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CLI3302 Adaptation to Climate Change

Semester 2, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Biological & Physical Sciences
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Brad Carter
Moderator: Andy Le Brocque


Adaptation to climate and environmental changes is a necessary response of society in order to mitigate associated risks to natural and human systems. However, opportunities may arise as well from a timely response to possible adverse changes. Adaptation and mitigation of climatic changes can reduce risks and financial costs to society on local, state, national and international levels. The course focuses on biodiversity, health, coasts, water resources, infrastructure, socio-economic systems, and disaster management.


Students are introduced to the role adaptation and mitigation measures play in society's response to climate change and variability. The course reviews the risks associated with climatic and environmental changes, introduces the tools that facilitate climate change adaptation and mitigation. Access to the internet is required.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. describe risk and vulnerability of human and natural systems to climate change
  2. demonstrate an understanding of long-term climate changes and variability
  3. assess mitigation options for a range of human and natural systems
  4. evaluate the nexus between the climate change sciences and adaptation and mitigation policy processes


Description Weighting(%)
1. Climate system sciences 10.00
2. Framework of adaptation and mitigation 30.00
3. Adaptation to climate change in sectors 35.00
4. Assessment of adaptation measures 5.00
5. Mitigation technology and policy 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • IPCC 2007, Working Group II Report "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability",
  • Metz, B 2010, Controlling climate change, Cambridge University Press, New York.
  • Chapters from various reference books (see list of readings).

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Abstracts and Table of Contents, Journal of Physical Oceanography.
    (American Meteorological Society, available through USQ Library's e-library.)
  • Elsevier, Global Environmental Change.
    (available through USQ Library's e-library.)
  • International Journal of Climatology, Royal Metrological Society.
    (available through USQ Library's e-library.)
  • IPCC 2007, Working Group I Report "The Physical Science Basis",
  • IPCC 2007, Working Group III Report "Mitigation of Climate Change",
  • Journal of Climate, American Meteorological Society.
    (available through USQ Library's e-library.)
  • Sustainability Science, Springer Publisher.
    (available through USQ Library's e-library.)

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 52.00
Examinations 2.00
Private Study 115.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Assignment 1 100 20 07 Sep 2012
Assignment 2 100 20 23 Oct 2012
2Hr Restricted Exam 100 60 End S2 (see note 1)

  1. Examination dates will be available during the Semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment will apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are: writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an
    unfair advantage in the examination); calculators which cannot hold textual information
    (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator(s) they use during the examination). Students whose first language is not English, may, take an appropriate unmarked nonelectronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination. Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate’s possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for assessments is the date by which a student must despatch an assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date if requested by the Examiner. Students must retain a copy of each item of assessment. This must be produced within 48 hours if required by the Examiner.

  2. Students who obtain an overall passing mark, but who do not perform satisfactorily in an examination, may, at the discretion of the examiner, be granted a supplementary examination.