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Australian Environmental History

by La Trobe University

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Course Description

'Gondwana', the ancient super continent, evolved over forty millenia into several continents including Australia. Just two centuries after European settlement, the human impact on the land, massive species extinction, and climate change, pose serious threats to the continent's fragile ecology. Students will consider Australia's early geological history; Indigenous land use; the competing ideas of land and land use among early settlers; and how various forms of land use shaped, and changed the environment. We will explore in turn how the Australian environment shaped humans. Students will study Australia as part of a global environment, by understanding how settlement was an artefact of colonialism and Empire, and how environmental thinking impacted on Australia and shaped its participation in the recent global environmental movement. Students will research environmental history locally and/or globally, to understand Australia's history in the context of calls for a sustainable future.
Australian Environmental History
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