Soil Geography and Earth Surface Dynamics

This specialisation will allow you to develop yourself as a specialist in soil geography and earth surface dynamics.

About the specialisation

You are interested in interactions between humans and their natural environment, building on the notion that we depend on soils and landscapes for a wide range of ecosystem services (e.g., water and climate regulation, food provision, biodiversity). This specialisation allows you to gain in-depth understanding on patterns, processes and interactions in time and space between natural soil and landscape forming processes and human interventions.

During your MSc you learn to develop and apply innovative methods and tools (e.g. chronology, GIS, soil-landscape evolution models, and digital soil mapping) to advance the understanding of the processes that form and alter soils and landscapes, including the interactions between these processes in space and time. The specialisation uses an integrative approach from fieldwork to laboratory to modelling, that combines physical, biological and human elements to gain insight in past, present and future system dynamics. By combining system thinking with advanced technical skills you are well equipped to contribute to the development of novel practices to sustainably benefit from ecosystem services provided by soils and landscapes.

Suggested learning paths

The schematic overview (on the right) shows the overall structure of the specialisation. All specialisations consists of courses, an academic master cluster, a thesis and an internship.

Within the specialisation you can choose between suggested learning paths focussing on:

  • Soil Geography and Data Science
  • Earth Surface Dynamics
  • Sustainable Land Use

You are also welcome to develop your own programme, by combining elements from these tracks or choosing courses from other MEE specialisations or other programmes.

Examples of the work field

About half of the graduates of specialisation D starts with a job as advisor/specialist in relevant fields (e.g. soil, soil & subsurface, soil & water, archaeology, GIS), mostly at consultancy companies (e.g. Aequator, Arcadis, ESRI, RAAP, Sweco, Tauw, Witteveen&Bos) or research institutes (e.g. Deltares, WENR). About one quarter of graduates continues with PhD research, either at Wageningen or at another university (often abroad). While another quarter finds a job outside these categories (e.g. data specialist, teacher, policy advisor).