Faculty of Science advances teaching and research for a better future

The Faculty of Science is forging ahead with innovative new offerings in its approach to teaching and researching sustainability.

Faculty of Science sustainability award recipients Mallory Sea (Marine Science) and Hayley Alena (Biosecurity and Conservation).

Not only has the faculty developed new sustainability courses in collaboration with the Faculty of Arts, but it is also offering student scholarships specifically for sustainability research.

New courses

The new course offerings reflect the growing number of positions in both government and the private sector needing people with the capacity to design and apply sustainability solutions. From 2019, students enrolled in a BA, BSc or BAdvSci (Hons) will be able to take a Sustainability module – a set of three linked courses in Science and Arts – that will help equip them for these positions.

These courses will teach students about the values and science of sustainability, encourage them to think critically about the challenges we face as a society and learn how to address them.

Students will work in groups to design and apply sustainability solutions at the organisational, community and global levels, communicating their solutions through visual displays, game design, short written reports, and presentations.

The first course in the module, Sustainability and Us, is also available as an open-schedule General Education course, SUSTAIN 100G.

The Faculty’s Associate Dean of Sustainability, Associate Professor Niki Harré, teaches and conducts research in the areas of community psychology and the psychology of sustainability. She believes it’s imperative that knowledge relevant to the implementation of sustainability principles is integrated and supported at tertiary level. 

Universities have a core role to play in the future, especially by equipping young people with the knowledge and skills to think imaginatively about the world we want to create and how to get there.

Professor Niki Harré Inaugural Faculty of Science Associate Dean of Sustainability

Sustainability module (Arts website)
Faculty of Arts modules

New research awards

In another initiative from the Faculty of Science Sustainability Network, ten awards of up to $2,000 are available to science students doing a research project related to sustainability.

The sum of $2,000 will be awarded for a full year project located within a formal qualification, for example an honours dissertation or a masters project, and for shorter projects, up to $500.

“We are particularly interested in projects that look at sustainability solutions for the University or at other local initiatives with clear practice implications,” says Niki.

A recent award recipient, Rachel Cooper, now works for the Ministry of Primary Industries on the Mycoplasma bovis biosecurity response, and says she is so grateful for the support.

“The award was a key factor in allowing me to complete exciting research and made a valuable contribution to the experience I needed to get this job.”

Sustainability Network research awards applications for the current round close on 5 November 2018.