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EA3007 - Field Studies in Tropical Water and Soil Science

Credit points: 3
Year: 2012
Student Contribution Band: Band 4
Administered by: Sch of Earth & Environmental Sciences

This is a field-based one-week intensive course that provides a practical introduction to hydrological, water quality, regolith and soil issues of the tropics. Our laboratory is Far North Queensland, with all its geologically and climatically diverse landscapes, including the Great Barrier Reef catchments. We study the natural processes and human impacts on the amount and quality of water flowing through rivers and aquifers. Topics include landscape water balance, hydrological monitoring and modelling, aquifer properties, transport and transformations of nutrients and contaminants, water quality assessment in the field and laboratory, soil erosion and degradation, dryland and irrigation salinity and water regulation.

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.

Graduate Qualities

  • The ability to adapt knowledge to new situations;
  • The ability to define and to solve problems in at least one discipline area;
  • The ability to think critically, to analyse and evaluate claims, evidence and arguments, and to reason and deploy evidence clearly and logically;
  • The ability to deploy critically evaluated information to practical ends;
  • The ability to find and access information using appropriate media and technologies;
  • The ability to evaluate that information;
  • The ability to select and organise information and to communicate it accurately, cogently, coherently, creatively and ethically;
  • The ability to reflect on and evaluate learning, and to learn independently in a self directed manner;
  • The ability to read complex and demanding texts accurately, critically and insightfully;
  • The ability to speak and write clearly, coherently and creatively;
  • The ability to generate, calculate, interpret and communicate numerical information in ways appropriate to a given discipline or discourse;
  • The ability to work individually and independently;
  • The ability to select and use appropriate tools and technologies.


Cairns, Study Period 6, Limited
Census Date 21-Jun-2012
Face to face teaching 15-Jul-2012 to 21-Jul-2012
Coordinator: <Person not found>
Lecturers: Assoc. Professor Paul Nelson, <Person not found>, <Person not found>.
Workload expectations:
  • 12 hours lectures - lectures/workshop/seminar
  • 48 hours fieldwork
Assessment: presentations (25%); field report (75%).

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.