Published on 5 November 2015
Students with a drive to help create a better environmental future can enrol in a new Bachelor of Environmental Management offered by the University of the Sunshine Coast.
The three-year degree, starting in 2016, will equip students with the skills and knowledge to help minimise human impacts on the environment, sustainably manage resources and conserve and restore ecosystems.
USC Lecturer in Environmental and Natural Resources Economics Dr Graham Ashford said the degree would provide students with hands-on experience in locations like USC’s Dilli Village on Fraser Island.
“Students will gain a strong foundational knowledge of ecology and biology, but also learn to work with political, economic and social systems to improve environmental outcomes,” Dr Ashford said.
“It’s a very engaging program that gets students out in the field and talking to experts in the environmental management industry from the very first semester.
“While environmental scientists might take samples or work in a lab, an environmental manager synthesises those results and uses them to measure the human impacts and work out solutions to improve environmental outcomes. It’s a very interdisciplinary role.”
Dr Ashford said students could choose to specialise in areas like Climate Change Adaption or Coastal and Marine Environments.
SEQ Catchment Acting CEO Paul McDonald, who has worked extensively in the environmental management field, supported the introduction of the new degree at USC.
Mr McDonald, a USC adjunct professor, said the hands-on nature of the program meant graduates would be well equipped for a broad range of positions in either the public or private sectors.
“Students could choose to go down an industry pathway, such as being an in-house environmental manager at a resource company,” Mr McDonald said. “Alternatively, they might look at working in policy or compliance with council, government or a not-for-profit group.
“The fact that there are so many practical days built into the course really sets it apart from other Environmental Management degrees. By the time they graduate, students will have a strong knowledge of the wider context of environmental issues and be job-ready.”
USC is introducing a range of new study programs in 2016, including a Bachelor of Sports Studies, an Outdoor Education double degree and a Bachelor of Serious Games. For more information go to www.usc.edu.au/rise-and-shine.
— Gen Kennedy