Soil Sscience and Hydrology Descriptions

Unit outlines will be available through Find a unit outline two weeks before the first day of teaching for 1000-level and 5000-level units, or one week before the first day of teaching for all other units.
 

SOIL SCIENCE AND HYDROLOGY

Soil Science and Hydrology major

A major in Soil Science and Hydrology requires 48 credit points from this table including:
(i) 6 credit points of 1000-level selective units from list 1
(ii) 6 credit points of 1000-level selective units from list 2
(iii) 12 credit points of 2000-level core units
(iv) 12 credit points of 3000-level major core units
(v) 6 credit points of core interdisciplinary project units
(vi) 6 credit points of 3000-level major selective or interdisciplinary project selective units

Soil Science and Hydrology minor

A minor in Soil Science and Hydrology requires 36 credit points from this table including:
(i) 6 credit points of 1000-level selective units from list 1
(ii) 6 credit points of 1000-level selective units from list 2
(iii) 12 credit points of 2000-level core units
(iv) 6 credit points of 3000-level minor core units
(v) 6 credit points of core interdisciplinary project units

Units of study

The units of study are listed below.

1000-level units of study

Selective List 1
BIOL1006 Life and Evolution

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: BIOL1001 or BIOL1911 or BIOL1991 or BIOL1906 or BIOL1996 Assumed knowledge: HSC Biology. Students who have not completed HSC Biology (or equivalent) are strongly advised to take the Biology Bridging Course (offered in February). Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: 11 x 3-hour lab classes, 2 field excursions Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Biology is an immensely diverse science. Biologists study life at all levels, from the fundamental building blocks (genes, proteins) to whole ecosystems in which myriads of species interact. Evolution is the unifying concept that runs through the life sciences, from the origin and diversification of life to understanding behaviour, to dealing with disease. Evolution through natural selection is the framework in biology in which specific details make sense. This unit explores how new species continue to arise while others go extinct and discusses the role of mutations as the raw material on which selection acts. It explains how information is transferred between generations through DNA, RNA and proteins, transformations which affect all aspects of biological form and function. Science builds and organises knowledge of life and evolution in the form of testable hypotheses. You will participate in inquiry-led practical classes investigating single-celled organisms and the diversity of form and function in plants and animals. By doing this unit of study, you will develop the ability to examine novel biological systems and understand the complex processes that have shaped those systems.
Textbooks
Knox, B., Ladiges, P.Y., Evans, B.K., Saint, R. (2014) Biology: an Australian focus, 5e, McGraw-Hill education, North Ryde, N.S.W
BIOL1906 Life and Evolution (Advanced)

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: BIOL1001 or BIOL1911 or BIOL1991 or BIOL1006 or BIOL1996 Assumed knowledge: 85 or above in HSC Biology or equivalent. Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: 11 x 3-hour lab classes, 3 field excursions Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Biology is an immensely diverse science. Biologists study life at all levels, from the fundamental building blocks (genes, proteins) to whole ecosystems in which myriads of species interact. Evolution is the unifying concept that runs through the life sciences, from the origin and diversification of life to understanding behaviour, to dealing with disease. Evolution through natural selection is the framework in biology in which specific details make sense. This unit explores how new species continue to arise while others go extinct and discusses the role of mutations as the raw material on which selection acts. It explains how information is transferred between generations through DNA, RNA and proteins, transformations which affect all aspects of biological form and function. Science builds and organises knowledge of life and evolution in the form of testable hypotheses. You will participate in inquiry-led practical classes investigating single-celled organisms and the diversity of form and function in plants and animals.
Life and Evolution (Advanced) has the same overall structure as BIOL1006 but material is discussed in greater detail and at a more advanced level. Students enrolled in BIOL1906 participate in an authentic urban biodiversity management research project with a focus on developing skills in critical evaluation, experimental design, data analysis and communication.
Textbooks
Knox, B., Ladiges, P.Y., Evans, B.K., Saint, R. (2014) Biology: an Australian focus, 5e, McGraw-Hill education, North Ryde, N.S.W
BIOL1996 Life and Evolution (SSP)

