SOIL&WAT 3017WT - Soil & Water: Management & Conservation III
Waite Campus - Semester 1 - 2024
General Course Information
Course Code SOIL&WAT 3017WT Course Soil & Water: Management & Conservation III Coordinating Unit Agricultural Science Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s Waite Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 6 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Prerequisites SOIL&WAT 2500 or SOIL&WAT 2500WT Course Description This course covers topics in soil and water management and conservation important to students of agricultural, viticultural, and environmental sciences. Processes that degrade the soil- and water-resources of Australia (e.g. erosion, salinity, alkalinity and sodicity, as well as acidification, water repellence, and degradation of soil structure) are examined, and their measurement, avoidance and management discussed. There is a strong focus on quantitative theory and practice of measuring and managing soil water using commercially available technology, particularly in relation to interception, storage and movement of water in dryland and irrigated agro-ecosystems. Broader issues in soil and water conservation (e.g. State and Commonwealth legislation) are also covered. Practical classes consist of laboratory, computer and field exercises designed to illustrate the concepts covered in lectures.
Course Coordinator: Dr Han WengDr Han Weng
Phone: 8313 7232
Level 3, Prescot Building
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning OutcomesSuccessful students will learn:
- Theory & measurement of soil water content, movement, storage & plant availability.
- How to manage and measure salinity and sodicity in irrigated agricultural systems.
- How to solve quantitative problems in soil water management, specifically how to:
* conduct simple calculations of water content, porosity, density and hydraulic conductivity.
* analyse and interpret data on infiltration, available water, and storage of water.
- How to work effectively in small groups in the lab and in the field.
Successful students will be able to understand:
- The primary causes and consequences of a wide range of soil degradation problems, including soil acidity and alkalinity, erosion, salinity and sodicity, and nutrient loss.
- The impact of soil management on soil organic matter, soil structural stability, water quality and other important soil properties.
- Where soil conservation and management fit into the broader context of the South Australian Natural Resource Management Act.
- Develop an ability to collect and evaluate data in practical classes.
- Develop writing skills through essay and report writing.
- Learn how to provide and respond to “peer-review” feedback on a draft essay.
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)
Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth
Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.
Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving
Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.
Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills
Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.
Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness
Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.
Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency
Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.
Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching Modes
This course will be delivered by the following means:
2 x 1 hour lectures consecutively on the same day in weeks 1-12
2 x 1 hour tutorial sessions in week 1 to introduce the essay exercise, including assessment and system of peer feedback
6 x 4 hour practical sessions
3 x 1 hour tutorial session in which quizzes will be held in week 6, 9 and 12, each followed by 1 hour tutorial session for feedback on quiz
4 x 1 hour tutorial sessions in same week as quizzes related to the essay (discussing progress, review and feedback)
2 x 1 hour tutorial sessions in week 12 on exam review
Lectures include the opportunity for open discussion, questions and problem solving activities with support materials provided online.
Practicals will be used to develop and support material covered in lectures as well as providing a forum for acquiring skills and knowledge necessary to complete assessment tasks. Practicals particularly provide an opportunity to acquire hands-on skills, to develop teamwork skills, to integrate information from different modules in the course and to increase understanding of concepts.
Quizzes will test student understanding of material from lectures and practicals held during the semester. Each quiz will deal with material covered in the preceding weeks.
Workshops sessions will directly follow the quiz. During these sessions feedback will be specifically provided on the quiz questions. Further, these sessions will provide an opportunity for students in groups or individually to follow up specific issues regarding practical assignments.
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 Summary
Lectures will focus on: (i) the theory behind and measurement of soil water content, potential and movement; (ii) causes of and management of the key soil limiting chemical conditions of sodicity, alkalinity and acidity; (iii) the importance and management of soil structure and structural stability, including the influence of soil carbon and sodicity; (iv) the importance and management of water repellence; (v) management of soils and water on the landscape scale; and (vi) soil and water conservation in relation to the SA Natural Resources Management Act.
Practicals will focus on the measurement (both in the laboratory and in the field) of soil properties directly related to the management issues covered in the lectures, including: (i) rates of water infiltration and how they relate to properties such as texture and structure; (ii) measurement of rates of water infiltration in the field; (iii) soil pH and pH buffering capacity; (iv) the influence of slope and cover on water erosion; and (v) the effect of management on soil structural stability
Tutorial sessions in the afternoon timeslot will be related to either feedback on quizzes or the essay assessment exercise, which includes peer review and feedback.
Specific Course RequirementsN/A
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 exercise X 5 Formative & Summative 30% No 1-9 Wks 4,6,8,10,12 Quizzes X 3 Formative & Summate 20% No 1-3,5-7 Wks 4,8,12 Essay Formative & Summative 20% No 9,10 Wks 3,7,10 Examination Summative 30% No 1-3,5-7 Examination period
Practicals (30% total assessment):
Five practical exercises (field or laboratory) will be completed during class time over six weeks. Each exercise will be undertaken in small groups (2-3 students) and will be written up individually as a short report (approximately 2 pages) outside of class time. Each practical exercise will be equally weighted (6% of total assessment). Prompt feedback (within 1-2 weeks) will enable early identification of any problems a student may be encountering in the area of practical skills for soil assessment or the reporting of these tasks, and give an opportunity to address these.
Three 1 hour quizzes (6.7% total assessment each) will occur during the semester. These will consist of a series of multiple choice questions to be answered online with feedback for students provided immediately after the quiz. These quizzes will allow students to continuously monitor their retention of important course material and highlight problem areas that can be addressed in the tutorial sessions following the quizzes.
The essay will require students to explain the importance of one key scientific law (i.e. one that can be expressed as a simple equation) to soil management and conservation in 500-600 words. Draft essays will be required by Week 4 and these will undergo review by both peers (double-blind review by other class members) and staff. Students will have an opportunity to revise their essay before it is marked by staff.
Final Exam (30%)
The final exam is a summative assessment and allows the student to demonstrate retention of basic information taught during the semester as well as the ability to integrate the information obtained throughout the course. Exam questions will include a series of short and long written answers, calculations based on real life examples, multiple choice, and true/false answers.
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.
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