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Soil Science and Hydrology

About the major

Soil and water security are major human existential challenges to the planet and more so in Australia, being the driest continent with highly weathered soils. The Soil Science and Hydrology major provides students with training in three key areas: soil, water and climate, and their links with functional, resilient and productive ecosystems. Soil, water and climate define the physical constraints to ecosystems, and the interpretation of these along with their costs and benefits supports the development of policy and sustainable management strategies. This knowledge will help secure our soil and water resources to maintain healthy, functional and productive ecosystems. We will explore the complex interaction between soil, water and climate, and the way we manage our landscapes. Ecosystems are considered across paddock to catchment scales and include all sectors from agriculture to forestry to mining to nature reserves.

This major has a strong emphasis on field-based learning through field schools and emphasis on field measurement and modelling through analysis of non-spatial and spatial data. Working with case studies and projects, you will identify and analyse real-world problems with the aim of identifying options to maintain the functionality of these interrelated systems. Students will develop generic skills in GIS, laboratory and data analysis that will enable students to contribute to water and soil security.

Requirements for completion

The Soil Science and Hydrology major and minor requirements are listed in the Soil Science and Hydrology unit of study table.

Contact and further information

School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Associate Professor Stephen Cattle

Learning outcomes

Students who graduate from Soil Science and Hydrology will be able to:

No. Learning outcome
1 Exhibit a broad and coherent body of knowledge in soil science and hydrology with a depth of knowledge in underlying theories, concepts and principle sub-disciplines.
2 Integrate deep knowledge of soil science and hydrology with concepts and principles in other disciplines including agriculture, ecology and environmental sciences.
3 Evaluate the application of soil science and hydrology to contemporary agricultural, ecological and environmental issues and the development of policy and management strategies.
4 Quantify, analyse and interpret integrated soil and water data in the field and the laboratory.
5 Communicate soil science and hydrology concepts and findings through a range of modes for a variety of purposes and audiences using evidence-based arguments that are robust to critique.
6 Integrate soil science and hydrology through research-based projects and develop expertise in solving real-world problems.
7 Address authentic problems in soil science and hydrology, working professionally and responsibly and with consideration of cross-cultural perspectives, within collaborative, interdisciplinary teams.
8 Engage directly with industry in a professional and ethical manner to address real-world issues in soil science and hydrology.