SOIL&WAT 2500 - Soil and Water Resources II
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017
General Course Information
Course Code SOIL&WAT 2500 Course Soil and Water Resources II Coordinating Unit School of Agriculture, Food and Wine Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 6 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Assumed Knowledge SOIL&WAT 1000WT or GEOLOGY 1200 or GEOLOGY 1103 Course Description Soil and water are fundamental resources in the environment. This course aims to provide an understanding of important soil physical, chemical and biological properties and of water quality. Topics include: soil water retention, storage and movement, salinity, chemical fertility, the role of biology in soil processes, soil conservation and management, water quality factors and the impact of land management on these factors.
Course Coordinator: Professor Petra MarschnerPetra Marschner
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning OutcomesOn successful completion of this course students should be able to:
1. Understand and answer written questions about physical, chemical and biological soil properties, nutrient cycles and the role of soil organisms in these, and important water quality indicators.
2. Conduct basic measurements & observations of soil properties / behaviour, describe the nature and extent of soil degradation in Australia and suggest approaches to manage and conserve soils.
3. Improve their quantitative problem-solving skills, including data handling
4. Work effectively in small groups
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)
1, 2, 3, 4 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
1, 2, 3 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
2, 4 Career and leadership readiness
- technology savvy
- professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
- forward thinking and well informed
- tested and validated by work based experiences
2, 3, 4 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
3, 4 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
Required ResourcesCourse hand book
Recommended ResourcesReading list available through the University Libraries
Brady NC, Weil RR 2000. The nature and properties of soils. Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle, NJ.
McLaren RG, Cameron KC 1996. Soil Science: sustainable production & environmental protection. Oxford University Press. Auckland, NZ.
Morgan RPC 1995. Soil erosion & conservation 2nd edition Longman Scientific & Technical Publications. New York. Troeh FR, Hobbs JA,
Donahue RL 1980. Soil and water conservation for productivity and environmental protection Prentice-Hall, New Jersey.
White RE 1997. Principles & practice of soil science: the soil as a natural resource. Oxford University Press. New York.
Wild A (ed) 1988. Russell's soil conditions and plant growth 11th edition. Longman Scientific & Technical Publications. New York.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching Modes
Lectures are supported by on-line access to lecture slides, recordings and tutorials.
Action-based in-class tutorials help acquire knowledge and understanding within a wider context.
Practicals are designed to learn fundamental principles in soil and water processes and their measurement as well as the practical application of this knowledge in the field.
Quizzes allow focussed learning of particular topics and supported by in-class tutorials that are arranged in the previous weeks.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
Learning Activities SummaryIn this course, students will learn about properties of soil which are important to understand soil functions and the impact of management strategies. Topics covered include general soil properties, soil water (potential, movement, quality), soil chemistry and fertility, organic matter and nutrient cycling and soil management and conservation. Concepts and principles are explained in lectures and practicals provide hands-on experience. In-class tutorials and quizzes further help understanding the material covered in the course.
Specific Course Requirements
Closed shoes must be worn during the practicals.
Lab coats are highly recommended for practicals.
Small Group Discovery ExperienceThis course does not contain SGDE, but students learn in small groups during the practicals.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment task Type of assessment Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes Hurdle Yes or No? Outcomes being assessed/achieved Approximate Timing of Assessment Practical reports Formative & Summative 30 No 1,2, 3, 4 Weeks 2,5,6,8,11 Quizzes Formative & Summative 20 No 1, 2, 3 Weeks 4,10 Tutorial Formative & Summative 10 No 1, 2, 3 Week 12 Final exam Summative 40 No 1, 2, 3 Exam week
Assessment DetailPractical reports
There are 5 short practical reports. Parts of the reports are submitted online, others on paper. The reports include data of results of practicals, calculations and, in some cases, short answer questions about background to the practical or management strategies. Practical reports are completed in pairs and both students receive the same mark.
There will be four formative tutorials. The tutorials will cover the core parts of the topic as well as, in some cases, calculations. Three tutorials are not assessed, but the quiz in the following week will be based on the tutorials. The last tutorial (week 12) is formative and summative (assessed). The questions for this tutorial will be available in Week 11. The assessment will be in two parts. For Part A, you hand in the answers to two questions at the start of the tutorial (4% of the total course mark). Part B will be a mini-quiz at the end of the tutorial with three questions (6% of total course mark). Only attendance at the formative and summative tutorial (week 12) is compulsory, but attendance at all tutorials is highly recommended because they cover the material in the quizzes and improve your understanding.
There will be a quiz in week 4 and week 10, each worth 10% of the total course mark. The tutorial in week 12 includes a mini-quiz. The quizzes will take the form of a paper-based test to be taken during a set time. The purpose of these quizzes is to ensure you are familiar with the material as we proceed through the semester and to help prepare you for (and take some pressure off) the final examinations.
The three hour final exam includes questions covering the various topics of the course. For most topics, students have access to potential exam questions and can therefore prepare well for them.
It will consist of multiple choice, short answer and long answer questions.
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.
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.
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 (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) 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.
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