Ecosystem Management


Ecosystem management are part of the School of Environmental and Rural Sciences. Our teaching and research span disciplines such as biological conservation, land and water management, natural resource policy and geographical information systems. This discipline delivers the major components of the Bachelor of Natural Resources and has a strong track record in training industry-based postgraduate students.

Why Study Ecosystem Management at UNE?

UNE has a long history in environmental science with the Bachelor of Natural Resources degree being the first of its kind in Australia, giving the school more than thirty years of research and teaching experience. Our location in the North Coast region of NSW means we have a wide diversity of ecosystems at our doorstep. To the east we have upland plains, temperate and rainforests, and an array of swamps and streams in pristine National Parks leading to populated urban centres in one of Australia's fastest developing regions. Heading west we find the expanse of the Murray-Darling Basin, with rangelands, irrigated cropping and regulated lowland rivers in a semi-arid climate. Students wishing to study in Ecosystem Management will learn skills in the ecology and management of diverse systems including agricultural and forest landscapes, mining and extractive industries, and wetlands and rivers.


ECOL100 Ecology: Concepts and Applications
ECOL202/402 - Aquatic Ecology
ECOL203/403 - Ecology - Populations to Ecosystems
ECOL204/404 - Ecological Methods
ECOL300 - The Research Process
EM311/ 511 - Land Assessment for Sustainable Use
EM312/512 - Environmental Impact Assessment
EM323/523 - Wildlife Ecology and Management
EM334/534 - Introduction to GIS and Spatial Thinking 
EM351/551 - Ecosystem Rehabilitation
EM353/553 - Conservation Biology
EM 333/433/533 - Spatial Analysis and Modelling
ERS501 - Applied Research Skills in Environmental and Rural Sciences
- Research Methods in the Sciences
NR331/ 531 - Remote Sensing and Surveying
NR 311/411/ 511 - Natural Resource Policy and the Community
RSNR 301/501 - Pollution Management
RSNR 302/402/502 - Integrated Water Resource Management
RSNR 303/403/503 - Sustainable Land Management
RSNR 304/404/504 - Project Management
- Research Methods in the Sciences
BOTY390 - Field Botany
ZOOL203 - Vertebrate Zoology - Evolution and Diversity
ZOOL210 - Invertebrate Zoology


Job opportunities that require training in resource management will remain in demand as society moves towards ecologically sustainable management practices for all of our natural resources. Students trained in ecosystem management will be sought after as the pressures of urban and agricultural development place unprecedented demands on natural resources. Our graduates have taken positions in catchment management authorities, state and federal government management agencies, consultancies and industry, and research organisations. Our graduates are especially well-placed to gain employment at the end of their degree through contacts made during the 12 weeks of work experience required in the Bachelor of Natural resources.

Partnerships, Networks and Industry Links

Much of our research is in partnership with agencies, businesses and community groups. We have completed projects with the Australian Research Council, Land and Water Australia, Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, Murray Darling Basin Authority, Cotton Research Development Cooperation, numerous  Local Land Services in northern NSW,  state agencies such as the NSW Office of Water, NSW Office of Environment & Heritage, and the Department of Primary Industries, and mining companies such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.


GIS Computer laboratories

Networked facility of 50 PC computers dedicated to teaching geographic information systems and image processing. The GIS facility for resource information systems, comprising Silicon Graphics workstation and a variety of PC's with a range of GIS software including ARCGIS and IMAGINE. Peripherals include digitisers (AO size), flatbed colour scanners; plotters (AO HP 65OC, AO pen plotter, Epson Colour Stylus, A4 HP Jet), a laboratory and field based spectroradiometer, Magellan GPS systems. collection of satellite imagery and digital GIS files has been compiled.

Analytical laboratories

Water Resources Laboratory for chemical analyses of soil, rock, plant and animal samples with an automated atomic absorption spectrophotometer, auto-analyser, UV/ UIS spectrophotometer, drying ovens, incubators, centrifuges, autoclaves, muffle furnace, balances, distillation units etc.

Wildlife resources laboratory

Houses specimen collections of Australian fauna, preparation rooms, teaching and research laboratories, animal house facilities including a nocturnal room for small mammals, field observation equipment including radio tracking devices, bat detectors, trapping and spotlighting equipment, field glasses,
dietary analysis facilities, walk-in refrigerator and deep freezers etc.

Aquatic Ecology equipment and laboratory

Variety of Oxygen, pH and conductivity meters, water sampling bottles and sampling equipment, Ekman grab, multi-channel loggers, research-quality compound and dissecting microscopes with fibre-optic cold-light illuminators and epifluorescence, portable analytical balance, and access to a range of different
sized boats. Specialist sampling equipment includes freeze corers and benthic metabolism chambers.

Ecology laboratories

Range of equipment including incubators, ovens, refrigerators, balances, microscopes (including some of research standard with fibre-optic cold-light source), portable field based automatic weather station, light and radiation meters, specimen storage facilities.

Plant and soil laboratories

Germination cabinets, incubators, drying ovens, balances, refrigerators, pH and conductivity meters, EM38 conductivity meter for measuring apparent soil salinity, neutron moisture probe, and preparation areas for sample analyses.

Land use planning and management laboratory

45 research-quality mirror stereoscopes for aerial photographic interpretation, a small air photo library of NE NSW, a topographic map collection.

Field Station

Newholme is a commercially operated Field Laboratory located about 10 km north of Armidale. Its primary function is for teaching and research.


For general and administrative enquiries, AskUNE.

Enquiries about studying Ecosystem Management at UNE can be made to:

Helene Dawson
Phone: +61 2 6773 2539