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Soil and Water Resources (EVSC20002)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2017
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeEVSC20002
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject will identify the importance of soil and water in the landscape and as key components of natural and production systems. A basic knowledge of soil properties and behaviour will be applied to understanding the cycling of water and nutrients, the appropriate use of fertilisers, irrigation and drainage and soil management practices designed to maintain or improve the condition of soil and water resources. The origin of soil variation in the landscape and codification of soil information through classification will be introduced.

Intended learning outcomes

This subject will cover areas including:

  • the origins of soil variability and how this variability is expressed through the properties and behaviour of soil in the field;
  • soil profile description and an introduction to soil classification (the Australian Soil Classification);
  • the physical and chemical nature of soil minerals and organic matter; the main soil organisms and their functions;
  • reactions in soil between the solution and surfaces;
  • soil structure, aeration. water retention and movement, availability of water to plants and effects of waterlogging;
  • introduction of nutrient cycling and its importance in natural and production systems (agriculture. horticulture and forestry);
  • the hydrological cycle, with emphasis on the major processes - precipitation, evaporation, runoff and drainage;
  • land degradation processes and their management - accelerated soil acidification, sodicity, salinity and erosion;
  • understanding the processes and the extent of the problems;
  • remedial measures; and
  • the impact of soil management on the water quality and quantity.

Generic skills

On completing this subject, participants should be able to:

  • apply theories and principles to specific contexts
  • plan work, use time effectively and manage small projects
  • work constructively with colleagues
  • collect, evaluate and integrate information to solve problems in applied situations, including the use and manipulation of quantitative information and published literature in building arguments
  • learn new concepts and to apply that learning to complex systems
  • identify gaps in their knowledge and respect the value of other disciplines and points of view
  • begin to identify components of complex systems and elucidate interactions between components
  • prepare written documents of high quality that clearly and convincingly inform the reader

Last updated: 20 October 2017