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Environmental Sciences

The pressure on our environment is increasing as the human population grows. Environmental Sciences provide a basis for understanding environmental problems, and finding solutions to them.

The growing human population is expected to exceed 9 billion within the next 40 years.  The need to provide for increasing human demands, while protecting and sustainably managing the environment, is one of our greatest global challenges. Environmental Science is at the core of this challenge.

A major in Environmental Sciences at Waikato encompasses ecology, earth sciences, and environmental chemistry as well as many other disciplines. It is about understanding and managing human impacts on our land, biodiversity, freshwater, oceans, atmosphere and climate while providing the food, water, energy, and mineral resource needs that are critical to our survival.

At Waikato we take a strong interdisciplinary approach so you will gain skills in applying the biological, chemical and earth sciences to understand and manage the impacts of human activities on the environment.

Waikato is a great region in which to base your Environmental Science studies. We have easy access to a wide range of natural environments as well as some of the most intensive farming and processing industries in New Zealand. Our field trips and study examples include coastal estuarine environments, the Waikato and Waihou Rivers, a wide range of lakes. World heritage listed Whangamarino wetland, leading international examples of predator pest control at Maungatautere, and many native forest ecological restoration sites are all within easy reach of the University of Waikato.

Facilities

As an Environmental Sciences student at the University of Waikato, you will have access to the University's well-equipped laboratories, becoming familiar with complex research equipment and techniques. You'll be working alongside, and learning from, well-respected researchers, industry professionals and academics.

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Key information

Study Locations:Hamilton, Tauranga
Papers offered differ by location. The Catalogue of Papers has full location info.
Area of Study:

Career opportunities

  • Agricultural Adviser
  • Biosecurity Officer
  • Coastal Resource Manager
  • Consent Planner
  • Environmental Analyst
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Hydrologist
  • Oceanographer
  • Water Resource Manager

Study in Tauranga

From 2020, Years 1 and 2 of the Environmental Sciences major within the Bachelor of Science is available in Tauranga. Year 3 will be taught from 2021.


