A USC degree that trains students to analyse the environment using drones and other cutting-edge technology will be offered through the University’s Fraser Coast campus next year.
Applications are open via QTAC to study USC’s Bachelor of Environmental Science, starting Semester 1, 2018. Students can complete the first year of the three-year degree at USC Fraser Coast before studying the remaining subjects at the Sunshine Coast campus.
USC program coordinator and Lecturer in Physical Geography Dr Javier Leon said imagery from flying drones was used to teach industry-ready skills to students.
“USC is one of the first universities in Australia to train students to use drones and other cutting-edge technology in a range of research activities, from data collection and sampling in the field, through to analysis, modelling and visualisation of final outcomes,” he said.
“Students learn the latest methods in geographic information system mapping, soil, wildlife and vegetation surveys; and climate and environmental modelling, from underwater seagrass banks to farmland locations.
“Experience in fieldwork and analysing drone data will make students more employable in a future where this technology can be adopted to monitor almost any environmental science application.”
USC’s Environmental Science degree combines broad studies in science with areas such as plant and animal ecology, chemistry, hydrology, weather and climate, geospatial sciences and resource economics.
Practical knowledge is built through field trips to USC research sites, including a diverse range of environments on the Sunshine Coast and Fraser Coast, and through industry-based placements.
About 20 degrees and study programs will be offered through USC’s Fraser Coast campus in 2018, including the Bachelor of Nursing Science and Bachelor of Animal Ecology.
Environmental Science is one of seven degrees that will give students the flexibility to undertake their first year of university locally.
The others include the dual Bachelor of Secondary Education and Bachelor of Science, Social Work, Counselling, Psychology and Social Science.
— Clare McKay
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