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The subject follows the fate of water as it moves into and through a broad range of land systems and the soil processes that influence the quality and quantity of water. These landscapes include upland forested catchments, extensively managed rural landscapes, intensive land use along floodplains and urban landscapes. The subject develops knowledge of the key water and soil processes that interact with natural and managed terrestrial systems, and students will gain a solid understanding of ecosystem functioning that will allow them to apply soil and water knowledge to address environmental, conservation and rehabilitation issues. Understanding the role of hydrology and soils across these ecosystems is critical for a range of professions including environmental and agricultural scientists, geographers, ecologists and plant scientists.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate a broad understanding of contrasting soils and hydrologic processes and their critical interactions across diverse ecosystems – including natural, intensively managed, and urban;
- Identify and understand key water and soil processes that are the foundations of ecosystem functioning;
- Apply the ecosystem paradigm to solving complex soil, environmental and catchment management problems confronting contemporary landscapes;
- Evaluate and interpret water and soil processes in a diverse range of ecosystems from knowledge and skills gained during the subject field trip to ecosystems from the mountains to the sea; and
- Integrate the practical knowledge and theoretical skills developed in soil and water ecosystem processes, and apply this to real-life ecosystem management, planning and policy issues and problem-solving.
In addition to learning specific skills that will assist students in their future careers in science, they will have the opportunity to develop generic skills that will assist them in any future career path. These include:
- Critical thinking (problem definition, analysis and synthesis)
- Report Writing
Last updated: 13 February 2024