100 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
BIOEB102Introduction to Ecology and Biodiversity15.021B (Hamilton) & 21B (Tauranga)
An introduction to the principles of ecology and biodiversity. Topics include population, community and ecosystem ecology, conservation biology, and the structure, functioning and environmental responses of animals and plants. Examples will include New Zealand ecosystems and biota.
CHEMY100Chemistry in Context15.021A (Hamilton) & 21B (Tauranga)
This is an introductory paper for students with a limited background in chemistry. There is a strong emphasis on teaching chemical concepts through real-world examples relevant to different science and engineering disciplines.
CHEMY101Structure and Spectroscopy15.021A (Hamilton) & 21C (Hamilton)
A theoretical and practical course covering aspects of analytical and inorganic chemistry. This course is required for the chemistry major.
EARTH101Introduction to Earth System Sciences15.021B (Hamilton) & 21B (Tauranga)
A lecture and laboratory paper that explores the interacting processes that affect the surface of the Earth, producing landforms and resources, with a focus on physical processes. Topics covered include coastal processes and hazards; climate change; weathering; erosion and mass movement; soil formation; the hydrological cycle; rive...
ENVSC101Environmental Science15.021A (Tauranga) & 21B (Hamilton)
A scientific study of the interaction between humans and the environment including climate change, utilisation and exploitation of natural resources and the effects of human activities on biological, chemical and physical processes that form resources and control ecosystems.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
BIOEB202Principles of Ecology15.021B (Hamilton) & 21B (Tauranga)
This paper covers the principles of ecology, including adaptation to the environment, intra- and inter-specific interactions, community and ecosystem dynamics, and biogeography. Weekend field trips and computer laboratory work are essential elements.
BIOMO202Genetics15.021B (Hamilton)
This paper deals with genetics in the widest sense from the molecular and cellular to the applied and evolutionary. Both prokaryote and eukaryote genetics are discussed with respect to DNA replication, hereditary, gene expression and control, and the role of mutations at both the DNA and chromosomal levels. The paper provides a pat...
BIOMO203Microbiology15.021A (Hamilton)
This paper will focus on microbial cell structure, function, and metabolism. Content and context will be drawn from both human and environmental examples. Students will acquire skills in microbiological laboratory techniques, data collection, data analysis, and report presentation. This paper is required for the Molecular and Cellu...
CHEMY204Analytical Chemistry15.021A (Hamilton)
This paper covers aspects of analytical chemistry including characterisation using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR); qualitative and quantitative analysis of mixtures using gas chromatography (GC) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The use of statistical methods in analytical chemistry will also be covered.
EARTH221Soil Science15.021B (Hamilton)
An introduction to the nature, formation, and classification of soils, their physical, chemical, mineralogical, and biological properties, and issues of soil quality, land degradation and sustainable management. The paper also encompasses the properties, genesis, and distribution of the soils of New Zealand and their use.
EARTH231Water Resources, Weather and Climate15.021A (Hamilton)
Introduction to physical processes that influence the distribution of water in space and time within Aotearoa-New Zealand. Topics include mid-latitude weather and atmospheric precipitation processes that ultimately affect the availability of water across Aotearoa-New Zealand's diverse landscapes: a description of surface water reso...
EARTH241Oceanography15.021B (Hamilton) & 21B (Tauranga)
This paper introduces students to the broad scale properties, issues, and research importance of the global ocean via the main disciplines of oceanography: particularly biological, chemical, geological and physical oceanography
ENVSC201Environmental Monitoring15.021B (Hamilton) & 21B (Tauranga)
An introduction to reasons for, and design and implementation of, environmental monitoring in New Zealand. Skills in data collection, management, presentation, and interpretation are developed for a range of environments using both field data collection and published data-sets.
ENVSC202Environmental Chemistry and Geochemistry15.021A (Hamilton) & 21A (Tauranga)
This paper is a broad introduction into environmental chemistry and geochemistry including the formation of the elements, chemical evolution of Earth, modern Earth surface processes, fossil fuels and biomarkers, global biogeochemical cycling, atmospheric chemistry and global climate change.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
BIOEB303Terrestrial Ecology15.021A (Hamilton) & 21A (Tauranga)
This paper explores ecological theory to understand the dynamics, functioning, and restoration of terrestrial ecosystems in New Zealand and across the globe. Labs, workshops, and a weekend field trip are core components of this paper.
BIOEB304Freshwater Ecology15.021A (Hamilton) & 21A (Tauranga)
An introduction to the ecology of lakes and rivers. Topics covered include the structure and function of major freshwater communities, fish and fisheries, human impacts and the management of inland waters.
BIOEB305Marine Ecology15.021B (Hamilton) & 21B (Tauranga)
An introduction to the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems. The paper explores the fundamentals of ecology (e.g. disturbance/recovery, recruitment, organism interactions with their environment, nutrient cycles, limits on productivity) in a marine setting. We also cover human impacts on marine environments including fishe...
CHEMY304Advanced Analytical Chemistry15.021B (Hamilton)
This paper covers advanced aspects of analytical chemistry including mass spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), Mossbauer and Raman spectroscopy, quality control and assurance, sampling techniques and method validation.
EARTH313Engineering Geology15.021A (Hamilton)
Engineering Geology is the application of the principles of Earth Sciences to ensure hazards associated with landslides or unfavourable soil and rock conditions are idetified in engineering or environmental work. This paper gives an introduction to the field of engineering geology. Topics covered include: landslide processes and th...
EARTH321Pedology and Land Evaluation15.021B (Hamilton)
This paper comprises two parts that provide the fundamentals of pedology and examine its role in land-use related issues and land management. Part (1): the stratigraphy of soils, their formation and classification in New Zealand; the occurrence and variability spatially of soils, and how they can be mapped using classical and digit...
EARTH322Soil and Water Management15.021A (Hamilton)
This paper integrates an understanding of land/soil and water processes that occur at paddock to catchment to national scales. A focus is on management practices that optimise resource use for productive purposes with attention to avoidance or minimisation of environmental effects. Topics include soil degradation, soil fertility, ...
EARTH331Hydrology and Water Resources15.021B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to the techniques of both resource and hazard analysis of fresh water. There is focus on groundwater modelling for resource studies, at the regional level and for analysis of pumped wells. There are also aspects of surface water application, including hydro power studies. Hazard aspects will include t...
EARTH341Coastal Oceanography15.021A (Hamilton) & 21A (Tauranga)
This paper focuses on the physical oceanography of the coastal zone. Topics include estuarine circulation, wind driven currents on the shelf, longwaves, resonance, seiching, methodologies for quantifying processes and coastal responses, waves and surfzone processes.
EARTH342Coastal Geomorphology and Management15.021B (Hamilton) & 21B (Tauranga)
This paper focuses on understanding of coastal processes, sediments, and evolution of coastal landforms as a basis for coastal management. Topics covered include coastal sediments and processes; coastal landforms, their origin and evolution; coastal hazards and their mitigation; and case studies of coastal issues.
ENVPL303Environmental Assessment and Policy15.021B (Hamilton)
This is a project-based paper that provides an understanding of how environmental assessments are prepared, and used to assist decision-making and inform policy implementation for complex environmental problems such as climate change impacts, freshwater quality, and environmental pollution.

