Griffith UniversityBy Asian Correspondent Jul 19, 2011 12:06PM UTC
Three decades ago few could have guessed the extent to which the environment and climate change issues would come to dominate today’s agenda. Back then, terms like ‘carbon tax’ and ‘carbon footprint’ had yet to enter our vocabulary and the urgent need to create a sustainable future for mankind was only just becoming apparent. But there were a few visionaries back then, visionaries who could see the growing need to educate the new generation about environmental issues. Among these visionaries were the people at Griffith University, who set up Australia’s first environmental studies program.
Since then, the environment has been catapulted from a fringe issue to the top of political and industry agendas around the world and, fittingly, Griffith University has grown into a leading environment educator not just in Australia, but in the world. It has the largest group of environmental professionals in any university in Australia, and holds its own in a global setting too.
Students at Griffith University join a special team of educators, in a special part of the world. Griffith’s five campuses are dotted along the coast of southern Queensland, which is an environmentalist’s dream in terms of flora, fauna and climate. From the Great Barrier Reef to the rainforests of the Cape York Peninsula, this is Mother Nature at her finest.
The Griffith School of Environment offers an extensive field of study across all aspects of environmental studies and natural sciences including:
- Ecology and Conservation Biology
- Environmental Management and Policy
- Urban and Environmental Planning
- Environmental Science (and other sciences applied to environmental problems)
And while the environment is the focus here, Griffith University takes a holistic approach to educating its students as it strives towards preparing tomorrow’s environmental experts, troubleshooters and visionaries – those who will care for the planet while building exciting careers as environmental and natural scientists, engineers and planners. Environmental programs offered at Griffith University have always been defined to include social and cultural issues equally with the biological and physical issues.
Graduates emerge from Griffith University to explore the complexity of the natural environment and our interactions with it, and are helping to resolve many issues currently facing society. Graduates work in Local, State and Federal Government, environmental consulting firms and other businesses in the private sector; non-profit organisations and research organisations.
Griffith University has a range of options for students looking to get the right start in an environment-related career. From coursework-based undergraduate programs to research-focused doctorates, there is a lot to choose from, with all programs aimed at providing graduates with the right tools and knowledge to reach their personal and professional goals.
Griffith’s School of Environment offers programs in the following areas:
Griffith’s Bachelor of Environmental Design educates students in both the practical and theoretical aspects of architecture with a view to optimum sustainability. This program goes far beyond just sustainable building design, but explores conservation areas, urban systems, transport and other environment-related areas.
With such natural riches on Griffith’s doorstep, it is hardly surprising that its ecology offerings are among the most sought after in Australia. Students are prepped for a career in conservation management and will emerge with all the skills they need for the management of threatened species, a career in global biodiversity, and more.
Students learn all about the different aspects of environmental problems and issues, from a wide range of perspectives. As well a receiving a firm grounding in environmental science, students focus on all the core areas of environmental management.
Urban and Environmental Planning
In an ever more populated world, urban and environmental planning skills are becoming increasingly sought after. Students learn how put the space around us to the best possible use with the least possible impact on the environment. With skills such as conservation planning and pollution management, graduates emerge with all they need for a successful career in regional, urban or environmental planning.
Griffith’s environmental science offerings prepare students for a successful career by ensuring that they graduate with a solid understanding of environmental problems. This is achieved through a broad range of courses in the physical, social and biological sciences that culminate in a deep understanding of environmental issues.
Griffith School of Environment also offers programs in Marine Science and Urban and Environmental Planning.
Griffith’s environmental programs are extremely sought-after and competition for places can be stiff. Luckily, for those unsuccessful on their first application, Griffith offers a number of ‘pathways’ to environmental and natural sciences that significantly improving candidates’ chances of securing a place in the future.
Being the first university in Australia to introduce an environmental studies program, it is of little surprise that Griffith has become a leading centre of environmental research too, offering countless PhD opportunities. Students get to make a real difference here, carrying out groundbreaking research that can change the way we live.
The following research centres are affiliated with the Griffith School of Environment:
- Atmospheric Environment Research Centre
- Environmental Futures Centre
- Australian Rivers Institute
- Griffith Centre for Coastal Management
- International Centre for Management of Pest Fruit Flies
- International Centre for Ecotourism Research
- Urban Research Program
- Centre for Environment and Population Health
Studying at Griffith University involves more than just receiving an academic education. The institute also promotes active social involvement, physical exercise and a balanced lifestyle. For anyone looking for assistance while on campus, Welfare and Student Liaison can provide help with anything from financial difficulties to tenancy advice. In the case of personal, relationship, academic and work-related issues, the university’s Counselling Service is an effective way to get back on track, and it comes at absolutely no cost. Finally, for those wondering what to do after their studies are finished, the university also provides a handy Careers and Employment Service to give students the advice that they need to succeed and prosper after graduation.
As for dealing with where to live while studying at Griffith, students will find plenty of assistance in this area regardless of where they wish to stay. The Griffith University Colleges are the cornerstone of on-campus living and are a great way for students to meet other like-minded people in a safe, supervised environment. They are conveniently located within walking distance of lecture halls, sporting complexes and other useful facilities. For those who would prefer to rent a house or an apartment nearby, the university can also provide assistance with finding off-campus accommodation that is affordable, suitable and safe.
Living in Queensland
With all campuses at Griffith University located between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, students will find that they are ideally placed to enjoy some of the best sites and activities that Australia has to offer. As the capital city of Queensland, Brisbane has plenty to see and do, from art galleries and museums to rock climbing and cycling. There is also an extensive array of wining and dining options so that international students can find a taste of home regardless of where they are from.
South of the Griffith campuses lies the Gold Coast, one of Australia’s best tourist destinations. With long stretches of sandy beaches, some of the region’s most vibrant nightlife and several theme parks all in the same vicinity, this is certainly a worthy place to spend a long weekend or a university holiday. Once there, students will experience life in a very different way, ensuring that their time at university is much more rewarding.
Getting around the region is easy thanks to the extensive network of buses and trains available. From the central business district of Brisbane to the beaches of the Gold Coast, students will find it fairly straightforward to travel, whether going from their home to the lecture hall or experiencing some of the best sights and activities that the region has to offer.