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Senior: 11 & 12: Unit 3: Living on Earth

Topic 1: Non-renewable Earth Resources

Soil erosion is the removal of the top layer of the soil due to some physical forces.

University of California: Effects of resource extraction

Queensland Government: Impacts of soil erosion

Queensland Government: Preventing and managing erosion

Spray Grass Australia: Mine Site Rehabilitation

Land for Wildlife QLD: Revegetation Principles


Case Study: Ranger Uranium Mine, Northern Territory

Australian Government: Ranger Uranium Mine

Australian Government: Environmental Monitoring

Research Paper: ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF MINING - Erosion and Hydrology at Ranger Mine


Journal articles:

Restoration Ecology: Soil reconstruction after mining fails to restore soil function in an Australian arid woodland

Journal of Environmental Management: Evaluating the environmental and economic impact of mining for post-mined land restoration and land-use: A review

Ecological Engineering: Ecological methods and indicators for recovering and monitoring ecosystems after mining: A global literature review

Land Degradation & Development: Tropical surface gold mining: A review of ecological impacts and restoration strategies

Heliyon: Active revegetation after mining


Turbidity is the measurement of water clarity (i.e., transparency). Suspended particles – such as silt, algae, plankton, and sewage – can cause water to appear cloudy or murky. These particles scatter and absorb light rays rather than allowing light to be transmitted straight through the water.

A higher turbidity reading represents cloudier and ‘thicker’ water with more particles throughout. When water is clear, it has low turbidity levels.

Turbidity Management:

Queensland Heath: Turbidity and Critical limits for Water Management

Australian Government: Sediment basins

WSUD Engineering: Sediment basin design and principles

Turbid Water Solutions: Sediment Management on Construction Sites

Queensland Government: Sediment Ponds - Construction and Operation

Queensland Government: Treatment Wetlands - Planning and Design

Topic 2: Renewable Earth Resources

OneSearch Database Explorer

The ENTIRE collection of resources provided by the BBC Birtles Library can be searched on ONE single, powerful search platform, which retrieves print books, eBooks, database articles and websites. Click HERE for assistance.

Useful Databases

Useful Subscription Journals

Useful Science Websites

The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.

An American website that aggregates press releases and publishes lightly edited press releases about science


Breaks down the stories behind the most interesting news and photos on the Internet.

Search for news articles which come from trusted news outlets, such as the Associated Press (AP) and The Atlantic, and other sources chosen for use in the classroom.


Regarded as a 'porthole' site, SciTech Daily offers the best intelligent, informed science and technology coverage and analysis you can find on a daily basis, sourcing a huge range of great writers and excellent research institutes.

Gateway to the best Science news sources.

A global science gateway comprised of national and international scientific databases and portals.

The world’s largest biomedical library.


Web-based medical and health news service.




Google Scholar's searches are set to cover scholarly material more often than 'regular' Google. Google Scholar's searches are set to cover scholarly material more often than 'regular' Google. It can be frustrating, as much of an article or book is missing or by purchase only. Read the article below on the advantages an disadvantages of using it.

TIP: To get PDFs only, type in 'filetype:pdf'. It's great!

Advantages / Disadvantages of Google Scholar 



How to use Google Books

Google Books can be very frustrating because often much of the book is missing and you are expected to purchase it to read the full content. So after you put in your search term you are interested in (eg biodiesel), and get some results up,  you should then go immediately to the search box (on the left - above 'About this box') undefined and type in a particular word or term you are interested in (eg CO2 emissions OR methanol) you should get a number of pages pop up. Choose one that looks useful - you should get some good results this way!

Advanced Web Searching Tips

1. Use 'Ctrl F' (Control + Find) to search for particular terms easily in a long document, whether from a website or a database article.
2.  Use a Boolean command - put double inverted commas around phrases to limit and improve your results eg "energy drinks cardiovascular problems children". 
3. Use a Google domain command eg site:edu OR site:gov to limit results to a CERTAIN DOMAIN such as education or government eg biodiesel site:edu
4. Use a Google command to limit results to the MOST RECENT: After you get your results, choose the Google Menu Bar, and choose 'Tools'. Then on the far left, at the drop-down menu next to 'Any Time', you can choose 'Within the last year' (or less, if you prefer), but generally, you can choose 'Custom Range' at the bottom, as often the last 3-4 years would be sufficient for a recent search.

Zotero - Online Referencing Tool

Zotero can be set to the same Harvard AGPS (Australia) style that CiteAce uses, called 'Melbourne Polytechnic - Harvard'. Please read the instructions carefully.

Any issues - see your Library Staff

Develop a Research Question from a Claim

Research Question is defined as ‘A question that directs the scientific inquiry activity. Its purpose is to focus the research investigation, inform the direction of the research, and guide all stages of inquiry, analysis, interpretation and evaluation’. It should:

1.3.1 Include measurable variables – the independent and dependent variables

1.3.2 Have a guiding word, such as what, why, would or will

1.3.3 Be phrased so that a definitive answer can be developed

1.3.4 Be able to link the guiding word to verbs such as identify, describe, compare, contrast, distinguish, analyse, evaluate or create so that a specific task can be determined


Should patients over the age of 80 years be permitted to undergo triple bypass operations? (Too broad)


Should triple bypass operations (independent variablebe offerered to patients over 80 (participant group) because of their poorer success rate regarding complications from pneumonia and stroke (measurable dependant variablecompared to patients under 80 (comparison/control)