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: BIOL1001 or BIOL1911 or BIOL1991 or BIOL1006 or BIOL1906 or BIOL1993 or BIOL1998 Assumed knowledge: 90 or above in HSC Biology or equivalent Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Biology is an immensely diverse science. Biologists study life at all levels, from the fundamental building blocks (genes, and proteins) to whole ecosystems in which myriad species interact. Evolution is the unifying concept that runs through the life sciences, from the origin and diversification of life to understanding behaviour, to dealing with disease. Evolution through natural selection is the framework in biology in which specific details make sense. Science builds and organises knowledge of life and evolution in the form of testable hypotheses. The practical work syllabus for BIOL1996 is different from that of BIOL1906 (Advanced) and consists of a special project-based laboratory.
Textbooks
Please see unit outline on LMS
BIOL1007 From Molecules to Ecosystems

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Intensive February,Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: BIOL1907 or BIOL1997 Assumed knowledge: HSC Biology. Students who have not completed HSC Biology (or equivalent) are strongly advised to take the Biology Bridging Course (offered in February). Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Block mode
Paradigm shifts in biology have changed the emphasis from single biomolecule studies to complex systems of biomolecules, cells and their interrelationships in ecosystems of life. Such an integrated understanding of cells, biomolecules and ecosystems is key to innovations in biology. Life relies on organisation, communication, responsiveness and regulation at every level. Understanding biological mechanisms, improving human health and addressing the impact of human activity are the great challenges of the 21st century. This unit will investigate life at levels ranging from cells, and biomolecule ecosystems, through to complex natural and human ecosystems. You will explore the importance of homeostasis in health and the triggers that lead to disease and death. You will learn the methods of cellular, biomolecular, microbial and ecological investigation that allow us to understand life and discover how expanding tools have improved our capacity to manage and intervene in ecosystems for our own health and organisms in the environment that surround and support us . You will participate in inquiry-led practicals that reinforce the concepts in the unit. By doing this unit you will develop knowledge and skills that will enable you to play a role in finding global solutions that will impact our lives.
BIOL1907 From Molecules to Ecosystems (Advanced)

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: BIOL1007 or BIOL1997 Assumed knowledge: 85 or above in HSC Biology or equivalent Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Paradigm shifts in biology have changed the emphasis from single biomolecule studies to complex systems of biomolecules, cells and their interrelationships in ecosystems of life. Such an integrated understanding of cells, biomolecules and ecosystems is key to innovations in biology. Life relies on organisation, communication, responsiveness and regulation at every level. Understanding biological mechanisms, improving human health and addressing the impact of human activity are the great challenges of the 21st century. This unit will investigate life at levels ranging from cells, and biomolecule ecosystems, through to complex natural and human ecosystems. You will explore the importance of homeostasis in health and the triggers that lead to disease and death. You will learn the methods of cellular, biomolecular, microbial and ecological investigation that allow us to understand life and discover how expanding tools have improved our capacity to manage and intervene in ecosystems for our own health and organisms in the environment that surround and support us . This unit of study has the same overall structure as BIOL1007 but material is discussed in greater detail and at a more advanced level. The content and nature of these components may vary from year to year.
Textbooks
Please see unit outline on LMS
BIOL1997 From Molecules to Ecosystems (SSP)

