SLE395 - Earth Environments and Climate Interpretation


2023 unit information

Enrolment modes: Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne)
Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125

One unit from SLE102, SLE136 or SLE103 plus two level 2 units



Incompatible with:


Study commitment

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus

1 x 2 hour class per week, 6 x 3 hour practicals per trimester, 1 x half day field trip per trimester (weather dependent).


This unit provides students with an opportunity to study palaeoclimate interpretation. Students will use sedimentary, geochemical and palaeoecological indicators of past climates, derived from both inland lake and deep-sea sediments, to evaluate natural cycles of, and anthropogenic-driven shifts in, the Earth’s climate system.

Student will also gain experience in the use of microfossil data in the assessment of environmental change within aquatic ecosystems, and for environmental monitoring.

Classes will include the study of:

  1. Palaeoclimate Modelling
  2. Sediment and chemical palaeo-environmental indicators and their application to solving environmental science problems.
  3. Microfossils as proxies of past environmental change.
  4. Palaeo-oceanography and its importance for understanding global climate change.

Practical work will involve 2 projects.

The first project will involve the sedimentological, geochemical and palaeoecological evaluation of the palaeo-environments represented in a limestone, sandstone or mudstone rock exposure in SE Australia.  The second project will involve the use of invertebrate microfossils as proxies of past environmental change within a human occupation historical timescale. This project will involve the examination of fossils from sediment cores gathered within a modern aquatic setting. 

This unit will also include a half day field trip.

Unit Fee Information

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