SPA555 Spatial Modelling (8)

In this subject students are introduced to the fundamentals of spatial modelling in the context of environmental and ecological applications. Students learn how to evaluate different approaches to model the distribution of spatial and spatiotemporal data, at different scales. The practical component provides an in-depth understanding of species distribution modelling using machine learning algorithms. It also includes basic spatiotemporal data visualization and analysis. Students completing this subject will have the ability to apply intermediate knowledge and skills in spatial modelling to address projects dealing with environmental and ecological data analysis and mapping.


Session 1 (30)
Albury-Wodonga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: SPA555. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Environmental Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Postgraduate study only

Assumed Knowledge

An understanding of basic mathematics and knowledge of Geographical Information Science equivalent to SPA431

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe and evaluate different spatial modelling approaches for environmental and ecological applications, including machine learning;
  • be able to describe, select and critically evaluate species distribution modelling methods;
  • be able to examine spatial scales and evaluate the impacts in spatial modelling;
  • be able to describe and evaluate the use of spatiotemporal modelling for environmental and ecological applications.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Spatial modelling approaches
  • Species distribution models
  • The importance of spatial scale in environmental modelling
  • Introduction to spatiotemporal modelling

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of SPA555 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Sdm report
Spatial scale research
Spatio-temporal presentation

Special Resources

Programming software (R) and spatial information software (ArcGIS) are used in this subject. R can be downloaded for free. ArcGIS is supplied.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.