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: BIOL1007 or BIOL1907 Assumed knowledge: 90 or above in HSC Biology or equivalent Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Paradigm shifts in biology have changed the emphasis from single biomolecule studies to complex systems of biomolecules, cells and their interrelationships in ecosystems of life. Such an integrated understanding of cells, biomolecules and ecosystems is key to innovations in biology. Life relies on organisation, communication, responsiveness and regulation at every level. Understanding biological mechanisms, improving human health and addressing the impact of human activity are the great challenges of the 21st century. This unit will investigate life at levels ranging from cells, and biomolecule ecosystems, through to complex natural and human ecosystems. You will explore the importance of homeostasis in health and the triggers that lead to disease and death. You will learn the methods of cellular, biomolecular, microbial and ecological investigation that allow us to understand life and intervene in ecosystems to improve health. The same theory will be covered as in the advanced stream but in this Special Studies Unit, the practical component is a research project. The research will be a synthetic biology project investigating genetically engineered organisms. Students will have the opportunity to develop higher level generic skills in computing, communication, critical analysis, problem solving, data analysis and experimental design.
Textbooks
Please see unit outline on LMS
Selective List 2
CHEM1011 Fundamentals of Chemistry 1A

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: CHEM1001 or CHEM1101 or CHEM1901 or CHEM1903 or CHEM1109 or CHEM1111 or CHEM1911 or CHEM1991 Assumed knowledge: There is no assumed knowledge of chemistry for this unit of study but students who have not completed HSC Chemistry (or equivalent) are strongly advised to take the Chemistry Bridging Course (offered in February). Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Students who have not completed HSC Chemistry (or equivalent) are strongly advised to take the Chemistry Bridging Course (offered in February, and online year-round, see https://sydney.edu.au/students/bridging-courses.html).
Chemistry describes how and why things happen from a molecular perspective. Chemistry underpins all aspects of the natural and physical world, and provides the basis for new technologies and advances in the life, medical and physical sciences, engineering, and industrial processes. This unit of study will equip you with the fundamental knowledge and skills in chemistry for broad application. You will learn about atomic theory, structure and bonding, equilibrium, processes occurring in solutions, and the functional groups of molecules. You will develop experimental design, conduct and analysis skills in chemistry through experiments that ask and answer questions about the chemical nature and processes occurring around you. Through inquiry, observation and measurement, you will better understand natural and physical world and will be able to apply this understanding to real-world problems and solutions. This unit of study is directed toward students whose chemical background is weak (or non-existent). Compared to the mainstream Chemistry 1A, the theory component of this unit begins with more fundamental concepts, and does not cover, or goes into less detail about some topics. Progression to intermediate chemistry from this unit and Fundamentals of Chemistry 1B requires completion of an online supplementary course.
Textbooks
Recommended textbook: Blackman, Bottle, Schmid, Mocerino and Wille,Chemistry, 3rd Edition, 2015 (John Wiley) ISBN: 978-0-7303-1105-8 (paperback) or 978-0-7303-2492-8 (e-text)
CHEM1111 Chemistry 1A

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Intensive February,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: CHEM1001 or CHEM1101 or CHEM1901 or CHEM1903 or CHEM1109 or CHEM1011 or CHEM1911 or CHEM1991 Assumed knowledge: Students who have not completed HSC Chemistry (or equivalent) and HSC Mathematics (or equivalent) are strongly advised to take the Chemistry and Mathematics Bridging Courses (offered in February) Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Students who have not completed secondary school chemistry are strongly advised to instead complete Fundamentals of Chemistry 1A in the first semester of the calendar year (unless you require 12 credit points of Chemistry and are commencing in semester 2). You should also take the Chemistry Bridging Course in advance (offered in February, and online year-round https://sydney.edu.au/students/bridging-courses.html).
Chemistry describes how and why things happen from a molecular perspective. Chemistry underpins all aspects of the natural and physical world, and provides the basis for new technologies and advances in the life, medical and physical sciences, engineering, and industrial processes. This unit of study will further develop your knowledge and skills in chemistry for application to life and medical sciences, engineering, and further study in chemistry. You will learn about nuclear and radiation chemistry, wave theory, atomic orbitals, spectroscopy, bonding, enthalpy and entropy, equilibrium, processes occurring in solutions, and the functional groups in carbon chemistry. You will develop experimental design, conduct and analysis skills in chemistry through experiments that ask and answer questions like how do dyes work, how do we desalinate water, how do we measure the acid content in foods, how do we get the blue in a blueprint, and how do we extract natural products from plants? Through inquiry, observation and measurement, you will understand the 'why' and the 'how' of the natural and physical world and will be able to apply this understanding to real-world problems and solutions. This unit of study is directed toward students with a satisfactory prior knowledge of the HSC chemistry course.
Textbooks
Recommended textbook: Blackman, Bottle, Schmid, Mocerino and Wille,Chemistry, 3rd Edition, 2015 (John Wiley) ISBN: 978-0-7303-1105-8 (paperback) or 978-0-7303-2492-8 (e-text)
CHEM1911 Chemistry 1A (Advanced)