400 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
LEGAL434Environmental Law15.021A (Hamilton)
An examination of the general principles of the law concerning natural and physical resources, sustainable development, pollution control, town planning and Treaty of Waitangi principles.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
BIOEB503Terrestrial Ecology15.021A (Hamilton) & 21A (Online)
This paper examines fundamental ecological theory to understand patterns and processes in terrestrial ecosystems and applies these concepts to environmental issues relating to resource management, conservation, restoration, and global change.
BIOEB504Freshwater Ecology15.021A (Hamilton) & 21A (Online)
This paper provides a critical examination of issues that freshwater ecosystems face, e.g., eutrophication, pollution, conservation, and utilisation and explores the research around methods to mitigate potentially competing interests.
BIOEB505Coastal and Estuarine Ecology15.021X (Block) & 21X (Online)
This paper emphasises multi-disciplinary science to better understand the functioning of soft-sediment ecosystems. The course will cover ecological principles through to the impacts associated with human activities and their management.
BIOEB506Environmental Physiology15.021B (Hamilton)
An examination of selected topics in environmental physiology, considering how animals and plants interact with their environment and influence ecological processes in natural and managed ecosystems.
BIOMO503Microbiomes15.021A (Hamilton)
This paper explores microbiomes in the environment and in association with multicellular organisms, including humans, to understand their critical ecological roles in ecosystem and host function and health.
BIOMO512Molecular Techniques for Environmental Science15.021B (Hamilton)
This paper will introduce students of diverse scientific backgrounds to current and emerging molecular analytic and diagnostic techniques used across biological and environmental sciences.
CHEMY503Analytical Methodology15.021A (Hamilton)
An advanced study of analytical methodology and instrumental techniques, this will investigate sample extraction techniques, and instrument choice for a variety of sample matrices.
EARTH501Volcanic Techniques and Applications15.021A (Hamilton)
This paper investigates geological techniques used to reconstruct eruption processes and histories, and their application to society, including volcanic facies analysis, tephra studies (tephrochronology), volcanic glass and mineral studies, juvenile and lithic studies, and volcanic hazards.
EARTH502Land and Soil: Resources and Risks15.021A (Hamilton)
In this paper students initially gain practical experience in large-scale soil mapping and in evaluating land-use capability (LUC) on a research farm. They then examine various issues associated with land use, especially its intensification, including the management of farm dairy effluent, soil degradation, and soil contamination. ...
EARTH503Coastal Processes: Analysis and Prediction15.021A (Hamilton)
This paper considers techniques to predict coastal processes for management and research, including assessment of which processes to observe, how to obtain and analyse data, and using results for prediction.
EARTH504Geohazard Risk15.021B (Hamilton)
This seminar paper evaluates the methodologies used to characterise risk associated with geohazards, and assesses the impact of strategies employed to avoid or mitigate this risk.
EARTH506Geological Models15.021B (Hamilton)
This paper focusses on the development and application of 2D and 3D conceptual and numerical models of Earth materials. Discussion includes data acquisition, model development, and interpretation.
ENVSC501Assessment of Environmental Change15.021A (Hamilton) & 21B (Online)
This paper illustrates how environmental science is applied to understand impacts of human activities and their mitigation supporting decisions made in policy, planning, law, and business, in New Zealand and internationally.
ENVSC502Conservation and Restoration: Theory and Practice15.021A (Hamilton) & 21A (Online)
This paper examines the application of scientific principles and theories in conservation biology and restoration ecology, with particular reference to New Zealand examples showcasing management of species and ecosystems impacted by human activities.
ENVSC503Greenhouse Gas Fluxes from Land15.021A (Hamilton) & 21A (Online)
Processes and factors controlling exchanges of water, carbon and greenhouse gases in natural or managed ecosystems, methodologies to quantify them, and approaches to mitigate undesirable anthropogenic consequences.
ENVSC504Pollution and Environmental Contaminants15.021B (Hamilton) & 21B (Online)
This paper examines the ecological effects of chemical and non-chemical pollution. Analysing online databases and the scientific literature provides practical and theoretical understanding of the impacts of pollution and methods to measure such effects.
ENVSC505Environmental Systems: Biogeosciences across Scales15.021A (Hamilton) & 21A (Online)
This paper examines how chemistry, geology and biology are unified for applications in environmental science, considering catchments, interfaces and the earth system in ways relevant to assessment and management.
ENVSC592Dissertation60.021X (Hamilton) & 21X (Tauranga)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation - 60 points.
ENVSC593Environmental Sciences Thesis90.021X (Hamilton) & 21X (Tauranga)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research - 90 points.
ENVSC594Environmental Sciences Thesis120.021X (Hamilton) & 21X (Tauranga)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research - 120 points.
SCIEN511Scientific Supercomputing15.021B (Hamilton) & 21B (Online)
A practical introduction to undertaking scientific research on a supercomputer. The paper assumes no prior knowledge.
SCIEN512Data Analysis and Experimental Design15.021A (Hamilton)
This paper covers aspects of research design for experiments, and methods for analysis of scientific data using modern statistical techniques.
SCIEN521Contemporary Research Topics in Science I15.021A (Block)
This paper provides a detailed perspective on a contemporary research topic in science. It is taught in block format, associated with the stay of a visiting researcher to the School of Science.
SCIEN522Contemporary Research Topics in Science II15.021B (Block)
This paper provides a detailed perspective on a contemporary research topic in science. It is taught in block format, associated with the stay of a visiting researcher to the School of Science.
SCIEN589Directed Study15.021A (Hamilton), 21A (Tauranga), 21B (Hamilton), 21B (Tauranga), 21C (Hamilton) & 21C (Tauranga)
No description available.
SCIEN592Dissertation60.021X (Hamilton) & 21X (Tauranga)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
SCIEN593Thesis90.021X (Hamilton) & 21X (Tauranga)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
SCIEN594Thesis120.021X (Hamilton) & 21X (Tauranga)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.

