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Lismore
National Marine Science Centre Coffs Harbour
Online

Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

Unit aim

Introduces students to the role of science in understanding complex socio-ecological interactions involved in our biggest global challenges, including climate change, land degradation, biodiversity loss, pollution and overfishing. Students will build an understanding of the foundations, philosophies and ethics that underpin science and society, exploring the role of science in society and vice versa. Engaging with complexity and Indigenous thinking enables students to develop creative solutions to complex global challenges. 

This unit also supports students to develop foundational academic skills, including literature searching, referencing, collaboration, critical thinking, academic writing and science-communication.

Unit content

Using case studies of globally important environmental challenges, the following will be explored:

1. Science, Nature & Philosophy: scientific method, ethics and a history of science philosophy from Socratic dialogue to systems and complexity thinking

2. People and Planet: complex socio-ecological systems, Indigenous knowledges and the extinction crisis

3. Land & Water: agricultural, landscape and freshwater challenges, and the role of stakeholders

4. Oceans: marine challenges and the tragedy of the commons

5. Accelerated Climate Change: the complex interactions of global challenges and ecological grief

6. Critical Issues for Science and Global Challenges: going beyond sustainability

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:
1 critically examine the value and limitations of science in addressing global challenges, including the philosophical underpinnings of science, systems and complexity thinking
2 demonstrate the foundational academic skills required to produce, critique and reflect on science-based communications
3 describe the attributes of different stakeholder groups and devise creative approaches to complex environmental challenges
4 collaborate in a scholarly and professional setting.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. critically examine the value and limitations of science in addressing global challenges, including the philosophical underpinnings of science, systems and complexity thinking
  2. demonstrate the foundational academic skills required to produce, critique and reflect on science-based communications
  3. describe the attributes of different stakeholder groups and devise creative approaches to complex environmental challenges
  4. collaborate in a scholarly and professional setting.

Prescribed texts

  • No prescribed texts.
Prescribed texts may change in future teaching periods.