Course Title: The Lithosphere

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: The Lithosphere

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2015

Course Coordinator: Dr David Faulkner

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2623

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 3.2.6

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Basic understanding of the Chemistry and Physics.

Course Description

This course forms an integral part of a multidisciplinary approach to understanding earth system processes and the connections that exist between the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. In this course you will study the origin, characteristics and classification of Australian soils and subsequently study how Australian soil landscape has been impacted by human settlement.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

After successfully completing this course you will be able to:

  • demonstrate a broad and coherent knowledge and understanding of the Australian soil landscape;
  • demonstrate knowledge of the chemical, physical and biological components of Australian soils;
  • demonstrate knowledge of the causes and effects of human impacts on Australian soils;
  • gather, synthesize and critically evaluate information from a range of sources;
  • collect, accurately record, interpret and draw conclusions from scientific data you have collected yourself or sourced from the literature;
  • be an independent and self-directed learner;
  • work effectively, responsibly, ethically and safely in an individual or team context.

This course also contributes to the following AQF 9 Program Learning Outcomes:

  • PLO 1.1: a body knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in both the understanding of environmental processes and the technological advances in measurement techniques, remediation processes and pollution control
  • PLO 1.3 knowledge of the regulatory frameworks and ethical principles relevant to the practice of environmental science and associated technologies
  • PLO 2.2: cognitive, technical and creative skills enabling you to investigate analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories about the environment, and to apply established theories to different areas of knowledge or practice concerning the environment
  • PLO 2.4: communication and technical research skills to enable you to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • PLO 3.1: creativity and initiative to new situations in your role as an environmental professional practitioner and/or in your further studies

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities included in this course are:

  • attendance at timetabled lectures where syllabus material will be presented and explained using a range of presentation techniques;
  • participation in field work and excusions to relevent locations around Melbourne;
  • completion of assigned work and written structured field reports prepared on the basis of instruction provided prior to the activities requiring an integrated understanding of the subject matter; and
  • private study, working through the coursework as presented in classes and other learning materials, and gaining prcatice at analysing data in order to understand Australian soil landscapes 

Overview of Learning Resources

Resources for this course will be provided in the form of on-line materials, and relevant reference sources which will be listed in lecture materials and discussed in lectures. A number of texts and key land resources reports will also be used as recommended reading materials

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course consists of an assignment, field reports and an end of semester examination