The UNSW Ecosystem Conservation and Management (BIOS2123) course is an intensive field-based course offering hands-on training in ecosystem science and management in rivers and wetlands. We focus on the conservation biology of different organisms. It’s the only UNSW course to focus specifically on river management and a unique serviced learning experience to sample the environment’s animals and plants.

Throughout the eight-day course, you’ll gain valuable insights into the constraints placed on current conservation strategies and natural resource management in focusing on the threats and management of the Macquarie Marshes, supplied by the Macquarie River. You’ll also discuss the effects of management on ecosystem services.

Led by experienced industry professionals, a combination of talks, case studies and practical hands-on field survey work, you’ll gain exposure to a host of real-world conservation challenges and the importance of conservation management and policy.

Our UNSW students participate in the monitoring of ecosystems and systems and gain skills in passive and active surveying methods. Practical training will include consideration of the implementation of conservation programs, including their political and social constraints. You’ll be given the opportunity to apply theoretical concepts to actual conservation management strategies and present them at a mock community or stakeholder meeting.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, you’ll have acquired skills in ecosystem conservation and management, allowing you to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the current ecosystem conservation and management practices within Australia
  • communicate discipline-specific information in a written format with appropriate referencing
  • display an understanding of limitations placed on conservation programs
  • collaborate with colleagues to collect primary data
  • demonstrate an ability to identify ecosystem threats and potential mitigation
  • utilise technical research equipment and key surveying techniques.

Conditions for enrolment 

Before enrolling in this course, you must have completed Ecology, Sustainability and Environmental Science (BIOS1301). This course provides relevant graduate attributes for students in the Bachelor of Science (3970) and the Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) (3962), particularly in the Ecology and Biological Science majors.

Career opportunities 

Environmental science analyses and provides solutions to current environmental challenges including waste management, climate change and pollution. To protect the planet, environmental scientists study, develop and advise on future policies. These policies can be embedded within Government legislation to ensure the survival of flora, fauna and other natural resources. 

Relevant roles

  • Meteorologist 
  • Geologist 
  • Geophysicist 
  • Hydrologist 
  • Ecologist 
  • Environmental scientist
  • Natural resource manager 
  • Marine scientist 
  • Marine biologist 
  • Environmental scientist
  • River manager

What our graduates say     

"This course that provided a unique ten-day experience, which immersed us in the field of conservation management. Through our practical involvement at two conservation sites, The Macquarie Marches and Western Plains Taronga Zoo, we developed a wide range of hands on skills and gained valuable knowledge, that I continue to draw from in my current honour’s degree. In this course you are given the opportunity to hear perspectives and ask questions from industry professionals and in doing so build a great network of contacts. The lecturers are some of the best in their field and are passionate teachers of science who encourage and help you to do your best."

- Holly Trim, Bachelor of Marine and Coastal Science graduate.

Find out more

For more information, please contact Richard Kingsford.

E:  richard.kingsford@unsw.edu.au

T: +61 2 9385 3442