Earth and environmental sciences


Atmospheric Sciences

Atmospheric science

Atmospheric science at Monash explores the structure and evolution of the atmosphere and addresses how we understand climate and forecast the weather. It is an interdisciplinary science that draws on the strengths of environmental science, applied mathematics, physical geography and the applications of concepts in physics and chemistry.

Using impressive, state-of-the-art facilities, you will be taught by experts in the field. With outstanding opportunities to gain both practical, real-world experience and theory-based knowledge, your studies will include a mix of field work, data analysis, theoretical research and modelling.

Weather and climate are both critical to understanding the natural environment, particularly at a time when the earth is experiencing rapid changes. You will develop an understanding of the physical theory of the earth's atmosphere and how it relates to climate and weather forecasting. You will also acquire high-level knowledge of the important techniques and processes used in atmospheric science to study such phenomena as climate variability, large-scale weather and the earth boundary layer, and a range of environmental issues, including climate change.

On completion of your Atmospheric science studies, you might choose a career in closely aligned sectors such as the Bureau of Meteorology or consultancies that deal with weather and climate, or in disparate industries such as risk-management for banks and insurance companies.


Environmental science

Environmental science deals with the rapidly changing environmental issues facing the world today. It provides you with a multidisciplinary perspective on current environmental challenges, such as climate change, water and land management, resource use and sustainability.

Studies in this major have wide-reaching applications in society and can contribute to the following: protecting and managing biodiversity; developing new approaches to environmental issues that contribute to a healthier society; identifying and developing cleaner and more sustainable resources for use in industry; and improving the management of natural or cultural areas of importance.

You will be equipped with the capability to seek, measure, understand and apply scientific information for the management of our natural systems in a broad scientific context.

As a science graduate with an extended major in Environmental science you will have diverse and rewarding career options, including the following:

  • Science or management roles for non-government organisations (NGOs) such as Landcare Australia
  • Environmental consultancy
  • Research for organisations such as the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial and Research Organisation (CSIRO), or universities
  • Developing policy for government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Roles that help manage the environmental footprint of local government, industry, or mining or engineering companies

Geographical science

Geographical science

Geographical science is the study of spatial processes operating in the landscape, such as atmospheric circulation, landform change, vegetation dynamics, human land uses, urbanisation, and economic activity. It includes interdisciplinary analysis, using methods and techniques from social and physical sciences to find innovative solutions to environmental problems at different spatial scales.

In this major, you will investigate the biophysical and constructed environment of the earth in the past, present and future. You will learn how to read the landscape and use a variety of spatial and temporal techniques to develop practical solutions for their management and use.

In Geographical science you will investigate the significance of geographical variation among locations and environments, covering a broad range of topics. These include climatology, hydrology, geomorphology, soil science, sustainability theory, and urban geography. You will also learn how geographical knowledge informs approaches to managing the sustainable use of Australian environments, and how to work with both numerical and spatial or map data, including the use of geographical information systems.

The transferable skills you develop in this major are in high demand within the science and non-science sectors of the economy. Graduates with a major in Geographical science will be well prepared for a variety of careers in diverse fields including environmental consulting, policy development, all levels of government, and research.


Earth science

The study of Geosciences will develop your understanding of the earth's dynamic systems, including the atmosphere, biosphere, its surface and oceans. You will also learn about complex and fascinating earth processes – such as plate tectonics, volcanism and earthquakes – and how they shape our environment.

You'll gain an insight into how the earth has changed over deep geological time and which earth processes pose natural hazards to society today. Studies in this area are essential for understanding and assessing anthropogenic impacts such as climate change and pollution. You will also learn about the major resources – including mineral deposits, oil, gas and water – on which modern life depends.

Geosciences at Monash covers a broad range of topics, including geology, geophysics, and environmental geosciences. You will learn about the main geological processes that have controlled the evolution of the earth and the timescales over which they operate, develop technical field- and lab-based skills for work in geoscience, and apply geoscientific data to analyse challenges and to develop effective solutions in professional contexts.

Our teaching labs are state of the art and our units combine theory, practical work, and field experiences. The lecturers are noted experts in their fields and make strong connections between research and teaching.

As a graduate, you will be equipped with transferable skills in wide demand within the science and non-science sectors of the economy. You may choose to apply your expertise to contribute in developing solutions to the challenges posed by natural disasters, or the environmental footprint left behind by the exploitation of the earth's resources. Your career path may lead you to the minerals industry, environmental consultancies or research organisations, to name just a few possibilities.