GEOS2291 – Earth's Interconnections

GEOS2291 provides you with a broad background to the interconnections between the hydrological cycle, biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem response. You will gain an understanding of the influence of human activities on air and water quality and quantity. You will be taught how to analyse data that relate to air and water and how to interpret the patterns and trends hidden within the data. From case studies, tutorial problems and field trip observations, you will gain an appreciation of why management decisions that relate to air and water cannot be made in isolation and that decisions need to be based on scientific analysis of data.

Term 3

6 units of credit

Current handbook entry Current timetable Course outline

Who should I contact?

Coordinator: Associate Professor Bryce Kelly

The first point of contact should be via email

What does this course cover?

  • Introduction: Interconnections, atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and geosphere.
  • Air chemistry and quality
  • Water quality in urban and rural landscapes
  • Continuous water quality monitoring
  • Isotopes and their use as tracers
  • Rivers and wetlands
  • Analysis of climate, river and groundwater data sets (Time Series Analysis)
  • Biosphere–Atmosphere fluxes (water and gases)
  • Microbiological processes in soils and aquifers
  • Greenhouse gases sources and sinks
  • Measurement and analysis of air samples
  • Measurement and analysis of water samples
  • Introduction to modelling regional water budgets, groundwater contaminant plumes, air pollution and regional air movement.

Where does this course fit into my degree?

This course is designed for 2nd year students, but it may be taken by students at other stages of their degree.

The course prepares you for undertaking research in hydrology, hydrogeology, geochemistry, biogeosciences, and ecosystem sciences, or careers in land and water management, agriculture, contaminated land remediation, greenhouse gas monitoring, and environmental impact assessments of urban, agricultural, mining, oil, and gas developments. Former students have jobs with environmental consulting companies, government environmental departments, gas companies doing greenhouse gas accounting, or have pursued research careers.

This course is designed to prepare students to do GEOS3733 Environmental Geophysics.

Is there assumed prior knowledge or a co-requisite?

Any first year Earth and Environmental courses will help prepare students for this course. Knowledge from basic statistics courses is advantageous. All required statistics and programming is taught as part of the course.

BIOS1301, GEOS1211, or GEOS1701 are recommended but not required.

There are no suggestions for courses to take concurrently. However, some student do try and do GEOS2291 and GEOS3733 at the same time. This is not recommended.

Are there mandatory activities for this course?

Field trips are a mandatory part of this course. Students are expected to attend all field trips to Centennial Park and other places in or near the UNSW Kensington campus. All field trips run during the week in the regular lab/field trip time slot.

There are no costs associated with the field trips. Students are expected to make their own way to and from Centennial Park. Approximate travel times: walking 25 min, bus 20 mins, bicycle 10 mins.

I took this course a while ago, and need proof of what was covered.

2016 course outline

2017 course outline

NB: All information provided on this page is superseded by information provided by the course coordinator or lecturer(s).