AGS101 The Biological Environment (8)


The aim of this subject is to provide students with aspects of the living biological environment which are important for landowners and rural land managers to understand and apply in the field. This subject teaches basic understanding of the diversity and taxonomic organization of biological organisms and aims to teach the skills to investigate, classify and prepare scientific reports describing plant and animal communities and habitats found in Australia. The subject is primarily field-based with students introduced to map interpretation, plant and animal identification in the laboratory as well as some theoretical concepts relating to community ecology and biogeography.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 2
Distance*Orange Campus
*This subject offering contains a residential school. Please view following information for further details.
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: AGS101
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Agricultural and Wine Sciences

Enrolment restrictions

Incompatible subject(s)

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
- Be able to define and demonstrate the basic terms and concepts of taxonomy and classification
- Be able to recognise the use of scientific names when plants, animals and other organisms are described, and use known scientific names correctly in written and verbal discussion
- Be able to demonstrate how to place most organisms into taxonomic categories
- Be able to accurately describe groups of plants and animals and place them into various categories
- Be able to describe areas of land in terms of vegetation type and habitat
- Be able to appropriately use rules governing the distribution of plants and animals to explain field and reported observations
- Be able to investigate and describe plant and animal communities and their conservation signficance
- Be able to prepare a properly structured and correctly referenced scientific report
- Be able to demonstrate how to use information from relevant texts and other sources
-Be able to interpret topographic maps.


The subject will cover the following topics:
- Taxonomy - Classification and hierarchy - Information sources and interpretation - Report writing and presentation - Community ecology - Identification of plants and animals - Vegetation and habitat classification - Biogeography: an introduction to - The conservation significance of vegetation classes

Residential School

This subject contains a compulsory 3 day residential school. The aims of the school are to cover the practical aspects of taxonomy, plant and animal identification and survey methods, field ecology and the classification of vegetation and habitats.


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.