Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This subject is based around a six-day field trip in late February (prior to the start of Semester 1) at Falls Creek, Victoria. The field work will explore alpine and sub-alpine ecosystems in detail during daytime excursions, team based research work in the Alpine National Park, and through evening discussions and lectures. Pre-trip materials including background reading and assessments will be provided online one month prior to the field trip. Your knowledge of the concepts and details will be assessed before the residency at Falls Creek. Post field trip commitments will involve completion of a report based on the project work you have conducted. Aspects of alpine geology, hydrology, soils, and aquatic and terrestrial plant and animal communities will be considered in detail. Potential and real threats to alpine ecosystems will be addressed. This subject is an introduction to field research and will be suitable for aspiring park rangers, ecologists and anyone interested in a career working in science and the environment.

SchoolLife Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorEwen Silvester

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Available as ElectiveNo

Learning ActivitiesN/A

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Students must have completed 45 credit points of second year science subjects


Incompatible subjectsENV2ME

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyMerit based quota management

Quota-conditions or rulesStudents selected from provisionally enrolled list, based on previous results.

Special conditionsStudents MUST check details of field trip dates, costs and reimbursement cut-off dates with the Subject Coordinator / SHE AW Admin. This field subject incurs additional costs. The field trip start point is from Wodonga campus and students are expected to make their own way there or travel independently to Falls Creek directly - both of these options are at the students own cost.

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Learning resources

Australian Alps: Kosciuszko

Resource TypeBook

Resource RequirementRecommended

AuthorAlpine and Namadgi National Parks



PublisherCSIRO Publishing


Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Identify legal, cultural, biological and ethical considerations that constrain research activity in an environment and undertake appropriate steps to safeguard the environment.
02. Apply principles of effective teamwork and group formation to perform collaboratively in a team to collect and analyse field data then critically evaluate their own and whole group behaviour.
03. Write a scientific report related to a field based project in accordance with professional and ethical standards.
04. Demonstrate knowledge of the extent of alpine environments in Australia and identify abiotic and biotic characteristics of these habitats

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Week 04-12, Blended


Online enrolmentNo

Maximum enrolment size40

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorEwen Silvester

Class requirements

Field TripWeek: 4 - 12
One 7.00 days field trip per study period on any day including weekend during the day from week 4 to week 12 and delivered via face-to-face.
The subject is based at the alpine resort of Falls Creek, Victoria, approximately 130 km from the A-W campus. It will be conducted onsite at Falls Creek in the third week of February.

Unscheduled Online ClassWeek: 4 - 12
One 15.00 hours unscheduled online class per study period from week 4 to week 12 and delivered via online.
Online components for preparation and assessment will be conducted from early January until mid-March.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*
Field work report (2500-words due four weeks after field trip) Hurdle Requirement: Students must achieve a minimum of 50% in this assessment in order to pass the subject. The on-line components and group activities allow students to pass the subject without passing the major report. The hurdle requirement for this assessment item allows students who initially fail the report to re-submit a new report at an acceptable standard, using the feedback provided.N/AN/AN/AYes50 SILO1, SILO3, SILO4
Pre-trip assessment-1 (Species description; 300-words equivalent) Students provide description of attributes and distribution of an allocated alpine animal or plant speciesN/AN/AN/ANo10 SILO4
Pre-trip assessment-2 (Climate Change; 300-words equivalent) Students provide a synopsis of four (4) documents dealing with evidence for climate change in the AlpsN/AN/AN/ANo10 SILO4
Teamwork (250-words equivalent groups of 4-5 students) Student performance and engagement in small project groups assessed by academic staffN/AN/AN/ANo10 SILO2
Oral presentation (750-words equivalent) Oral presentations summarizing their projects/results are prepared in groups and delivered in groups on the penultimate day of the field trip.N/AN/AN/ANo20 SILO2, SILO4