UOW Community Connections

Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours), School of Earth & Environmental Sciences – helping to solve environmental issues in collaboration with community organisations for 20 years

Fourth year students from UOW's Bachelor of Environmental Science presented a series of seminars this week on their honours research projects which saw them partnering with host organisations to gain hand-on experience with environmental issues.

The latest cohort of research projects maked 20 years of success in the program offered by the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences.

The program provides graduates with the opportunity to not only deal with environmental issues effectively, but also provides an excellent understanding of all the science disciplines, as well as an awareness of the social, political and legal implications of these issues.

The School of Earth & Environmental Sciences provides graduating students the opportunity to:

  • receive a broad science education along with some subjects in engineering, management, law and social sciences;
  • have the benefit of specialising in one scientific field (Environmental Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Land Resources or Life Sciences) and completing a research project in collaboration with a host organisation.

During the fourth year students undertake a major environmental research project in collaboration with industry or a government organisation. The project is chosen and funded by the external organisation and is jointly supervised by the University and external organisation.

For the students, this collaboration provides an important opportunity to gain practical work experience dealing with real-life environmental issues and is a valuable stepping stone to employment, or post-graduate study. Many of our graduates secure employment prior to completion of their final year and are employed in many diverse areas, such as climate change, biodiversity, water quality, resource use, land management, waste and pollution.

Over the past 20 years, collaborating partner organisations have gained a broader understanding of the range of environmental issues requiring study in the Illawarra and the wider region, as well as links between the University and a wide range of organisations with interests in environmental matters. Many long-term successful partnerships with external organisations have been fostered via the Environmental Science Program. Collaborations have been built with up to 50 organisations during the period this degree program.

The School of Earth & Environmental Sciences is most grateful to the external organisations that have collaborated and assisted with the Environmental Science program; supporting, supervising and mentoring student projects since 1992.

The table below lists this year’s student cohort, their projects, collaborating partner organisations and the University supervisors.


 BEnvSc ENVI403 Research Projects 2012



Project Working Title

Host Organisation

University Supervisors

Environmental Chemistry




Joshua King

Ultratrace Determination of Aluminium and Gallium in Marine Waters

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Land and Water

Dr Dianne Jolley

Charlotte Watson

Development of a chronic microalgal bioassay to assess contaminated sediment

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Land and Water

Dr Dianne Jolley

Earth Sciences




Michelle Grierson

Geodiversity: geology, geomorphology and landscape value

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), South Coast Region

Dr Sol Buckman

Madeleine Harper

Wetland inventory and management program - Tongarra Creek and Shell Cove

Shellharbour City Council

A/Prof. Brian Jones

Ronni Maciejowski

Neutralisation rates for the treatment of acid sulfate soils extracted as sediment within flood mitigation channels of the Shoalhaven River flood mitigation system

Shoalhaven City Council

A/Prof. Brian Jones

Melissa Pfenning

Upland swamp classification

BHP Billiton Illawarra Coal

Dr Sam Marx/Dr Tim Cohen

Joe Stammers

Coal seam gas (CSG) mining review: issues for consideration in the Illawarra

Wollongong City Council

Dr Sol Buckman

Land Resources




Arden Burrell

Mapping changes in estuarine vegetation extent for South Coast estuaries

Office of Environment & Heritage, Coast and Estuaries

Prof. Colin Woodroffe

Ashlee Clarke

A regulated coastal wetland – Pattimores Lagoon, Narrawallee Creek Nature Reserve: environmental history and hydrodynamics of Pattimore’s Lagoon with a view to its restoration

 NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Ulladulla Area

Dr Sam Marx

James Daley

The effectiveness of engineered log jams in an incising gravel-bed river

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council/Northern Rivers Catchment Managment Authority

Dr Tim Cohen

Caroline French

 Concentrations of Enterococci/faecal coliforms in relation to rainfall in Sutherland Shire catchments

Sutherland Shire Council

Dr Sam Marx/Prof. John Morrison

Jessica Gaudry

El Niño-Southern Oscillation during the Little Ice Age: reconstructions from western Pacific corals

Australian National Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)

Dr Helen McGregor

Richard Lawless

Carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus accumulation in soils under various sequestration scenarios

NSW Department of Primary Industries, Agriculture

Prof. John Morrison

Sophie McClintock

Heavy metals in aquatic organisms in Lake Illawarra

NSW Department of Primary Industries, Lake Illawarra Authority

Dr Sam Marx/Prof. John Morrison

Benjamin Rawlinson

Reviewing effective biosolids application in NSW

Transpacific Organics

Prof. John Morrison

Ryan Skinner

Warilla Beach adaptation assessment 

Shellharbour City Council

 Prof. Colin Woodroffe

Jack Talbert

Understanding past and present beach morphodynamics along selected Wollongong beaches to inform coastal zone management

Wollongong City Council

Prof. Colin Woodroffe

Carrie Thompson

Century-scale erosional processes in Berrys Canal, Shoalhaven River – Comerong Island Nature Reserve

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Nowra Area

Prof. Colin Murray-Wallace/Mr Errol McLean

Xanthe Willis

Evaluation of past revegetation in the Braidwood district

Southern Rivers Catchment Managment Authority

Dr Tim Cohen/Prof. Kris French

Life Sciences




Douglas Rowland

Hawkweed and ox-eye daisy in the Kosciusko National Park

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Pest Management Unit

Prof. Kris French


For more information about the programs offered through the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences visit: http://www.uow.edu.au/science/eesc/index.html


Last reviewed: 2 November, 2012