GEOG 750 : Environment and Landscape


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Environmental change in New Zealand since European settlement, including exploitation of natural resources, the creation of different cultural landscapes, and recognition of places as natural and cultural heritage. Different approaches to investigating and understanding recent environmental change are addressed. The course is suitable for physical and social science students, and will enable them to place the modern environment within a historical context. The course may include short guided walks and a one day or two half-day fieldtrips.

Course Overview

This course is focused on aspects of environmental change in New Zealand, mainly since European settlement, and is framed around the core themes of environment and landscape. It is suitable for students in Geography, Environmental Management, Environmental Science or related subjects, and no prior experience in this topic area is assumed. The course is taught using a combination of discussion-based seminars, coursework including an independent research project, and short field trips. On completion, students will have an appreciation of the historical context for modern environmental issues, and awareness of how New Zealand's landscape has been changed since human settlement.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe and explain key drivers of environmental transformations in New Zealand and selected physical and social responses to these changes. (Capability 1, 2 and 6)
  2. Articulate and demonstrate knowledge of key concepts and methods employed in examining and interpreting landscape change. (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  3. Recognise and understand the strengths and weaknesses of different evidence sources. (Capability 2 and 3)
  4. Experience in developing and implementing an independent research project. (Capability 1, 2 and 5)
  5. Effectively communicate research in written, oral, and visual formats (Capability 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 30% Individual Coursework
Reports 50% Individual Coursework
Presentation 10% Individual Coursework
Quizzes 10% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5

Key Topics

Key themes in the course are:
  • Exploring  landscape, environment, and heritage
  • Identifying environmental impacts of human settlement on forest, rivers and wetlands
  • Investigating legacies of recent environmental change, including defining spaces as natural and cultural heritage
  • Examining how we remember these aspects of our past

Learning Resources

Course readings will be provided for each seminar. A useful book is E. Pawson and T. Brooking, 2013. Making a New Land: Environmental histories of New Zealand. Otago University Press, Dunedin.

Special Requirements

The course may include two half-day field trips on non-teaching days, and/or walks in the vicinity of the University campus. The timing of these will be confirmed at the start of the course.

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  24 hours of lectures, 48 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 78 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Digital 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.


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.

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 against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

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 at

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:

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

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.

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 (


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 you may be asked to submit your 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. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 28/07/2020 05:54 p.m.