Courses Catalogue

Environmental Monitoring & Auditing

ACADEMIC PROGRAMME: Environmental Management, M.Sc
COLLEGE/SCHOOL/FACULTY: School of Natural and Applied Sciences
STATUS: Elective
PROGRAMME TYPE: Postgraduate

Course Description

Monitoring and auditing are key elements of contemporary environmental management. This subject will examine the different roles of monitoring, including prediction and monitoring environmental impacts, calibration and evaluation of environmental models, and monitoring and auditing as part of the risk management cycle. In this subject you will examine field sampling across a range of chemical, physical and biological indicators. The students will gain an appreciation of the demands of monitoring and auditing in different organisational and regulatory settings, including pollution control, natural resource management, biosecurity and demonstrating performance against industry codes and standards. The students will develop skills in sampling design, including recognition of issues associated with trade-offs in cost and precision, detectability, and inferential errors. These skills will enable the students to make valued contributions to evidence-based decision-making in public and private sector organisations involved in environmental management.


By the end of this course, the student should be able to:

Apply sampling protocols to a range of environments and chemical, physical and biological indicators.

Describe and apply the main elements of an environmental audit as specified in by acceptable standards.

Recognise and distinguish the monitoring needs of different decision-making contexts, including monitoring for performance, compliance, risk      management and adaptive management.

Evaluate the merit of a monitoring program according to cost, precision and the likelihood of inferential errors.


A student completing the course is expected to:

work constructively with colleagues to recognise, synthesise and resolve      disagreement through respect for evidence and analytical rigour;

use scientific evidence to influence and persuade others;

write technical reports that are accessible to non-specialists such as senior decision-makers;

exercise critical judgement, think rigorously and independently, account for decisions, and solve problems; and

apply advanced analytical methods