specific details of this unit of study and assessment will be announced in meetings with students at the beginning of the unit. 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

BIOL3009 Terrestrial Field Ecology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Glenda Wardle Prerequisite: 12 credit points of Intermediate BIOL; or 6 credit points of Intermediate BIOL and (MBLG2072 or MBLG2972). Prohibition: BIOL3909. BIOL2009, BIOL2909. Offered: Int July Classes: Note: One 6-day field trip held in the pre-semester break in July and four 4-hour practical classes during weeks 1-4 of semester 2. Assessment: Discussions and quiz (10%), research project proposal and brief presentation (10%), sampling project report (20%), specimen collection (10%), research project report (50%).

Note: Department permission required for enrolment. Note: 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 (2016, 2018), but students may apply for entry into an alternative intermediate field unit in ODD years.

This field course provides practical experience in terrestrial ecology suited to a broad range of careers in ecology, environmental consulting and wildlife management. 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 invertebrates 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 well as conducting their own research project. Invited experts contribute to the lectures and discussions on issues relating to the ecology, conservation and management of Australia's terrestrial flora and fauna.

BIOL3909 Terrestrial Field Ecology – Advanced

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Glenda Wardle Prerequisite: Distinction average in either 12 credit points of Intermediate BIOL, or 6 credit points Intermediate BIOL and (MBLG2072 or MBLG2972). Prohibition: BIOL3009, BIOL2009, BIOL2909. Offered: Int July Classes: See BIOL3009. Assessment: Discussions and quiz (10%), research project proposal and brief presentation (10%), sampling project report (20%), sample and data processing (10%), research project report (50%).

Note: Department permission required for enrolment. Note: 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 (2016, 2018), but students may apply for entry into an alternative intermediate field unit in ODD years.

This unit has the same objectives as BIOL3009 Terrestrial Field Ecology, and is suitable for students who wish to pursue certain aspects in greater depth. Entry is restricted, and selection is made from applicants on the basis of previous performance. Students taking this unit of study will complete an individual research project on a topic negotiated with a member of staff. It is expected that much of the data collection will be completed during the field trip but some extra time may be needed during semester 2. Specific details of this unit of study and assessment will be announced in meetings with students at the beginning of the unit. This unit of study may be taken as part of the BSc (Advanced) program.

BIOL2020 Intro to Coral Reef Biology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Professor Maria Byrne Session: Int July Classes: Lectures on campus; field intensive 80 hours block mode Prerequisites: 12 credit points of Junior BIOL; or 6 credit points of Junior BIOL and (MBLG1001 or MBLG1901). Prohibitions: BIOL2920, BIOL3016, BIOL3916 Assumed knowledge: BIOL1002 or BIOL1902 and 12 credit points of Intermediate Biology Assessment: One 1500-word essay (15%), two species portfolios (5% each) and presentation (5%), two practical reports (15% each), one 2-hour exam (40%). Campus: Camperdown/Darlington Delivery Mode: Field Experience

Note: Department permission required for enrolment. Note: 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. This unit is only available in EVEN numbered years (e.g. 2014, 2016...), but students are offered alternative intermediate field units in ODD numbered years.

This unit covers the key biological organisms and processes in coral reef environments and linkages between them. Emphasis is given to corals, reef associated invertebrates and fishes. Ecological and physiological aspects of key organisms are explored. Aspects covered: oceanography, biogeography, coral bleaching and health, symbioses, the input of plankton to reefs, the role of fishes and invertebrate bio-eroders in reef environments, and impacts of climate change on coral reef health. The unit is suited to students with interests in marine science, ecology, environmental sciences and broader disciplines.

Textbooks

Hutchings PA, O. Hoegh-Guldberg and M. J. Kingsford (eds) 2008 The Great Barrier Reef, Biology, Environment and Management. CSIRO Press. Hopley 2011 Encyclopedia of Modern Coral Reefs. Springer.


BIOL2920 Intro to Coral Reef Biology – Advanced

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Professor Maria Byrne Session: Int July Classes: Lectures on campus; field intensive 80 hours block Prerequisites: Distinction average across either 12cp Junior BIOL; or 6cp Junior BIOL and (MBLG1001 or MBLG1901). Prohibitions: BIOL2020, BIOL3016, BIOL3916 Assumed knowledge: BIOL1002 or BIOL1902 and 12 credit points of Intermediate Biology Assessment: One 1500-word essay (15%), two species portfolios (5% each) and presentation (5%), two practical reports (15% each), one 2-hour exam (40%).Campus: Camperdown/Darlington Delivery Mode: Field Experience

Note: Department permission required for enrolment. Note: 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.

The content will be based on the standard unit BIOL2020 but qualified students will participate in alternative components at a more advanced level. This unit covers the key biological organisms and processes in coral reef environments and linkages between them. Emphasis is given to corals, reef associated invertebrates and fishes. Ecological and physiological aspects of key organisms are explored. Aspects covered: oceanography, biogeography, coral bleaching and health, symbioses, the input of plankton to reefs, the role of fishes and invertebrate bio-eroders in reef environments, and impacts of climate change on coral reef health. The unit is suited to students with interests in marine science, ecology, environmental sciences and broader disciplines.

Textbooks

Hutchings PA, O. Hoegh-Guldberg and M. J. Kingsford (eds) 2008 The Great Barrier Reef, Biology, Environment and Management. CSIRO Press. Hopley 2011 Encyclopedia of Modern Coral Reefs. Springer.

BIOL3016 Coral Reef Biology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Maria Byrne Prerequisite: 12 credit points of Intermediate BIOL; or 6 credit points of Intermediate BIOL and (MBLG2072 or MBLG2972). Prohibition: BIOL3916, BIOL2020, BIOL2920, NTMP3001Offered: Interval July Classes: Lectures on campus; field intensive 80 hours block mode Assessment: Participation in field work, essay, project report and an exam (100%).

Note: Department permission required for enrolment. Note: 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.

This unit covers the key biological organisms and processes in coral reef environments and linkages between them. Emphasis is given to corals, reef associated invertebrates and fishes. Ecological and physiological aspects of key organisms are explored. Aspects covered: oceanography, biogeography, coral bleaching and health, symbioses, the input of plankton to reefs, the role of fishes and invertebrate bio-eroders in reef environments, and impacts of climate change on coral reef health. The unit is suited to students with interests in marine science, ecology, environmental sciences and broader disciplines

BIOL3916 Coral Reef Biology – Advanced

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Maria Byrne Prerequisite: Distinction average in either 12 credit points of Intermediate BIOL, or 6 credit points of Intermediate BIOL and (MBLG2072 or MBLG2972). Prohibition: BIOL3016, BIOL2020, BIOL2920, NTMP3001 Offered: Interval July Classes: Lectures on campus; field intensive 80 hours block Assessment: Participation in field work, essay, project report and exam (100%).

Note: Department permission required for enrolment. Note: 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.

This unit has the same objectives as BIOL3016, Coral Reef Biology, and is suitable for students who wish to pursue certain aspects of tropical marine biology in greater depth, with a focus on the GBR. Entry is restricted, and selection is made from the applicants on the basis of their previous performance. Students taking this unit of study will pursue individual projects in consultation with, and under the guidance of, the course coordinator. The aim is to design a project relating to the particular interests of the student. The nature of these projects will vary from year to year. This unit of study may be taken as part of the BSc (Advanced) program.