EAE2322 - Environmental earth science - 2017

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

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


The lithosphere and biosphere are intimately related components of the natural environment which are critical to the development, maintenance and functioning of ecosystems. The unit will introduce students to concepts and processes in the

biotic and abiotic components of natural ecosystems and how humans influence these processes. This unit will provide students with an understanding how biotic and abiotic processes shape natural and managed ecosystems. The interaction between soils and vegetation, and their role in ecosystem functioning will be explored. The unit will also examine the broader-scale issues such as human and climatic influences on land and vegetation management and conservation, and interactions between the lithosphere and biosphere.


On completion of this unit, students will have gained:

  1. the ability to identify the biotic and abiotic processes which support the development of Earth's biosphere and lead to formation of soils and sediments, and how they interact to influence vegetation;
  2. practical, hands-on experience in field description and laboratory analysis of vegetation, biofilms, sediments and soils;
  3. the ability to identify key soil- and sediment-forming materials and processes;
  4. the ability to explain the role of plants, vegetation and microorganisms in ecosystem functioning;
  5. the capacity to analyse interactions between Australia's unique soils and vegetation and to apply this knowledge to the future conservation and management of these resources.


In semester continuous assessment: 50%

Examination (2 hours): 50%

Workload requirements

  • Three hours of lectures + One 3-hour practical per week + One 2-day field trip on a weekend during semester.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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

Earth sciences major

Environmental science major

Geographical science major

Human geography major


One of ATS1301, ESC1011 or EAE1022


ATS2774, ESC2122, GES2170