Goal 15: Life on Land

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

The University of Wollongong is committed to working towards the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its governance, teaching and learning, community engagement, partnerships and research. The following initiatives are by UOW staff and students working towards SDG 15: Life on Land.

Campus Environment

UOW’s main campus provides habitat for a diverse range of native animals with approximately 162 native fauna species. It forms a part of the east-west wildlife corridor connecting the escarpment with the sea. The Environmental Policy demonstrates UOW’s commitment to environmental protection and sustainable practices.


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Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions

The Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions (CSES) is a nationally and internationally significant centre for innovative research into the way that threatening processes affect the structure, function and composition of ecosystems. CSES uses a cross-disciplinary focus to create a collaborative research environment targeted at ecosystem management. With a proven track record of translating research into policy development and ecosystem management, CSES provides innovative solutions to major societal challenges that fall under the National Strategic Research Priorities: Living in a Changing Environment and Managing Our Food & Water Resources.


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Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage

The UOW-led Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage is uncovering our continent’s rich human history, and its ancient climate, landscape and biodiversity. UOW is leading researchers from around the world on a research quest to investigate the history of Australia’s unique biodiversity and Indigenous heritage, while inspiring Australian children to engage with science. The centre has brought together 20 institutions and museums worldwide to unlock the history of Australia, Papua New Guinea and eastern Indonesia from 130,000 years ago until the time of European arrival. The first of its kind in the world, the centre is encouraging young scientists through a unique outreach program at schools and museums and focuses on nurturing the careers of Indigenous and female researchers.


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Urban Forests: encounters, valuations and governance

UOW is partnering with University of Melbourne researchers and the City of Melbourne in a case study on urban forests. Urban forests are fundamental to city liveability, resilience, and sustainability.

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Birds in backyards

Research led by Professor Kris French has resulted in the development of state and federal environmental management programs for both threatened species and invasive weeds. Prof French has established a long-term program with the Australian Museum and Birdlife Australia in Urban Ecology. This has been supported by external funding, and lead directly to the national Birds in Backyards citizen science project which was awarded the 2008 Eureka Prize for Environmental Sustainability Education. The project has an Australia-wide impact and creates links with international programs. The website is widely used and the program connects the public with conservation messages via the media and online.


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Team Quoll

Dr Katarina Mikac works on conservation of endangered Quolls and has established Team Quoll, a group of citizen scientists, students and researchers from the UOW on a quest to find and conserve the Spotted-tailed Quoll in the South Coast Region of NSW. Citizen scientists keep the research team informed of quoll sightings and specimens in the Illawarra and South Coast via a community Facebook page. The assistance and collected data has been invaluable to understand the biology, genetics and ecology and assist in the conservation management of quolls in our region.

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Invasive species in rural landscapes

Associate Professor Nicholas Gill from UOW’s Australian Centre for Cultural and Environmental Research, is working to prevent the spread of hawkweeds, and, hopefully, eradicate their existence altogether on mainland Australia. Invasive plant management is a major activity by many landholders and important in developing links to, and knowledge of, their land. The work has expanded into weed hygiene practices in national parks and also into a recent foray into invasive animal management, hunting, and self-provisioning.

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Southern Corroboree Frog

Over the last five years a UOW group, in collaboration with Melbourne Zoo, Taronga Zoo and the Department of Primary Industries has developed IVF for frogs. Without human intervention, it is possible the critically endangered species will soon become extinct.

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Sun, sand, sea and sustainability (S4)

In partnership with Shoalhaven City Council, researchers at UOW are addressing the challenges of sustainable marine tourism. The aim of this research is to develop a methodology which classifies communities according to a range of characteristics which will constrain or enhance sustainability objectives, such as population size, visitation levels and infrastructure availability. The project is assessing the vulnerability of destinations to pressures which will impact the sustainability of these communities, and their associated tourism growth and is being trialled in the Shoalhaven City Council area. The project will assist council to tailor tourism planning, marketing and service provision to meet the needs of different ‘types’ of coastal communities. 

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Wildlife conservation and crime prevention

Wildlife crime encompasses varied illegal activities and occurs in every country. Wildlife crime involves the illegal trade in animals, plants and their derivatives and can result in the depletion of natural resources, invasion of pest species and the transmission of diseases. A UOW research team is developing a five-year plan for teaching and research activities centred on wildlife conservation and crime prevention. The plan will include; identification of shared research priorities, identification of infrastructure requirements, collaborative subject development, meeting crucial stakeholders, and identification of external, sustainable funding streams. 

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Antarctic Footprints

Antarctica is often thought of as pristine, untouched by human disturbance, however, this is no longer the case. Antarctic Footprints is an exhibition examining the human presence in Antarctica over the last century and engages the wider public to gain a new understanding of Antarctica, its industries, its ecosystems and human impact.

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Subjects and courses for SDG 15

Subject description

This subject provides an introduction to the topic areas of cell biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, genetics, microbiology and immunology. During this subject you will look closely at the links between structure and function in cells and important biological molecules whilst investigating cellular division and mechanisms to control the cell cycle and prevent cancer. You will hear about techniques in genetic engineering and break throughs in biotechnology. You will learn about different microorganisms and their role in human, animal and/or plant health and explore the physiology of the immune system. Through engagement in group research projects you will develop skills in effective research and communication, teamwork, self-reflection and peer assessment whilst developing your digital literacy skills in presenting your research through PowerPoint (or similar tools) and generation of an electronic Portfolio. Find out more.

This subject is working towards:

All 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

Faculty

Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health

Degrees

General Schedule of electives, Bachelor of Bionanotechnology (Honours), Bachelor of Bionanotechnology (Honours) (Dean's Scholar), Bachelor of Conservation Biology (Honours), Bachelor of Conservation Biology (Honours) (Dean's Scholar), Bachelor of Exercise Science, Bachelor of Exercise Science and Rehabilitation, Bachelor of Marine Science, Bachelor of Marine Science (Honours) (Dean's Scholar), Bachelor of Medical and Health Sciences, Bachelor of Medical and Health Sciences (Honours) (Dean's Scholar), Bachelor of Medical Biotechnology (Honours), Bachelor of Medical Biotechnology (Honours) (Dean's Scholar), Bachelor of Medicinal Chemistry (Honours), Bachelor of Medicinal Chemistry (Honours) (Dean's Scholar), Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics (Honours), Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics (Honours) (Dean's Scholar), Bachelor of Nutrition Science, Bachelor of Pre-Medicine, Science and Health, Bachelor of Science

Subject description

The science of how the solid Earth works is essential to overcome great challenges presently facing our society: monitoring and mitigating climate change, protecting the natural environment and sustainably resourcing our future. This subject provides an introduction to Earth science by considering topics related to the solid Earth: deep time, our place in space, plate tectonics, the rock cycle, crystal growth, groundwater, palaeoenvironments, volcanic eruptions and magmatic plumbing systems, earthquakes, mountain building, mass extinctions, critical minerals required for a low-carbon future, landscape evolution, and archaeology. This subject consists of two parts. In the first half of this subject you will learn to ‘read’ minerals and rocks to understand the evolution of landscapes, unravelling thousands to billions of years of Earth’s history. In the second half of this subject you will apply this knowledge to conduct your own fieldwork, creating a map and technical field report to discover what the Illawarra region looked like millions of years ago. Find out more.

This subject is working towards: 

Goal 13: Climate action    Goal 14: Life Below Water    Goal 15: Life on Land     

Faculty

Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Degrees

Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours), Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours) (Dean's Scholar), Bachelor of Marine Science, Bachelor of Marine Science (Honours) (Dean's Scholar), Bachelor of Science

Subject description

This subject will examine the drivers, feedbacks and responses to global change over the past c. 2 million years. It will examine major drivers of global climate change/variability and feedbacks between these drivers and other components of Earth’s systems (e.g. climatic/atmospheric, oceanic hydrologic and biologic). It will also examine recent changes to Earth’s systems and put them in context on long term variability. In addition, the subject will examine the methods by which past climates/earth surface processes reconstructed and in doing so will identify key knowledge and data gaps. Find out more.

This subject is working towards:

Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing    Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation    Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy  

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production    Goal 15: Life on Land  

 

Faculty

Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health

Degrees

Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours), Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours) (Dean's Scholar), Bachelor of Marine Science, Bachelor of Marine Science (Honours) (Dean's Scholar), Bachelor of Science

 

Subject description

This subject examines the complex topic of climate change. It explores the basis for current and potential future climate change within the context of the historical and pre-historical records of climate change. The principal drivers (forcing functions) of climate change and their responses are examined critically. After surveying some fundamental concepts in climate science and the Earth’s climate system today, the subject briefly reviews ‘deep time’ perspectives of climate change to assess the magnitude of responses to climate change in Earth surface environments. It is shown that subtle changes in temperature can have profound environmental responses. The ramifications of climate change are also discussed in terms of physical landscape responses and the human dimension of climate change as shown by archaeological records. The role of the four main ‘greenhouse gases’, water vapor, carbon dioxide methane and nitrous oxide are examined in the context of anthropogenically-enhanced greenhouse warming. The major sources and sinks of these gases are described. Past interactions between CO2 and climate, and how projections of future change are developed are also considered. Global warming may induce a variety environmental changes that will confront future societies such as the impacts of sea-level rise and coastal landscape change, general climate state, agriculture and food security. Find out more.

This subject is working towards:

Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy    Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production    Goal 13: Climate action    

Goal 15: Life on Land

 

Faculty

Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health

Degrees

Bachelor of Conservation Biology (Honours), Bachelor of Conservation Biology (Honours) (Dean's Scholar)

Subject description

This capstone subject will provide students with an opportunity to consolidate their knowledge, skills and attributes required for safe, competent practice as beginning registered nurses. Students will explore global issues in healthcare and how they can impact local change as registered nurses. Students will propose and complete a capstone learning project through which they demonstrate their abilities to integrate, analyse, synthesise and apply knowledge and skills relevant to their professional interests. The project will focus on a relevant scholarly, professional or practice issue \that impacts their local community utilising the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a framework. Students will complete a critical reflection of the work undertaken during their degree that includes their state of readiness to undertake the role of a registered nurse within the workplace and how they may impact local and global challenges within this role. Find out more.

This subject is working towards:

All 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Faculty

Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health

Degrees

Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Nursing (Conversion)

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