LismoreSession 1Session 1
OnlineSession 1N/A

Unit description

Considers the measurement of forest characteristics to ensure their proper conservation and management. Trees are big and forests are extensive, so special techniques must be used to measure them accurately. This unit uses a general teaching approach to introduce modern methods and practice of forest measurement.

Unit content

  • Reasons for measuring trees and forests
  • Accuracy, precision and bias of measurements
  • The plane survey
  • Measurement of individual trees – stem diameter, tree height, stem volume and tree biomass. Use of tree volume, stem taper and biomass function
  • Measurement of stands – age, stocking density, quadratic mean diameter, basal area, dominant height, stem volume, biomass, site productive capacity, expression of growth. Point and plot stand measurement
  • Measurement of forests – defining and measuring populations, sampling theory, conduct of inventory. Remote sensing applications.

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • Note that it is the third edition of this book that is required (earlier editions of this book are out of date and no longer suitable for the course): P.W. West, 2015, Tree and Forest Measurement, 3rd edn, Springer International Publishing, Switzerland. ISBN: 978-3-319-01826-3.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Residential session 4 days (Once during study session)
Tutorial on-site 1 hour (11 weeks)
Lecture on-site 2 hours (11 weeks)
Exam: open book50%


Teaching method
Lecture online 2 hours (11 weeks)
Tutorial online 1 hour (11 weeks)
Residential session 4 days (Once during study session)
Exam: open book50%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
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Commencing 2019 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 2

Fee paying courses
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