GEO204 Ecological and Environmental Soil Science (8)

The properties of soil are a major influence on the functioning of natural ecosystems.  This subject explores how natural soil and landscape features affect plant and animal communities.  The subject examines Australia's natural soil properties and the relationships between  geology, biology, geomorphology, climate and time that have influenced the development of Australia's soil.  A general underpinning of soil related topics relevant to the environmental and ecological sciences is presented so that ecological and environmental professionals can apply soil knowledge to the exploration of Australia's unique flora and fauna.



Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Albury-Wodonga Campus
Albury-Wodonga Campus
Session 3 (90)
Albury-Wodonga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: GEO204. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Environmental Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Students who have completed GEO302 or GEO240 cannot enrol in this subject

Assumed Knowledge

Knowledge of major rock types, climate principles and basic chemical processes similar to that provided in GEO164 Earth System Processes is assumed.

Incompatible Subjects

GEO240, GEO302

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe the main features of Australia's natural soil systems
  • be able to describe the major landform development processes affecting the Australian landscape
  • be able to describe the relationships between soil properties and native fauna and flora
  • be able to describe, explain and crtically evaluate solutions to some environmental problems related to soils
  • be able to discuss the role of soils in sustainability


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Australia's native soils
  • Australian landforms and their persistence through geologic time
  • The features of the Australian environment that affect the formation of natural soil systems
  • Classification of natural soil and landscape systems
  • Ecological applications of soil knowledge
  • Environmental problems related to soils
  • Soils and sustainability

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of GEO204 in Session 3 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Peerwise multiple choice questions and badges
Site background (soil forming factors)
Site predictions
Soil analysis, results and discussion

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.