ESC3788 - Soils, landscapes and their management - 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)


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.


On completion of this unit student will be able 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 assessment: 20%

Examination (2 hours): 30%

Practical work/fieldwork: 40%

Oral class presentation: 10%

Workload requirements

Two one-hour lectures

One three-hour practical per week

One two-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 from the unit coordinator