Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedClayton Second semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Christy Briles


Previously coded GES2130


Soils and vegetation are intimately related components of the natural environment which are critical to the development, maintenance and functioning of ecosystems. The soils and vegetation of Australia are quite different from those in other parts of the world as a result of their evolution in isolation and the distinct climatic and geological history of the continent. Lectures in this unit focus on the description, classification and historical development of Australian soils and vegetation as a basis for their conservation and management. The practical side of the unit is designed to develop students' familiarity with key vegetation and soil types in south-eastern Australia and their analysis.


At the end of the course, students should have acquired:

  1. a familiarity with methods related to field and laboratory description and analysis of vegetation and soils;
  2. a basic understanding of soil-forming materials and processes;
  3. a basic understanding of the role of plants and vegetation in ecosystem functioning;
  4. an appreciation of the distinct nature of Australian soils and vegetation and how this knowledge can be used to contribute to the future conservation and management of these resources.


Written (1500 words): 30%
Examination (2 hours): 40%
Practical work/fieldwork (1000 words): 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Christy Briles

Contact hours

4 hours per week (composed of lectures and practicals, plus two days fieldwork)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Sustainability, environment and society
Geography and environmental science (ARTS)
Geographical science
Conservation of biological diversity and cultural heritage
Land and water management