Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


This course brings together a general understanding of environmental physics, acquisition and use of environmental data, and numerical modelling of transport of particles and nutrients. Students gain experience with several management tools for addressing environmental degradation.



  • Semester 2 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a broad understanding of the Australian environment, with particular emphasis on the atmospheric environment and soils.

2. Illustrate the theoretical background of land surface transport processes.

3. Employ adequate skills in environmental monitoring (including data collection, storage, retrieval and analysis).

4. Discuss environmental models of land surface processes and apply their knowledge through hands-on experience with hydrological models.

5. Apply model-based tools for management of major environmental issues.

6. Research the literature and apply to practical problems.


  • Natural environment
  • Climate and weather (principles, Australian climates)
  • Soils (physical, chemical, biological characteristics; soil formation; Australian soils)
  • Process models
  • Environmental modelling (introduction to distributed models, heterogeneity, effective parameters, sub-grid parameterisations, model fitting, scale effects)
  • Modelling soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfer processes (SVATs)
  • Soil erosion (principles, comparison of models, applications) (SOILOSS)
  • Soil fertility and vegetation modelling  


This course has similarities to CIVL3431. If you have successfully completed CIVL3431, you are not eligible to enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

Content covered in courses CIVL4330 (previously CIVL3330) Hydrology; CIVL2040 Engineering Probabilities and CIVL2060 Numerical Methods or CIVL2050 Engineering Computations and Probability; SURV3650 Spatial Data Systems and Remote Sensing.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Written Assignment

Report: Research Investigation

Formal Examination: Formal examination

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting in week 1

Note: The above distribution of contact hours may alter on a weekly basis and will be confirmed in the course outline handed to students in Week 1.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.