Courses & Units

Earth, Climate and Life KGA204


The physical and living aspects of the global environment interact to produce the extraordinary variety of landscapes, ecosystems and species that occupy this planet. This unit highlights the interplay and conservation of controlling processes so that they continue to maintain Earth's ecosystems and inspire future generations. Earth, Climate and Life develops intermediate understanding of factors controlling geomorphological distinctiveness of earth surface features, weather and climate processes from global to local scales, and distributions and habitats of plants and animals and how they interact within ecosystems. These topics are integrated across various time and spatial scales, emphasising distinctive biomes including island places, and will help students understand reasons for variety in the attributes of landforms and plant and animal species. The unit prepares students for several third year units in physical geography, and develops key skills in demand among employers, including analysis of multiple factors that may be in operation, and presentation of convincing reports.


Unit name Earth, Climate and Life
Unit code KGA204
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences
Discipline Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences
Coordinator Doctor Lydia Mackenzie
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Intermediate


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic
Launceston Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic
Online Semester 1 Off-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 26/2/2024 22/3/2024 15/4/2024 2/6/2024

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2024 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2024 will be available from the 1st October 2023. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain key concepts in physical geography and apply them to distinctive natural places;
  • Apply physical geography approaches and methodologies to a range of environmental settings;
  • Explain the relationships between earth, climate and life systems;
  • Communicate with discipline-specific terminology and approaches to a range of audiences.

Fee Information

The 2024 Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) rates are still being finalised by the Government and we will update the domestic fee information as soon as we have more details.



KGA171 OR KGA172 OR 25 credit points at Introductory level or higher from environmental science, earth science, climate science or ecology.


Teaching Pattern

All students:

1 hours recorded lectures each week, 1 hour online discussion each week

Project: including reconnaissance, hypothesis forming, data collection, data analysis and reporting findingsĀ (45 hours)

Face-to-face students:

1 day-long field trip

6 * 2 to 3 hour on-campus workshops (some include outside fieldwork)

Online students:

1 day-long virtual field trip

6 * 2 hour online workshops

AssessmentAT2 Project reconnaissance report and hypothesis (5%)|AT1 Workshop quizzes (10%)|AT3 Project plan (10%)|AT4 Project report (35%)|Online Test (40%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.


Christopherson, R.H. & Birkeland G.H. (2015). Geosystems. Pearson. 9th Edition.

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

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