Environmental Sciences (2020)

Environmental Sciences are interdisciplinary with a focus on ecology, soil and water environments and geochemistry.

Environmental Sciences is available as a major for the BSc and BSc(Tech). Environmental Sciences may also be taken as a second major or as a minor, subject to academic approval of the faculty or school of studies in which the student is enrolled.

To complete Environmental Sciences as a single major, students must gain 135 points including ENVSC101, EARTH101, ENVSC201 and ENVPL303; one of BIOMO203 or BIOEB202; one of ENVSC202 or CHEMY204; one of EARTH221, EARTH231 or EARTH241; and two papers in different subject areas from ENVSC302, BIOEB303, BIOEB304, BIOEB305, BIOMO303, CHEMY304, EARTH321, EARTH322, EARTH331, EARTH341, EARTH342, EARTH313.

To complete Environmental Sciences as part of a double major, students must gain 120 points including ENVSC101, EARTH101, ENVSC201 and ENVPL303; one of BIOMO203 or BIOEB202; one of ENVSC202 or CHEMY204; one of EARTH221, EARTH231 or EARTH241; one of ENVSC302, BIOEB303, BIOEB304, BIOEB305, BIOMO303, CHEMY304, EARTH321, EARTH322, EARTH331, EARTH341, EARTH342, EARTH313.

To complete a minor in Environmental Sciences, students must complete 60 points from the papers listed for the Environmental Sciences major, including at least 30 points above 100 level. Students must include ENVSC101 and ENVSC201.

Note: Students who commenced a major in Environmental Sciences in 2017 or prior should contact the Division of Health, Engineering, Computing and Science for programme advice.


On this page


  • Prescriptions for the GradCert(EnvSc) and GradDip(EnvSc)

    A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Environmental Sciences at an advanced level in their first degree.

    For further details, contact the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

  • Prescriptions for the PGCert(EnvSci), PGDip(EnvSci), BSc(Hons), MSc, MSc(Res) and MSc(Tech)

    To complete a postgraduate subject in Environmental Sciences, students must complete a minimum of 60 points of taught papers at 500 level, including at least 30 points with an ENVSC prefix from the papers in List A, and a maximum of 30 points from the papers in List B. They must also complete any research requirement for their degree, typically SCIEN592 (60 points), SCIEN593 (90 points) or SCIEN594 (120 points), as well as any other degree requirements. Candidates should select their papers in consultation with the Postgraduate Convenor.

    List A papers are: ENVSC501, ENVSC502, ENVSC503, ENVSC504 and ENVSC505.

    List B papers are: BIOEB503, BIOEB504, BIOEB505, BIOEB506, BIOMO503, BIOMO512, CHEMY503, EARTH501, EARTH502, EARTH503, EARTH504, EARTH505, EARTH506, ENGEV544, ENGEV545, SCIEN511 and SCIEN512.