800 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
ENVSC800Environmental Sciences MPhil Thesis120.021X (Hamilton)
No description available.

900 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
ENVSC900Environmental Sciences PhD Thesis120.021X (Hamilton)
No description available.

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

Dr Stella Frances Memorial Scholarship  Closed

For students who are enrolled or are intending to enrol in the final year of a masters degree at the University of Waikato and are undertaking research that applies to the conservation or environmental issues in the Waikato region. The scholarship will have a value of up to $5,000.

Golden Plover Wetland Research Award  Closed

For students who are enrolled part- or full-time in a honours or masters degree at any New Zealand University and are conducting research in any aspect of ecology or management of wetlands. The scholarship will have a value of up to $2,000.

Tess Embling Memorial Scholarship  Closed

For full and part-time students, who are enrolled in or are intending to enroll in the first year of a Masters degree in the Division of Health, Engineering, Computing and Science in 2020. The scholarship will have a value of up to $1,500.

University of Waikato George Mason Charitable Trust Scholarship  Closed

Expressions of Interest are sought from students who are intending to enrol full-time in a 120-point masters thesis or a PhD and have a particular interest in one of the specific research areas outlined.

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Documents


Contacts

School of Science
Phone: 0800 924 528 or +64 7 838 4625
Email: [email protected]
Website: sci.waikato.ac.nz
Facebook: facebook.com/WaikatoScience