EAE2322 - Environmental earth science - 2019

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

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Vanessa Wong


Dr Vanessa Wong

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


One of ATS1301, ESC1011 or EAE1022


ATS2774, ESC2122, GES2170


Soils, water and vegetation 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, water 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 their interactions.


On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

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


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

In semester continuous assessment: 50%

Examination (2 hours): 50%

Workload requirements

The workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours spread across the semester (approximately 12 hours per week) - approximately an even mixture of attendance at scheduled activities such as workshops, lectures and laboratories, and self-scheduled study time. Learning activities comprise a mixture of instructor directed, peer-directed and self-directed learning, which includes face-to-face and online engagement.

One 2-day field trip on a weekend during semester

See also Unit timetable information

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