Soil Geography and Earth Surface Dynamics

This specialisation allows you to explore the spatial and temporal processes that are active in soils, landscapes and the wider earth system. It uses an integrative approach that combines biophysical and human elements to gain insight in past, present and future system dynamics. Understanding of soil patterns and landscape dynamics is needed to contribute to the development of alternative land use types that are sustainable and which preserve soil quality. At the same large scale, you develop a deeper understanding of land-atmosphere interactions, the impact of climate change on water and soil resources, adaptation strategies on climate change, and the role of society on these processes.

About the specialisation

Landscapes are dynamic systems: natural processes and the growth of the human population continuously and fundamentally change landscapes.

This specialisation allows you to explore and analyse patterns and processes at the earth surface that define and alter soils and landscapes. It uses an integrative approach from fieldwork to laboratory to modelling, that combines biophysical and human elements to gain insight in past, present and future system dynamics.  The specialisation builds on the realization that humans have become the main driver of soil and landscape change, but that many human induced effects are unintentional and cause severe and unexpected problems. Hence, sustainable use of soil and landscape resources requires human activities to be aligned with natural processes and this requires thorough understanding of these processes and their interactions.

You learn to develop and apply innovative methods and tools to advance the understanding of the processes that form and alter soils and landscapes, including the interactions between these processes in space and time. Often you investigate an element of the soil-landscape system in depth, but at the same time you are aware of wider implications. You acquire the skills that are needed to work as a consultant/advisor, researcher or specialist in the fields of sustainable water, soil and land management, spatial planning, land-use planning, climate adaptation and mitigation, or archaeology.

Academic Master's Cluster*

Academic Master's Cluster (AMC) consists of 2 blocks (9 + 3 ECTS): one block is compulsory; the other is selected in consultation with your study adviser. Depending on your previous education and career orientation, you can choose from three options:

  1. Academic Consultancy Training and Modular Skills Training (MOS);
  2. Design of Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies  and Modular Skills Training (MOS)
  3. Research Master's Cluster: Academic Research Proposal Writing

Thesis and Internship

You work on your thesis in the first half of year 2; in the second half you complete your internship. Within this specialisation you can write your thesis at the Soil Geography and Landscape chair group: