EARTHSCI 205G New Zealand – Half a Billion Years on the Edge

EARTHSCI 205G | ARTS, BE, EDSW, LC | 15 points | Semester Two 2024 | Prerequisite: 75 points passed


This course takes you on a 500 million year journey through New Zealand’s geologic past, from its birth on the margins of the supercontinent of Gondwana to its present position on an active plate margin and the consequences of this.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course, you will have an understanding and appreciation of:

  • New Zealand’s geologic origins and history
  • New Zealand’s present geographic location and the unique geological consequences of this
  • The history of New Zealand’s unique biota
  • The impact that humans have had on New Zealand

Topics Covered

Lectures are structured under five main themes:

  • New Zealand’s beginnings – where and how New Zealand originated on a supercontinental margin
  • New Zealand’s mid-life crisis – how New Zealand came to be isolated in the Pacific
  • New Zealand’s later years – development of New Zealand’s unique geologic features and biota
  • Modern New Zealand – the consequences of New Zealand’s unique modern location “On The Edge”
  • Humans and New Zealand – how human settlers have affected New Zealand’s biota and landscape

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