  • 100 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    BIOEB102Introduction to Ecology and Biodiversity20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
    An introduction to the principles of ecology and biodiversity. Topics include population, community and ecosystem ecology, conservation biology, and the structure, functioning and environmental responses of animals and plants. Examples will include New Zealand ecosystems and biota.
    CHEMY100Chemistry in Context20A (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
    This is an introductory paper for students with a limited background in chemistry. There is a strong emphasis on teaching chemical concepts through real-world examples relevant to different science and engineering disciplines.
    CHEMY101Structure and Spectroscopy20A (Hamilton) & 20C (Hamilton)
    A theoretical and practical course covering aspects of analytical and inorganic chemistry. This course is required for the chemistry major.
    EARTH101Introduction to Earth System Sciences20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
    A lecture and laboratory paper that explores the interacting processes that affect the surface of the Earth, producing landforms and resources, with a focus on physical processes. Topics covered include coastal processes and hazards; climate change; weathering; erosion and mass movement; soil formation; the hydrological cycle; rive...
    ENVSC101Environmental Science20A (Tauranga) & 20B (Hamilton)
    A scientific study of the interaction between humans and the environment including climate change, utilisation and exploitation of natural resources and the effects of human activities on biological, chemical and physical processes that form resources and control ecosystems.
  • 200 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    BIOEB202Principles of Ecology20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
    This paper covers the principles of ecology, including adaptation to the environment, intra- and inter-specific interactions, community and ecosystem dynamics, and biogeography. Weekend field trips and computer laboratory work are essential elements.
    BIOMO202Genetics20B (Hamilton)
    This paper deals with genetics in the widest sense from the molecular and cellular to the applied and evolutionary. Both prokaryote and eukaryote genetics are discussed with respect to DNA replication, hereditary, gene expression and control, and the role of mutations at both the DNA and chromosomal levels. The paper provides a pat...
    BIOMO203Microbiology20A (Hamilton)
    This paper will focus on microbial cell structure, function, and metabolism. Content and context will be drawn from both human and environmental examples. Students will acquire skills in microbiological laboratory techniques, data collection, data analysis, and report presentation. This paper is required for the Molecular and Cellu...
    CHEMY204Analytical Chemistry20A (Hamilton)
    This paper covers aspects of analytical chemistry including characterisation using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass-spectrometry (MS); qualitative and quantitative analysis of mixtures using gas chromatography (GC) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
    EARTH221Soil Science20B (Hamilton)
    An introduction to the nature, formation, and classification of soils, their physical, chemical, mineralogical, and biological properties, and issues of soil quality, land degradation and sustainable management. The paper also encompasses the properties, genesis, and distribution of the soils of New Zealand and their use.
    EARTH231Water Resources, Weather and Climate20A (Hamilton)
    Introduction to physical processes that influence the distribution of water in space and time within Aotearoa-New Zealand. Topics include mid-latitude weather and atmospheric precipitation processes that ultimately affect the availability of water across Aotearoa-New Zealand's diverse landscapes: a description of surface water reso...
    EARTH241Oceanography20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
    This paper introduces students to the broad scale properties, issues, and research importance of the global ocean via the main disciplines of oceanography: particularly biological, chemical, geological and physical oceanography
    ENVSC201Environmental Monitoring20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
    An introduction to reasons for, and design and implementation of, environmental monitoring in New Zealand. Skills in data collection, management, presentation, and interpretation are developed for a range of environments using both field data collection and published data-sets.
    ENVSC202Environmental Chemistry and Geochemistry20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)
    This paper is a broad introduction into environmental chemistry and geochemistry including the formation of the elements, chemical evolution of Earth, modern Earth surface processes, fossil fuels and biomarkers, global biogeochemical cycling, atmospheric chemistry and global climate change.
  • 300 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    BIOEB303Terrestrial Ecology20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)
    This paper explores ecological theory to understand the dynamics, functioning, and restoration of terrestrial ecosystems in New Zealand and across the globe. Labs, workshops, and a weekend field trip are core components of this paper.
