Background of the programme

During the bachelor’s Soil, Water, Atmosphere you study hydrology, meteorology, physical geography and soil science. You learn how natural processes, from the soil till the atmosphere, work and how they influence and interact with each other during the formation of our natural landscapes. You use a natural sciences approach with knowledge from physics, chemistry and biology to understand the earths critical zone. The knowledge you gain is in a western European context, but the principles taught in this ‘Wageningen Earth Science programme’ are applicable all over the world.

Soil: Biology, Chemistry and Soil Formation

The soil is the top layer of the earth’s surface: starting on the ground we
walk on until a few meters down in the soil. During the bachelor’s programme Soil, Water, Atmosphere you learn about soil formation and the chemical and biological processes which take place in the soils.

Soils are under influence of human activity. We build our crops on soils
and due to climate change parts of the world deal with heavy soil degradation and erosion. How these processes influence the different types of soils and how this impacts for instance water management and the global food supply is addressed in the bachelor’s programme Soil, Water, Atmosphere.

Water: Hydrology, Water Management & Quality

Water is the source of all life on earth. But at some places there is water scarcity while at other places there simply is too much water due to for instance flooding. How come? During the bachelor’s programme Soil, Water, Atmosphere you learn to understand water from different points of view.

You learn about hydrology and hydrogeology: how much water flows through a water way and how much debit can this water way handle
before it starts to flood. But also about water quality: what substances are transported by the water? What organisms live in the water and what is the influence of the amount of nutrients in the water on the stability of the ecosystem?

The bachelor’s programme Soil, Water, Atmosphere focusses on water in rivers and delta’s but the knowledge you gain can be applied in cases all over the world. Using physics and biology you learn how you can contribute to water quality and water management in our rivers, delta’s
and lakes.

Atmosphere: Meteorology & Air quality

During the bachelor’s programme Soil, Water, Atmosphere you gain knowledge on meteorology. You learn how ‘the weather’ arises and which factors influence the weather, both on a local as a global scale.

By using models, you learn how to predict the weather and you learn about the processes which play a role in the earth’s atmosphere. You
use this knowledge to predict the weather and weather extremes. Also you gain knowledge about the chemical composition of the atmosphere. Both local and global we face challenges in providing clean air to everyone. You learn what factors influence air quality with insights from both chemistry and physics.

The complete picture: Soil, Water, Atmosphere

During the bachelor’s programme Soil, Water, Atmosphere you gain knowledge about the earths system using a natural sciences approach. After completing the bachelors Soil, Water, Atmosphere you do not
only have knowledge about the three different domains but also about the
interacting processes between these three domains. If you are interested in these topics, then you should join the ‘Wageningen Earth sciences programme’ Soil, Water, Atmosphere.