Faculty of Science

print version

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment


Dr Vanessa Wong



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


Previously coded GES3360


Sustainable land management is a critical challenge facing society. Soils are the drive train of terrestrial ecosystems, supporting both natural and agricultural systems. This unit explores relationships of soil development to landscape processes, and Australian soil management in the context of past, present and future environmental change. Topics such as salinity, coastal and wetland soils, soil carbon and soil fertility are discussed. Students are presented with a number of soil problems and land management issues, and explore alternative land uses and sustainable land management techniques for Australian environments.


By the end of this unit, students are expected to:

  1. Exhibit a high level of skills in field description and identification of soils;
  2. Assess the current explanations for various soil and landscape management problems through both critical evaluation of the literature and field and laboratory data;
  3. Place soil and land management issues in their broader social, economic and institutional settings;
  4. Place soil and land management issues in the context of both longer term environmental change and current environmental change;
  5. Be familiar with a number of specific examples of Australian soil formation and management issues.


Written: 20%
Examinations (2 hours): 30%
Practical work/fieldwork: 40%
Oral class presentation: 10%

Workload requirements

Two 1-hour lectures and one 3-hour practical per week, and one 2-day field trip in the semester

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


ATS2774 or ENV2747 or permission of unit coordinator