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: CHEM1001 or CHEM1101 or CHEM1901 or CHEM1903 or CHEM1109 or CHEM1011 or CHEM1111 or CHEM1991 Assumed knowledge: 80 or above in HSC Chemistry or equivalent Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Chemistry describes how and why things happen from a molecular perspective. Chemistry underpins all aspects of the natural and physical world, and provides the basis for new technologies and advances in sciences, engineering, and industrial processes. This unit of study will further develop your knowledge and skills in chemistry for broad application, including further study in chemistry. You will learn about nuclear and radiation chemistry, wave theory, atomic orbitals, spectroscopy, bonding, enthalpy and entropy, equilibrium, processes occurring in solutions, and the functional groups of molecules. You will develop experimental design, conduct and analysis skills in chemistry through experiments that ask and answer questions about the chemical nature and processes occurring around you. Through inquiry, observation and measurement, you will better understand natural and physical world and will be able to apply this understanding to real-world problems and solutions. This unit of study is directed toward students with a good secondary performance both overall and in chemistry or science. Students in this category are expected to do this unit rather than Chemistry 1A. Compared to the mainstream Chemistry 1A, the theory component of this unit provides a higher level of academic rigour and makes broader connections between topics.
Textbooks
Recommended textbook: Blackman, Bottle, Schmid, Mocerino and Wille,Chemistry, 3rd Edition, 2015 (John Wiley) ISBN: 978-0-7303-1105-8 (paperback) or 978-0-7303-2492-8 (e-text)
CHEM1991 Chemistry 1A (Special Studies Program)

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: CHEM1001 or CHEM1101 or CHEM1901 or CHEM1903 or CHEM1109 or CHEM1011 or CHEM1111 or CHEM1911 Assumed knowledge: 90 or above in HSC Chemistry or equivalent Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Chemistry describes how and why things happen from a molecular perspective. Chemistry underpins all aspects of the natural and physical world, and provides the basis for new technologies and advances in the life, medical and physical sciences, engineering, and industrial processes. This unit of study will further develop your knowledge and skills in chemistry for application to life and medical sciences, engineering, and further study in chemistry. You will learn about nuclear and radiation chemistry, wave theory, atomic orbitals, spectroscopy, bonding, enthalpy and entropy, equilibrium, processes occurring in solutions, and the functional groups in carbon chemistry. You will develop experimental design, conduct and analysis skills in chemistry in small group projects. The laboratory program is designed to extend students who already have chemistry laboratory experience, and particularly caters for students who already show a passion and enthusiasm for research chemistry, as well as aptitude as demonstrated by high school chemistry results. Entry to Chemistry 1A (Special Studies Program) is restricted to a small number of students with an excellent school record in Chemistry, and applications must be made to the School of Chemistry. The practical work syllabus for Chemistry 1A (Special Studies Program) is very different from that for Chemistry 1A and Chemistry 1A (Advanced) and consists of special project-based laboratory exercises. All other unit of study details are the same as those for Chemistry 1A (Advanced).
Textbooks
Recommended textbook: Blackman, Bottle, Schmid, Mocerino and Wille,Chemistry, 3rd Edition, 2015 (John Wiley) ISBN: 978-0-7303-1105-8 (paperback) or 978-0-7303-2492-8 (e-text)
ENVI1003 Global Challenges: Food, Water, Climate