    BIOEB304Freshwater Ecology20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)
    An introduction to the ecology of lakes and rivers. Topics covered include the structure and function of major freshwater communities, fish and fisheries, human impacts and the management of inland waters.
    BIOEB305Marine Ecology20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
    An introduction to the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems. The paper explores the fundamentals of ecology (e.g. disturbance/recovery, recruitment, organism interactions with their environment, nutrient cycles, limits on productivity) in a marine setting. We also cover human impacts on marine environments including fishe...
    CHEMY304Advanced Analytical Chemistry20B (Hamilton)
    This paper covers advanced aspects of analytical chemistry including inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), Mossbauer and Raman spectroscopy, quality control and assurance, sampling techniques and method validation.
    EARTH313Engineering Geology20A (Hamilton)
    Engineering Geology is the application of the principles of earth sciences to ensure hazards associated with landslides or unfavourable soil and rock conditions are identified in engineering or environmental work. This paper gives an introduction to the field of engineering geology. Topics covered include: landslide processes and t...
    EARTH321Pedology and Land Evaluation20B (Hamilton)
    This paper comprises two parts that provide the fundamentals of pedology and examine its role in land-use related issues and land management. Part (1): the stratigraphy of soils, their formation and classification in New Zealand; the occurrence and variability spatially of soils, and how they can be mapped using classical and digit...
    EARTH322Soil and Water Management20A (Hamilton)
    This paper integrates an understanding of land/soil and water processes that occur at paddock to catchment to national scales. A focus is on management practices that optimise resource use for productive purposes with attention to avoidance or minimisation of environmental effects. Topics include soil degradation, soil fertility, ...
    EARTH331Hydrology and Water Resources20B (Hamilton)
    This paper introduces students to the techniques of both resource and hazard analysis of fresh water. There is focus on groundwater modelling for resource studies, at the regional level and for analysis of pumped wells. There are also aspects of surface water application, including hydro power studies. Hazard aspects will include t...
    EARTH341Coastal Oceanography20A (Hamilton)
    This paper focuses on the physical oceanography of the coastal zone. Topics include estuarine circulation, wind driven currents on the shelf, longwaves, resonance, seiching, methodologies for quantifying processes and coastal responses, waves and surfzone processes.
    EARTH342Coastal Geomorphology and Management20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
    This paper focuses on understanding of coastal processes, sediments, and evolution of coastal landforms as a basis for coastal management. Topics covered include coastal sediments and processes; coastal landforms, their origin and evolution; coastal hazards and their mitigation; and case studies of coastal issues.
    ENVPL303Environmental Assessment and Policy20B (Hamilton)
    This is a project-based paper that provides an understanding of how environmental assessments are prepared, and used to assist decision-making and inform policy implementation for cutting edge environmental problems.
  • 400 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    LEGAL434Environmental Law20A (Hamilton)
    An examination of the general principles of the law concerning natural and physical resources, sustainable development, pollution control, town planning and Treaty of Waitangi principles.
  • 500 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    BIOEB503Terrestrial Ecology20A (Hamilton)
    This paper examines fundamental ecological theory to understand patterns and processes in terrestrial ecosystems and applies these concepts to environmental issues relating to resource management, conservation, restoration, and global change.
    BIOEB504Freshwater Ecology20A (Hamilton)
    This paper provides a critical examination of issues that freshwater ecosystems face, e.g., eutrophication, pollution, conservation, and utilisation and explores the research around methods to mitigate potentially competing interests.
    BIOEB505Coastal and Estuarine Ecology20X (Block)
    This paper emphasises multi-disciplinary science to better understand the functioning of soft-sediment ecosystems. The course will cover ecological principles through to the impacts associated with human activities and their management.
    BIOEB506Environmental Physiology20B (Hamilton)
    An examination of selected topics in environmental physiology, considering how animals and plants interact with their environment and influence ecological processes in natural and managed ecosystems.
    BIOMO503Microbiomes20A (Hamilton)
    This paper explores microbiomes in the environment and in association with multicellular organisms, including humans, to understand their critical ecological roles in ecosystem and host function and health.
    BIOMO512Molecular Techniques for Environmental Science20B (Hamilton)
    This paper will introduce students of diverse scientific backgrounds to current and emerging molecular analytic and diagnostic techniques used across biological and environmental sciences.
