SOIL&WAT 3007WT - GIS for Environmental Management III

Waite Campus - Summer - 2016

This course involves teaching sessions that may be attended by both Undergraduate and Postgraduate students. The course deals with concepts and theory of geographic information systems and their use for environmental mapping, spatial modelling and analysis. Topics covered include the relationship of GIS models to real world perception and map representation, vector and raster systems; spatial modelling; translation of problems into GIS procedures; attribute manipulation and recoding, operations including arithmetic and Boolean overlay, reclassification, proximity and neighbourhood analyses; input of data to GIS; database structures; interpolation of surfaces form point and vector data; applications and case studies. Practical work uses PC-based software to teach basic skills in GIS data entry, analysis and output, emphasising a problem-solving approach through environmental and agricultural GIS case studies.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code SOIL&WAT 3007WT
    Course GIS for Environmental Management III
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Summer
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s Waite Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 15 days during the Summer vacation
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible SOIL&WAT 3014WT
    Assessment Practical exercises, case study, written exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Bertram Ostendorf

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    A successful student should be able to:
    1 Understand GIS concepts in an interdisciplinary setting;
    2 Identify and source data for use in evidence-based decision making in environmental management;
    3 Apply ArcGIS for spatial data preparation, analysis and visualisation with in-depth skills of vector and raster processing;
    4 Use airborne and space-borne imagery to characterise the biophysical environment at landscape and regional scales;
    5 Demontrate proficiency in integrating GIS data analysis with simple statistical analysis;
    6 Demonstrate ability to conduct a GIS research project in the area of environmental management.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Texts, availble online through Adelaide University Library:

    Geospatial Analysis - 5th Edition, 2015 - de Smith, Goodchild, Longley
    Encyclopedia of GIS
    SpringerHandbook of Geographic Information
    Advances in Digital Terrain Analysis
    Book series: Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course consists of 2 weeks intensive lecture/practical sessions followed by independent research work.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The subject consists of 2 weeks of intensive lecture/practical sessions followed by independent research work.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Lecture Lecture/Practical
    Day  1 Introduction to GIS
    Introduction to practicals 
    Getting Started with ArcGIS
    Challenge: Examine spatial data on the computer and create first map without detailed instructions
    Day 2 Coordinats, Projections, and Datums Creating Map Symbology
    Referencing Data to Real Locations
    Challenge: Align different sources of environmental baseline information
    Day 3 Organizing Geographic Data Creating and Editing Data
    Challenge (to be continued on day 4): Download a recent MODIS satellite imagery and create an up-to-date land-use map of the North Para Catchment
    Day 4 Analysing Geographic Data Getting Started with GIS Analysis
    Working with Geo-processing and Modelling Tools
    Designing Maps with ArcGIS
    Day 5 Using GIS in Environmental Management Review and mid-term exam
    Day 6 Introduction to Rasters and the Spatial Analyst Getting Started with ArcGIS Spatial Analyst
    Working with Rasters / Displaying Rasters in ArcMap
    Working with Rasters / Managing Raster Data
    Challenge (to be continued on day 7) Create a new rainfall map from a photocopy of a book – geo-register this map and calculate rainfall/runoff statistics for North Para
    Day 7 Topographic Analysis Analysing Surfaces
    Map Algebra
    Day 8 Interpolation
    Interpolating Raster Surfaces
    Challenge: Using Topography and raster analysis to characterise biophysical environmental properties

    Day 9 Spatial Statistics Mapping Distance and Density
    Using Cell, Neighbourhood, and Zonal Statistics
    Challenge: Using own data - estimate joint distributions of rainfall and land-use in the North Para Catchment
    Day 10                     Introduction to projects Review and final exam
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Students are working together in the computer lab and are encouraged to discuss analysis ideas and processes for every laboratory
    component of the course. This implies group work and discussions for processes and report presentation.  The practical of day 8 requires students to collect data in the Waite Arboretum. Data collection, analysis, and preparation of the practical report are done as group work. The final research project can be done s group work, but the scope of the project needs to be negotiated with the teacher.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Percentage of total assessment for grading
     Outcome Assessed/Achieved Due Date
    Practicals  Formative
    33% No 1-6 Submitted daily
    Mid term exam Summative
    8% No 1,2 Day 5
    Exam  Summative 25% No 1-6 Day 10
    Reseach Project Formative
    34% No 6 Mid Semester
    Assessment Detail
    Practicals: 33% of total grades
    There is the requirement for daily submission of practical reports. The results will be discussed in class the next morning.

    Mid-term exam on day 5, online, open book, internet usage permitted (8% of final grade)
    Final exam on day 10, online, open book, internet usage permitted (25% of final grade)

    Project: 34% of total grades
    Students will conduct an independent research project to apply and deepen the GIS skills. Several research topics will be provided but students are encouraged to define their own topics of interest and start to liaise with industry and government. Research projects will be supported individually during the semester.
    Late Submission
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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