Unit 1: Semester 1

Unit 1: Hazards and disasters

In this unit students undertake an overview of hazards before investigating two contrasting types of hazards and the responses to them by people.

Hazards represent the potential to cause harm to people and or the environment, whereas disasters are judgments about the impacts of hazard events. Hazards include a wide range of situations including those within local areas, such as fast moving traffic or the likelihood of coastal erosion, to regional and global hazards such as drought and infectious disease. Students examine the processes involved with hazards and hazard events, including their causes and impacts, human responses to hazard events and interconnections between human activities and natural phenomena. This unit investigates how people have responded to specific types of hazards, including attempts to reduce vulnerability to, and the impact of, hazard events.

Types of hazards are commonly classified by their causes:
• geological (or geophysical) hazards include volcanic activity, erosion, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and avalanches.
• hydro-meteorological (weather, climate, water) hazards include droughts, floods, storms, storm surges and bushfires.
• biological hazards include infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria, animal-transmitted diseases, water-borne diseases, and plant and animal invasion such as blackberries and cane toads in Australia.
• technological hazards are human-induced and exacerbated hazards including oil spills, air pollution, radiation leaks, flooding primarily caused by land clearances, epidemics caused by poor living conditions and hazards caused by current climate change such as rising sea levels or increased intensification of weather events.

There may be considerable interconnection between the causes and types of hazards. For example, a region may be at risk from a number of hazards: high seasonal rainfall may result in a primary flood hazard which may in turn generate a secondary hazard of landslides.
Students undertake fieldwork in this unit.

1. Analysis Task (25%)
2. Fieldwork (25%)
3. Classwork (10%)
4. Examination (40%)

Unit 2: Semester 2

Unit 2: Tourism

In this unit, students investigate the characteristics of tourism, with particular emphasis on where it has developed, its various forms, how it has changed and continues to change, and its impacts on people, places and environments.

They select contrasting examples of tourism from within Australia and elsewhere in the world to support their investigations. Tourism involves the movement of people travelling away from and staying outside of their usual environment for more than 24 hours but not more than one consecutive year (United Nations World Tourism Organization definition). Over one billion tourists a year cross international boundaries with greater numbers involved as domestic tourists within their own countries. The Asia and the Pacific hosts 23 per cent of international arrivals. The scale of tourist movements since the 1950s, and its predicted growth, continues to have a significant impact on local, regional and national environments, economies and cultures. The travel and tourism industry is directly responsible for one in every twelve jobs globally and generates around 5 per cent of its GDP. (UNTWO Annual Reports 2011–2013).

The study of tourism at local, regional and global scales emphasises the interconnection within and between places. For example, the interconnections of climate, landforms and culture help determine the characteristics of a place that can prove attractive to tourists. There is an interconnection between places tourists originate from and their destinations through the development of communication and transport infrastructure, employment, together with cultural preservation and acculturation. The growth of tourism at all scales requires careful management to ensure environmentally sustainable and economically viable tourism.

Students undertake fieldwork in this unit.

1. Analysis Task (25%)
2. Fieldwork (25%)
3. Classwork (10%)
4. Examination (40%)

Unit 3: Semester 1

Unit 3: Changing the land

This unit focuses on two investigations of geographical change: change to land cover and change to land use. Land cover includes biomes such as forest, grassland, tundra and wetlands, as well as land covered by ice and water.

Land cover is the natural state of the biophysical environment developed over time as a result of the interconnection between climate, soils, landforms and flora and fauna and, increasingly, interconnections with human activity.

Natural land cover has been altered by many processes such as geomorphological events, plant succession and climate change. People have modified land cover to produce a range of land uses to satisfy needs such as housing, resource provision, communication, recreation and so on.

Students investigate three major processes that are changing land cover in many regions of the world:
• deforestation
• desertification, and
• melting glaciers and ice sheets.

Students investigate the distribution and causes of these three processes. They select one location for each of the three processes to develop a greater understanding of the changes to land cover produced by these processes, the impacts of these changes and responses to these changes at different scales.
At a local scale, students investigate land use change using appropriate fieldwork techniques and secondary sources. They investigate the scale of change, the reasons for change and the impacts of change.

Students undertake fieldwork and produce a fieldwork report.

Unit 4: Semester 2

Unit 4: Human population – trends and issues

In this unit students investigate the geography of human populations. They explore the patterns of population change, movement and distribution, and how governments, organisations and individuals have responded to those changes in different parts of the world.

In this unit, students study population dynamics before undertaking an investigation into two significant population trends arising in different parts of the world. They examine the dynamics of populations and their economic, social, political and environmental impacts on people and places.

The growth of the world’s population from 2.5 billion in 1950 to over 7 billion since 2010 has been on a scale without parallel in human history. Much of the current growth is occurring within developing countries while the populations in many developed countries are either growing slowly or are declining.
Populations change by growth and decline in fertility and mortality, and by people moving to different places.

The Demographic Transition Model and population structure diagrams provide frameworks for investigating the key dynamics of population.

Population movements such as voluntary and forced movements over long or short terms add further complexity to population structures and to economic, social, political and environmental conditions. Many factors influence population change, including the impact of government policies, economic conditions, wars and revolution, political boundary changes and hazard events.

1. Structured questions and Fieldwork report - Unit 3 (50%)
2. Analysis of geographic data - Unit 3 (50%)
3. Analysis of geographic data - Unit 4 (40%)
4. Structured questions - Unit 4 (60%)



Group 3 - Geography
Year 11 and 12 - IB

Year 10

Timbertop - Year 9

Middle School - Years 5 to 8