    CHEMY503Analytical Methodology20A (Hamilton)
    An advanced study of analytical methodology and instrumental techniques, this will investigate sample extraction techniques, and instrument choice for a variety of sample matrices.
    EARTH501Volcanic Techniques and Applications20A (Hamilton)
    This paper investigates geological techniques used to reconstruct eruption processes and histories, and their application to society, including volcanic facies analysis, tephra studies (tephrochronology), volcanic glass and mineral studies, juvenile and lithic studies, and volcanic hazards.
    EARTH502Land and Soil: Resources and Risks20A (Hamilton)
    In this paper students initially gain practical experience in large-scale soil mapping and in evaluating land-use capability (LUC) on a research farm. They then examine various issues associated with land use, especially its intensification, including the management of farm dairy effluent, soil degradation, and soil contamination. ...
    EARTH503Coastal Processes: Analysis and Prediction20A (Hamilton)
    This paper considers techniques to predict coastal processes for management and research, including assessment of which processes to observe, how to obtain and analyse data, and using results for prediction.
    EARTH504Geohazard Risk20B (Hamilton)
    This seminar paper evaluates the methodologies used to characterise risk associated with geohazards, and assesses the impact of strategies employed to avoid or mitigate this risk.
    EARTH505River Dynamics20A (Hamilton)
    This module investigates the processes that control the evolution of river form and structure over timescales of storm events to decades, through a combination of theory, environmental remote sensing and numerical modelling.
    EARTH506Geological Models20B (Hamilton)
    This paper focusses on the development and application of 2D and 3D conceptual and numerical models of Earth materials. Discussion includes data acquisition, model development, and interpretation.
    ENVS589Directed Study20X (Hamilton)
    No description available.
    ENVS590Directed Study20X (Hamilton)
    No description available.
    ENVS591Dissertation20X (Hamilton)
    A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation - 30 points.
    ENVS592Dissertation20X (Hamilton)
    A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation - 60 points.
    ENVS593Environmental Sciences Thesis20X (Hamilton)
    An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research - 90 points.
    ENVS594Environmental Sciences Thesis20X (Hamilton)
    An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research - 120 points.
    ENVS595Environmental Sciences Thesis20X (Hamilton)
    No description available.
    ENVSC501Assessment of Environmental Change20B (Hamilton)
    This paper illustrates how environmental science is applied to understand impacts of human activities and their mitigation supporting decisions made in policy, planning, law, and business, in New Zealand and internationally.
    ENVSC502Conservation and Restoration: Theory and Practice20A (Hamilton)
    This paper examines the application of scientific principles and theories in conservation biology and restoration ecology, with particular reference to New Zealand examples showcasing management of species and ecosystems impacted by human activities.
    ENVSC503Greenhouse Gas Fluxes from Land20A (Hamilton)
    Processes and factors controlling exchanges of water, carbon and greenhouse gases in natural or managed ecosystems, methodologies to quantify them, and approaches to mitigate undesirable anthropogenic consequences.
    ENVSC504Pollution and Environmental Contaminants20B (Hamilton)
    This paper examines the ecological effects of chemical and non-chemical pollution. Analysing online databases and the scientific literature provides practical and theoretical understanding of the impacts of pollution and methods to measure such effects.
    ENVSC505Environmental Systems: Biogeosciences across Scales20B (Hamilton)
    This paper examines how chemistry, geology and biology are unified for applications in environmental science, considering catchments, interfaces and the earth system in ways relevant to assessment and management.
    SCIEN511Scientific Supercomputing20B (Hamilton)
    A practical introduction to undertaking scientific research on a supercomputer. The paper assumes no prior knowledge.
    SCIEN512Data analysis and experimental design20A (Hamilton)
    This paper covers aspects of research design for experiments, and methods for analysis of scientific data using modern statistical techniques.
    SCIEN589Directed Study20A (Hamilton), 20A (Tauranga), 20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
    No description available.
    SCIEN592Dissertation20X (Hamilton) & 20X (Tauranga)
    A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
    SCIEN593Thesis20X (Hamilton) & 20X (Tauranga)
    An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
    SCIEN594Thesis20X (Hamilton) & 20X (Tauranga)
    An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
  • 800 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    ENVS800Environmental Sciences MPhil Thesis20X (Hamilton)
    No description available.
  • 900 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    ENVS900Environmental Sciences PhD Thesis20I (Hamilton) & 20X (Hamilton)
    No description available.

2020 Catalogue of Papers information current as of : 4 December 2019 8:42am

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