This unit gives students a strong basis for assessing the state of, and human impacts on, various environments. Students discuss urban land, natural and agricultural catchments, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and focus on urban ecosystems from an earth science perspective. Students conduct scientific investigations of such environments in a class project involving design of a sampling program, collection and analysis of samples and interpretation of data after applying recognised methods for management of data and metadata and rigorous statistical techniques. The interpretations of data are used to provide recommendations on the state and use of the environments studied. Students acquire experience, as a useful member of multidisciplinary teams of scientists, that create opportunities for independent practice as an environmental consultant.