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The subject introduces students to the elements of natural systems that underpin Agricultural production and Natural Resource Management (NRM). A critical understanding of these elements and systems is fundamental for the sustainable management of our natural resources. The subject will demonstrate how science can be applied to evaluate and manage ecosystems, and to maintain and improve the sustainability of land resource-based industries. Major themes explored include earth processes and materials; landscape processes and soil formation; weather, climate and climate change; microclimate; nutrient cycling in terrestrial systems; the water cycle and catchment hydrology and; agroecosystems. Indigenous perspectives on natural systems are also considered. Practical skills in landscape assessment and interpretation are emphasised, as well as an appreciation of the effects of scale and temporal change in the examination of natural and managed systems.
Intended learning outcomes
At the completion of this subject students should be able to:
- Discuss how sustainable management stems from a respect of our planet’s natural systems;
- Recognise the processes that shape our agricultural and natural landscapes;
- Describe and begin to quantify the principles and nature of the global atmospheric circulation system and implications for agriculture and NRM;
- Describe and begin to quantify the water cycle, including the impact of catchment hydrology on stream flow and water resources;
- Apply the principles and practices developed in relation to major land systems in Australia and other regions of the world;
- Discuss various practices in the management of land systems at different scales, and the adverse impacts of mismanagement on Agricultural and Natural systems.
At the completion of this subject students should have the following skills:
- An ability to utilise a systems approach to analysing the natural systems that underpin Agriculture
- A capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning
- A profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of scholarship
- Begun to develop a technical competence in analysing natural systems as they relate to Agriculture and NRM
Last updated: 20 February 2024