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Environmental and Forensic Geochemistry (10002.2)

Level: Level 3 - Undergraduate Advanced Unit
Credit Points: 3
HECS Bands: 2, 4
Faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology
Discipline: Academic Program Area - Science


    Unit Outlines

    To view your Unit Outline, click View to log in to MyUC and access this information, or visit your unit's online teaching site.

    • Semester 1, 2018, ON-CAMPUS, BRUCE (182118) - View
    • Semester 1, 2017, ON-CAMPUS, BRUCE (165938) - View
    • Semester 1, 2016, ON-CAMPUS, BRUCE (155948) - View

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    The unit aims to give the students appreciation of the complexity and spatial (geo) chemical connectedness of the geosphere with the bio- and anthroposphere including beneficial and problematic outcomes. To achieve this, the students will be introduced to earth processes, geochemical cycles, analytical methods, spatial interpretation tools, in combination with examples from mineral exploration, environmental pollution, toxicity, legal frameworks governing pollution and a range of forensic applications.

    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

    1. Express an extended knowledge of geochemistry and its practical application in resource exploration, environmental assessment and monitoring and forensic applications (graduates need to understand complex natural systems);

    2. Demonstrate knowledge of current sampling and analytical techniques for geochemical exploration, forensic environmental casework and pollution monitoring and rehabilitation (graduates need to use up to date methods);

    3. Demonstrate practical skills in filed sampling, sample preparation and analysis of appropriate sample media (graduates need to be hands on);

    4. Apply skills in comprehensive use and assessment of spatial geochemical data, including quality assessment and quality control (graduates often work with large data sets and maps and does need to be confident statisticians and GIS users);

    5. Express an opinion in the field of environmental forensic science, in the form of a written case report, with confidence and clarity (graduates are often called to give evidence in court);

    6. Work with others as part of a group (students will need to allocate tasks among group members to complete a case report for the environmental forensic case study);

    7. Demonstrate the ability to cope with uncertainty (an expert opinion in a courtroom is always challenged and you will need to be able to communicate uncertainty in your findings);

    8. Act responsibly, ethically and with integrity in the context of environmental forensic science (court room evidence must be as unbiased as possible with rigorous chain-of custody requirements for handling of exhibits); and

    9. Demonstrate confidence in themselves and their own skills and knowledge (graduates may need to be able to provide evidence in court and convince a jury of their competence).

    Assessment Items

    Contact Hours

    4 hours of tutorials and/or labs per week and a 2 hour online flipped lecture.


    8043 Analytical Chemistry.



    Assumed Knowledge

    Basic statistics.

    Incompatible Units

    8248 Environmental Forensic Science AND 8100 Applied Geochemistry.

    Equivalent Units

    8248 Environmental Forensic Science AND 8100 Applied Geochemistry.

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