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EA5018 - Field Studies in Tropical Land and Water Science

Credit points: 3
Year: 2023
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: College of Science and Engineering

This is a one-week field-based intensive course that provides students with a practical introduction to hydrological, water quality and soil issues of the tropics. Our laboratory is in Far North Queensland with all its geologically and climatically diverse landscapes, including the Great Barrier Reef catchments. We study natural hydrological processes and engineered hydraulic practices and the impacts that humans have on water and soils on this part of the tropics. The topics include (1) instrumentation and measurement techniques to measure streamflow; (2) measurement and mapping of soil properties and (3) water quality issues facing this region with local agricultural and urban examples. The subject also provides an opportunity to meet with professionals in the water and soil sector (e.g. Department of Natural Resources and Mines, DNRME, Cairns Regional Council) with visits to their experimental sites to see routine hydrological measurements as well as on-going research projects.

Learning Outcomes

  • Acquire knowledge of key processes influencing tropical hydrology and soils;
  • Develop enquiring approach;
  • Gain awareness of the water issues facing natural resources managers in the tropics;
  • Acquire up-to-date skills in assessing water quantity and quality.

Subject Assessment

  • Written > Test/Quiz 1 - (10%) - Individual
  • Oral > Presentation 1 - (15%) - Individual
  • Written > Examination (College administered) - (20%) - Individual
  • Written > Problem task - (55%) - Individual.
Students must have a good understanding of EARTH SCIENCE which includes knowledge of hydrology, soil science, geomorphology and ability to use Excel or R to do simple calculations (area, volume, rate calculations) and to plot graphs. (EV5016 or EA2006) and (EV5017 or EA2007 or EA3207) or will have acquired equivalent knowledge through industry experience.


Cairns, Study Period 6, Mixed attendance
Census Date 15-Jun-2023
Face to face teaching 03-Jul-2023 to 08-Jul-2023 (tba)
Coordinator: Dr HanShe Lim
Lecturers: Assoc. Professor Paul Nelson, Dr HanShe Lim.
Workload expectations:

The student workload for this 3 credit point subject is approximately 130 hours.

  • 7 hours workshops
  • 40 hours fieldwork
  • assessment and self-directed study

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.