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: AGEN1002 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Computer practicals and two-day field trip Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
In the 21st century the population of the world will increase both in size and its expectation in terms of food, energy and consumer demands. Against this demand we have a planet in crisis where natural resources are degraded, biodiversity is diminishing and planetary cycles related to climate are reaching points of irreversible change. Management of our precious natural resources is a balancing act between production and conservation as always, but now we have to do this against a background of potential large scale changes in climate. In this unit students will gain an understanding of the key environmental challenges of the 21st century; namely food security, climate change, water security, biodiversity protection, ecosystems services and soil security. In the second half, using Australian case studies, we will explore how we manage different agro-ecosystems within their physical constraints around water, climate and soil, while considering linkages with the global environmental challenges. Management now, in the past and the future will be considered, with an emphasis on food production. This unit is recommended unit for students interested in gaining a broad overview of the environmental challenges of the 21st century, both globally and within Australia.
GEOS1001 Earth, Environment and Society

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: GEOS1901 or GEOG1001 or GEOG1002 or GEOL1001 or GEOL1002 or GEOL1902 or ENSY1001 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This is the gateway unit of study for Human Geography, Physical Geography, Environmental Studies and Geology. Its objective is to introduce the big questions relating to the origins and current state of the planet: climate change, environment, landscape formation, and the growth of the human population. During the semester you will be introduced to knowledge, theories and debates about how the world's physical and human systems operate. The first module investigates the evolution of the planet through geological time, with a focus on major Earth systems such as plate tectonics and mantle convection and their interaction with the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and human civilisations. The second module presents Earth as an evolving and dynamic planet, investigating global environmental change, addressing climate variability and human impacts on the natural environment and the rate at which these changes occur and how they have the potential to dramatically affect the way we live. Finally, the third module, focuses on human-induced challenges to Earth's future. This part of the unit critically analyses the relationships between people and their environments, with central consideration to debates on population change, resource use and the policy contexts of climate change mitigation and adaptation.
GEOS1901 Earth, Environment and Society Advanced

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: GEOS1001 or GEOG1001 or GEOG1002 or GEOL1001 or GEOL1002 or GEOL1902 or ENSY1001 Assumed knowledge: (ATAR 90 or above) or equivalent Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Advanced students will complete the same core lecture material as for GEOS1001, but will be required to carry out more challenging practical assignments.

2000-level units of study

Core
GEOS2116 Earth Surface Processes

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: GEOS2916 or GEOG2321 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: 3-5 day field trip Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The surface of the planet on which you live is the product of a balance between tectonic forces and numerous agents of erosion. The landscapes in which you live and work, and from which you draw resources, are therefore the legacy of many processes operating synchronously over long time periods. It is also true that Earth's landscapes are dynamic, and constantly changing around you in response to climate, tectonics and patterns of life. The sustainable management of landscapes is strongly dependent upon an awareness of those processes and the ways that they constrain human-environment interactions. In Earth Surface Processes, you will learn how landscapes are produced, and what this means for contemporary land use. Lectures by experts in physical geography, geology, soil science and environmental science will introduce you to the planetary and regional-scale controls on landforms and landscape dynamics, and the nature and distribution of major Australian landscape types. Focussed around 'hands on' field and laboratory-based tasks, students will gain essential practical, analytical and interpretive skills in the analysis of landscapes and earth surface processes that shape them. This is a unit for anyone wanting to better understand the planet on which they live.
Textbooks
Allen, P.A., 2009. Earth surface processes. John Wiley and Sons. Scitech, 551.3 72 Sharma, V.K., 2010. Introduction to process geomorphology. CRC Press. Scitech, 551.41 113
GEOS2916 Earth Surface Processes (Advanced)

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: Annual average mark of at least 70 Prohibitions: GEOS2116 or GEOG2321 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The surface of the planet on which you live is the product of a balance between tectonic forces and numerous agents of erosion. The landscapes in which you live and work, and from which you draw resources, are therefore the legacy of many processes operating synchronously over long time periods. It is also true that Earth's landscapes are dynamic, and constantly changing around you in response to climate, tectonics and patterns of life. The sustainable management of landscapes is strongly dependent upon an awareness of those processes and the ways that they constrain human-environment interactions. In the Advanced mode of Earth Surface Processes, you will learn how landscapes are produced, and what this means for contemporary land use. Lectures by experts in physical geography, geology, soil science and environmental science will introduce you to the planetary and regional-scale controls on landforms and landscape dynamics, and the nature and distribution of major Australian landscape types. Focussed around 'hands on' field and laboratory-based tasks, students will gain essential practical, analytical and interpretive skills in the analysis of landscapes and earth surface processes that shape them. The Advanced mode of Earth Surface Processes challenges you to create new knowledge, and provides a higher level of academic rigour. You will take part in a series of small-group practical exercises that will develop your skills in research design and execution, and will provide you with a greater depth of understanding in core aspects of geomorphology. The Advanced mode will culminate in a research-focussed Advanced Assignment. This is a unit for anyone wanting to better understand the planet on which they live, and who may wish to develop higher-level analytical and research skills in geomorphology and landscape analysis.
Textbooks
Allen, P.A., 2009. Earth surface processes. John Wiley and Sons. Scitech, 551.3 72 Sharma, V.K., 2010. Introduction to process geomorphology. CRC Press. Scitech, 551.41 113
SOIL2005 Soil and Water: Earth's Life Support Systems

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: SOIL2003 or LWSC2002 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Approximately eight hours working field at Cobbitty Farm Wk 0 (Friday, 22 Feb 2019) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Soil and water are the two most essential natural resources on the Earth's surface which influence all forms of terrestrial life. This unit of study is designed to introduce students to the fundamental properties and processes of soil and water that affect food security and sustain ecosystems. These properties and processes are part of the grounding principles that underpin crop and animal production, nutrient and water cycling, and environmental sustainability. You will participate in a field excursion to examine soils in a landscape to develop knowledge and understanding of soil properties, water storage, water movement and cycling of organic carbon and nutrients in relation to food production and ecosystem functioning. At the end of this unit you will be able to articulate and quantify the factors and processes that determine the composition and behaviour of soil, composition of water, soil water storage and the movement of water on the land surface. You will also be able to describe the most important properties of soil and water for food production and sustaining ecosystem functions and link this to human and climatic factors. The field excursion, report and laboratory/computer exercises have been designed to develop communication, team work and collaborative efforts.
Textbooks
Brady, N.C. and Ray R. Weil. (2007). The Nature and Properties of Soils. 14th Edition, Prentice Hall, New Jersey. White, R.E. (2006) Principles and Practice of Soil Science: the Soil as a Natural Resource. 4th ed., Blackwell Science, Oxford. Diana H. Wall, Richard D. Bardgett, Valerie Behan-Pelletier, Jeffrey E. Herrick, T. Hefin Jones, Karl Ritz, Johan Six, Donald R. Strong, and Wim H. van der Putten (Eds.) (2012). Soil Ecology and Ecosystem Services. Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780199575923. Kutllek, M and Nielsen, D.R. (2015). Soil: The Skin of the Planet Earth, Springer, ISBN: 978-94-017-9788-7 (Print) 978-94-017-9789-4 (Online). Gordon, N. D., McMahon, T. A., Finlayson, B. L., Gippel, C. J., and Nathan, R. J. (2004) Stream Hydrology: an Introduction for Ecologists, John Wiley and Sons Inc.

