ENVSCI 101/101G : Environment, Science and Management


2024 Semester Two (1245) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Explores the science behind key environmental issues to recognise the role environmental science plays in understanding the interaction between humans and the environment. The complexity of environmental problems and the difficult task of integrating science, knowledge and values are discussed.

Course Overview

Many people are very interested in our environment for a whole range of reasons, including concerns about environmental issues – if this sounds like you, please join us in ENVSCI 101/101G.

Our course provides an introduction to a wide range of environmental problems and possible solutions and is relevant to anyone with an interest in the environment and the well-being of our planet. During ENVSCI 101/101G we want you to really start questioning and evaluating environmental issues, while exploring the many challenges associated with the management of environments.

ENVSCI 101/101G is organised into three modules, each of which has a test, and there is no exam. Student feedback has been very positive about this approach as it allows them to focus on each module. We have prep sessions for each test to help you to know what is covered, how it is structured and what we might be looking for. We also have the opportunity for review so you can learn from each test and improve how you do. Overall, the students enjoy the structured nature of the course, and that multiple tests helps spread the pressure away from one main exam. Tutorials in the course focus on learning and applying skills such handling and presenting environmental data.

The modules (Introduction & Climate, Terrestrial, and Water) are taught by different lecturers so you can be exposed to a range of styles, interests, and research expertise.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: People and Place
Capability 2: Sustainability
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 7: Collaboration
Capability 8: Ethics and Professionalism
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Understand the scope of environmental science as a discipline. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  2. Describe the fundamental processes determining the behaviour of environmental systems, including the atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  3. Describe how human activity is affecting environmental systems and is changing their functioning (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  4. Apply basic skills in the fundamental methods of analysis used by environmental scientists (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Tests 60% Individual Coursework
Project 10% Individual Coursework
Assignments 30% Group & Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

As part of the University-wide Tuākana community, The School of Environment Tuākana Programme aims to provide a welcoming learning environment for and enhance the success of, all of our Māori and Pacific students. We are led by the principles of tautoko (support) and whanaungatanga (connection) and hope you find a home here at the School. Students who have identified as Māori and/or Pacific will receive an invitation to our online portal introducing the Programme, the resources we have available, and how you can get involved. This course is supported by our Programme Coordinator, Kaiāwhina/Māori student adviser, and Pacific student adviser. They are able to organize group study and facilitate direct assistance regarding material taught in this course. 

Key Topics

Module 1 - Introduces environmental science and why it is important.
Sonia will introduce you to the discipline of Environmental Science and things to think about with respect to human population growth. She will also be drawing your attention to the importance of matauranga Māori and other Indigenous worldviews with respect to how we consider and engage in Environmental Science and working with our environment. You will be exposed to different ways of being, knowing, and doing that will help you to grow in confidence when working with diverse communities and problem-solving environmental issues.

Module 2 - Global Climate Issues
With Emma you will explore the causes and impacts of climate change, along with mitigation and adaptation options with a particular focus on coastal and marine environments. 

Module 3 - Global Terrestrial Issues
Melanie will teach you basic concepts that are needed to describe and understand our terrestrial environment: what is an ecosystem and how it works, biogeochemical cycles, habitat destruction and biodiversity. She is particularly interested in soil pollution which has a dramatic impact on ecosystem functioning and biodiversity.

Module 4 - Global Water Issues
Sam will use the topic of freshwater to lead you through a conversation about how people understand the environment, and how that translates into what is thought to be the right and wrong way to manage it. The idea is to get you thinking about why science has failed to address the environmental crisis and what other ways of knowing can add to the conversation. 

Special Requirements

There is a field trip that is self-directed.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15-point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15-point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 3 hours of lectures, a 1-hour tutorial, 2 hours of reading and thinking about the content, and 1-2 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

  • Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including tutorials to complete and receive credit for the assignment component of the course.
  • Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials will not be available as recordings.
  • The course will include live online events including group discussions and tutorials.
  • Attendance on campus is required for the test/exam.
  • The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

There is a wide range of resources on the reading list to supplement the diversity of topics discussed in class.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

We will provide mark breakdowns for the tests.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 06/11/2023 08:40 a.m.