Earth is a lively and dynamic planet that is undergoing rapid changes wrought by the activities of humans. In what ways are these changes impacting on us and other species? Are we precipitating another mass extinction; the 6th major mass extinction since life exploded on Earth some 500 million years ago? How will the way humans formulate and apply international and national policies continue to drive change? What are our own values regarding change and how does that colour our perceptions of Earth Shaping?
This unit will explore some dilemmas of Earth Shaping through the prisms of science, philosophy and governance. Online content investigates the scientific theories of modern Earth and life systems, along with practicals and quizzes, delves into the rock record to understand some mechanisms of past extinctions. A short essay provides the opportunity to express your own values and recognise those of others. Discussions with tutors and peers will engender debate on how values and human governance impacts go beyond local solutions to help us shape a planet we want to call home.
The final design project will mesh Earth systems, human impacts and questions of governance. It will provide a launching point for discussions between peers. Time is allocated for modification of individual projects and reflection on final submissions.
More than ever before humans are a force of nature that can reprogram the planet. Understanding our abilities means that we are probably the first ever species to consider limiting our activities. Overviews in science, philosophy and policies will equip participants to better understand our unique position and impacts as human Earth shapers.
|Unit name||Humans: Earth Shapers|
|College/School||College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Natural Sciences
|Discipline||Earth Sciences|Plant Science|Philosophy and Gender Studies|Politics and International Relations|Oceans and Cryosphere|
|Coordinator||Doctor Sebastien Meffre|
|Teaching staff||Doctor Graham Wood|Professor Gregory (Greg) Jordan|Doctor Joanna Vince|Professor Zanna Chase|
|Available as student elective?||Yes|
|Delivered By||Delivered wholly by the provider|
|Location||Study period||Attendance options||Available to|
- International students
- Domestic students
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|Study Period||Start date||Census date||WW date||End date|
* 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 (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).
Unit census dates currently displaying for 2022 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2022 will be available from the 1st October 2021. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).
- Outline the current scientific theories of how Earth’s natural systems change through time
- Describe the impacts of humans on Earth’s natural systems
- Identify the values held by you and others in relation to human impacts on natural systems
- Explain the role of governance on shaping human impacts on Earth’s natural systems
|Field of Education||Commencing Student Contribution 1||Grandfathered Student Contribution 1||Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2||Domestic Full Fee|
- Available as a Commonwealth Supported Place
- HECS-HELP is available on this unit, depending on your eligibility3
- FEE-HELP is available on this unit, depending on your eligibility4
1 Please refer here more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses can be found here
3 Please refer here for eligibility for HECS-HELP
4 Please refer here for eligibility for FEE-HELP
Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.
This unit has weekly web pages with pre-recorded lectures and self-dirrected activities, weekly discussion boards and specific tutorials focus on each of the 5 assessment items.
|Assessment||Assessment Task 1a (10%)|Assessment Task 1b (10%)|Assessment Task 3 (15%)|Assessment Task 2 Values Essay (20%)|Assessment Task 4 (20%)|Assessment Task 5 (25%)|
|Timetable||View the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable|
|Links||Booktopia textbook finder|
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