3000-level units of study

Major core
ENVX3001 Environmental GIS

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: 6cp from (ENVI1003 or AGEN1002) or 6cp from GEOS1XXX or 6cp from BIOL1XXX or GEOS2X11 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit is designed to impart knowledge and skills in spatial analysis and geographical information science (GIS) for decision-making in an environmental context. The lecture material will present several modules: introduction to GIS, digital terrain mapping, remote sensing and applications. Practical exercises will focus on learning geographical information systems (GIS) and how to apply them to land resource assessment, including digital terrain modelling, land-cover assessment, sub-catchment modelling, ecological applications, and soil quality assessment for decisions regarding sustainable land use and management. By the end of this UoS, students should be able to: differentiate between spatial data and spatial information; source geospatial data from government and private agencies; apply conceptual models of spatial phenomena for practical decision-making in an environmental context; apply critical analysis of situations to apply the concepts of spatial analysis to solving environmental and land resource problems; communicate effectively results of GIS investigations through various means- oral and written; and use a major GIS software package such as ArcGIS.
Textbooks
Burrough, P.A. and McDonnell, R.A. 1998. Principles of Geographic Information Systems. Oxford University Press: Oxford.
ENVX3003 Hydrological Monitoring and Modelling

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: Completion of 72 credit points of units of study Prohibitions: LWSC3007 Assumed knowledge: SOIL2005 or GEOS2116 or ENVI1003 or GEOS1001 or ENSC2001 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: 3 days fieldwork near Cootamundra Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Globally, and in Australia in particular, water quantity and quality problems are growing due to increasing human use and a changing climate. In this unit, you will engage with field-based and quantitative problems related to water quantity and quality. This includes a multi-day field trip to regional NSW to collect samples and engage with field-based activities. During these activities, you will develop field-based skills for collection of hydrological data. The data will be used later in the unit to analyse and map the water quantity and quality issues in the catchment, relating this to landscape, management and climate. The second part of the unit focusses on developing an insight into model building, model calibration, validation and sensitivity analysis. It links back to the field experience by using long-term data collected by previous student cohorts and focussing on the identified landscape issues. This part of the study will allow you to directly engage with numerical approaches in prediction and forecasting in landscape hydrological models. The unit of study is specifically designed to extend your field hydrological knowledge and to strengthen your analytical and numerical skills in this area.
Core Interdisciplinary project
SOIL3888 Protecting the Soil Resource

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: 96cp including SOIL2005 or GEOS2X16 Prohibitions: SOIL2004 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Between 2 and 5 days of soil survey/soil sampling in regional or peri-urban NSW Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The University of Sydney's new curriculum aims to provide increased experiential, collaborative and interdisciplinary learning and project-based learning is a core component of this. The SOIL3888 interdisciplinary project unit provides an opportunity for you to be part of an interdisciplinary student team that investigates a real world problem involving soil inregional or peri-urban NSW. Each student will select to work on a project related to agriculture or to the environment. Both projects will involve 2-5 days of fieldwork for soil observation and sampling. Students will work collaboratively in a series of practical sessions (before and after the fieldwork) to digitally map soil attributes, and to critically analyse all collected and mapped data. Each project group will then compile a 'consultant's report' for the landholder(s), detailing the issue or problem, the diagnosis and the recommended management strategies to optimize crop production/ecosystem services, while protecting the soil resource. For all students enrolled in SOIL3888, the fieldwork and practical sessions will be scaffolded with a series of lectures covering the high capability agricultural soils of eastern Australia and the various forms of soil degradation that must be managed for to protect our valuable soil resources. The project experience in this unit will give you the opportunity to apply your soil science skills and disciplinary knowledge (Graduate Quality 1) to an authentic problem and develop the other Graduate Qualities (2-6) that will be valuable for your future career.
Major selective
ENVX3002 Statistics in the Natural Sciences

