Earth and Environmental Science

Why should I study Earth and Environmental Science?

Earth and Environmental Science investigates how people use Earth’s resources and the impacts that these uses have on the environment, through the interactions that occur between the geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere. In particular, you will investigate evidence that informs public debate on social and environmental issues.

In Stage 1, there are six main topics: Composition of the Geosphere, Biosphere, Turbulent Earth, Processes in the Geosphere, Importance of the Hydrosphere and The Earth’s Atmosphere.

In Stage 2, there are four main topics; Earth Systems, Earth’s Resources, Earth’s Sustainable Future and Climate Change.

Where does Earth and Environmental Science lead?

Stage 1 leads to Stage 2 Earth and Environmental Science.

Stage 2 leads to further study of Earth Science at either TAFE or University.

What work will I do in Earth and Environmental Science?

Being in control of your own learning is a key part of this course, as you are expected to be able to be able to research, design and develop practicals in the field of your own choosing. A big part of the course is also to take a deep look into current social/environmental issues and assess whether or not evidence is available to determine risks. This means that you need to be prepared to research and then communicate your findings with others in order to develop and discuss your own ideas. Another large aspect of the course is field work as often Earth Science does not make sense unless you can physically see it; this means that there are multiple field trips and a four-day camp.

The course is divided up into Skills and Applications Tasks (a series of research assignments and field assignments) and Folio Tasks (where students are asked to complete practicals, a design and deconstruction practical and a Science as a Human Endeavour research task). Stage 2 also includes an external Earth Systems Study worth 30% of the final grade, where you must test an idea in the field over a series of weeks to determine an unknown outcome.

Both the summative (graded) and formative (non-graded) tasks in this course require you to develop science inquiry skills, critical and creative thinking skills and scientific communication skills as there is a heavy emphasis on analysing information, testing ideas and sharing information with others (both through discussions and writing).

What do other students think about Earth and Environmental Science?

All of the field trips and the camp really put ‘Earth Science’ into perspective for me. Firstly, I realised that being in the field is something that I enjoy but it also really meant that I could understand the concepts better because I could see them for real – not just from a picture in a book or on the web.

Georgia – now studying Science at the University of Adelaide

This subject has really opened up my love of science – I had no idea it could be so much fun and engaging.

Billy – now studying Earth Science at the University of Adelaide

I had no idea Earth Science was so practical – this has now become my favourite aspect.

Ahmed – now studying Earth Science at the University of Adelaide

Where can I find more information about Earth and Environmental Science?

For more detail about content and assessment, view the course information: