Study Natural History in Australia
Natural History at Macquarie University: Ruth Mawson
Natural history includes the study of earth sciences, life sciences and anthropology. Although there is no specifically named Natural History unit that can be studied at Macquarie, the Division of Environmental and Life Sciences offers a degree program of study as a combined BSc with a BA in Natural History, Culture and Museum Studies. Within this program, students may study a number of areas of study considered to belong to the natural histories, for example, palaeontology, biology, indigenous studies and geology.
The program combines a scientific and arts education with added undergraduate experience in museum studies and exposure to museum practice. The 4-year program of study leading to a BSc with BA is offered in specialty areas of particular interest to most national, state and regional museums and for which Macquarie has a high reputation: Australian history, ancient history, archaeology, palaeontology, biology, geology, heritage, early childhood studies and indigenous studies. No university within Australia offers such an undergraduate program. This interdisciplinary degree is designed to: a) enable students to qualify with coherencies (majors) in at least three segments of study, i.e. palaeontology, history, human geography, indigenous studies, early childhood studies, biology or geology, and b) provide students with a modern background for the field of Museum Studies.
Palaeontologyis a broad discipline that examines traces of life on Earth through time. Through the study of past life, palaeontologists are able to shed light upon the origin and evolution of life, the influence of life on the development of the Earth and its environment, and the climate of the past. Palaeontology provides the tools to unravel the history of life including the devastation wrought by global extinction crises and the effect extinctions events have made to biodiversity. All life forms, past and present, tell us something about the environment we live in and by looking at the past we can make an attempt to predict the future. We need to understand changes in the record of life in order that decision making regarding the future might have a sound basis. Palaeontology is also applied to problem solving in areas such as archaeology climatic history, geomorphology and geology.
Geologyis the study of the Earth and the processes that have shaped it over the past 4.6 billion years. The interaction between the inner structure of the Earths surface is expressed in volcanic activity, earthquakes and mountain building; these forces have moulded the surface of the Earth into the continents, and ocean basins that we have today. The Earth is dynamic, ever-changing and endlessly fascinating, as revealed in the rocks and geological structures are around us.
Biology, the study of living things, is an important subject for humankind as we move into the 21st century, It encompasses a broad range of knowledge including studies of animals and plants in the Australian context, ecology, evolution and an appreciation of things modern DNA technologies can tell us. In recent times, biodiversity has become one of the frontiers of modern biology because it uses a trans-disciplinary approach to help quantify, understand and manage biological systems.
Indigenous Studiescovers Aboriginal prehistory and their more recent history through the examination of the interaction of Aboriginal people with their environment. An account of prevailing issues is given from an Aboriginal point of view. A key feature of many of the units in this area of study is the involvement of indigenous lecturers.
The interdisciplinary 4-year BSc with BA program of study (at least 96 cr pts) is designed in order that students will qualify with coherencies in at least three segments of study, and with a modern background in the field of museum studies. The Bachelor Degree Rules require, among other things, at least 18 credit points above 200-level to be completed in Science units.
To qualify for a Bachelor of Science with Bachelor of Arts in Natural History, Cultural and Museum Studies, students must include in their program a number of common core units:
The compulsory units introduce students to information technology management issues in the twenty-first century. These issues are applied through a focus the knowledge of the science and technology utilized by museums. The units also explore ethical, legal, aesthetic and economic issues of relevance to museum collection management and associated museum programs. ELS202 also provides practical experience in museum practice.
Students must complete a coherency in Palaeontology (Science) plus two more of the listed coherencies; at least one of which must be an Arts coherency (i.e. additional to the Palaeontology coherency you may choose 2 Arts coherencies, orone Arts and one Science coherency:
Note: Other coherencies for the program are presently under negotiation. HIGHER DEGREES IN NATURAL HISTORY
HIGHER DEGREES IN NATURAL HISTORY