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: ENVX2001 or STAT2X12 or BIOL2X22 or DATA2X02 or QBIO2001 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit of study is designed to introduce students to the analysis of data they may face in their future careers, in particular data that are not well behaved. The data may be non-normal, there may be missing observations, they may be correlated in space and time or too numerous to analyse with standard models. The unit is presented in an applied context with an emphasis on correctly analysing authentic datasets, and interpreting the output. It begins with the analysis and design of experiments based on the general linear model. In the second part, students will learn about the generalisation of the general linear model to accommodate non-normal data with a particular emphasis on the binomial and Poisson distributions. In the third part linear mixed models will be introduced which provide the means to analyse datasets that do not meet the assumptions of independent and equal errors, for example data that is correlated in space and time. The units ends with an introduction to machine learning and predictive modelling. A key feature of the unit is using R to develop coding skills that are become essential in science for processing and analysing datasets of ever increasing size.
SOIL3009 Contemporary Field and Lab Soil Science

This unit of study is not available in 2021

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Budiman Minasny (Coordinator), Prof Balwant Singh, A/Prof. Stephen Cattle, Prof Alex McBratney Session: Semester 1 Classes: Two lectures and two practicals, or one lecture and three practicals per week, 6-day field excursion north-western NSW commencing 15 days prior to beginning of Semester 1 Prerequisites: SOIL2003 or SOIL2004 or SOIL2005 Assessment: one viva voce exam (35%), field trip written assessments (30%), soil judging (15%), laboratory reports (15%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This is a theoretical and empirical unit providing specialised training in three important areas of contemporary soil science, namely pedology, soil chemistry, and soil physics. The key concepts of these sub-disciplines will be outlined and strengthened by hands-on training in contemporary field and laboratory techniques. All of this is synthesized by placing it in the context of soil distribution and use in North-Western New South Wales. The unit is motivated by the teaching team's research in this locale. It builds on students, existing soil science knowledge gained in SOIL2003. After completion of the unit, students should be able to articulate the advantages and disadvantages of current field and laboratory techniques for gathering necessary soil information, and simultaneously recognise key concepts and principles that guide contemporary thought in soil science. Students will be able to synthesise soil information from a multiplicity of sources and have an appreciation of the cutting edge areas of soil management and research. By investigating the contemporary nature of key concepts, students will develop their skills in research and inquiry. Students will develop their communication skills through report writing and will also articulate an openness to new ways of thinking which augments intellectual autonomy. Teamwork and collaborative efforts are encouraged in this unit.
Textbooks
Textbooks: D. Hillel, 2004. Introduction to Environmental Soil Physics. Elsevier Science, San Diego, CA, USA.
Interdisciplinary project selective
SCPU3001 Science Interdisciplinary Project

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Intensive February,Intensive July,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: 96 credit points Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This interdisciplinary unit provides students with the opportunity to address complex problems identified by industry, community, and government organisations, and gain valuable experience in working across disciplinary boundaries. In collaboration with a major industry partner and an academic lead, students integrate their academic skills and knowledge by working in teams with students from a range of disciplinary backgrounds. This experience allows students to research, analyse and present solutions to a real¿world problem, and to build on their interpersonal and transferable skills by engaging with and learning from industry experts and presenting their ideas and solutions to the industry partner.
Minor core
ENVX3003 Hydrological Monitoring and Modelling

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: Completion of 72 credit points of units of study Prohibitions: LWSC3007 Assumed knowledge: SOIL2005 or GEOS2116 or ENVI1003 or GEOS1001 or ENSC2001 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: 3 days fieldwork near Cootamundra Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Globally, and in Australia in particular, water quantity and quality problems are growing due to increasing human use and a changing climate. In this unit, you will engage with field-based and quantitative problems related to water quantity and quality. This includes a multi-day field trip to regional NSW to collect samples and engage with field-based activities. During these activities, you will develop field-based skills for collection of hydrological data. The data will be used later in the unit to analyse and map the water quantity and quality issues in the catchment, relating this to landscape, management and climate. The second part of the unit focusses on developing an insight into model building, model calibration, validation and sensitivity analysis. It links back to the field experience by using long-term data collected by previous student cohorts and focussing on the identified landscape issues. This part of the study will allow you to directly engage with numerical approaches in prediction and forecasting in landscape hydrological models. The unit of study is specifically designed to extend your field hydrological knowledge and to strengthen your analytical and numerical skills in this area.