PLANT SC 3510WT - Plant Health III

Waite Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

This course covers the biology, ecology and management of a variety of pests in agricultural ecosystems, especially arthropods, plant pathogens and weeds. It considers what organisms and abiotic stresses cause disease or reduced growth, and the economic, environmental and social implications of disease and stress. Cultural, biological, physical, and chemical pest suppression practices are considered within the framework of the principles of integrated pest management (IPM). Practical sessions provide an opportunity to learn techniques and approaches to plant protection. The key concepts of the course are integrated in a series of case studies, and students enhance their ability to apply them to novel situations in problem-solving sessions.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PLANT SC 3510WT
    Course Plant Health III
    Coordinating Unit School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s Waite Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 7 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible PLANT SC 3131WT
    Assumed Knowledge BIOLOGY 1202 and PLANT SC 2500WT or OENOLOGY 2501WT
    Course Description This course covers the biology, ecology and management of a variety of pests in agricultural ecosystems, especially arthropods, plant pathogens and weeds. It considers what organisms and abiotic stresses cause disease or reduced growth, and the economic, environmental and social implications of disease and stress. Cultural, biological, physical, and chemical pest suppression practices are considered within the framework of the principles of integrated pest management (IPM). Practical sessions provide an opportunity to learn techniques and approaches to plant protection. The key concepts of the course are integrated in a series of case studies, and students enhance their ability to apply them to novel situations in problem-solving sessions.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Emeritus Professor Michael Keller

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Successful students will be able to:

    1.  Diagnose causes of plant damage, especially by pests, and describe the biological characteristics of damaging pests.

    2.  Explain the influence of biological and ecological processes on (a) pest populations and (b) the outcomes of pest management practices and programs.

    3.  Explain how a variety of practices are used to manage insects, diseases and weeds and apply this knowledge to pest management.

    4.  Explain the benefits and limitations of various practices that are used to manage pests.

    5.  Sample pest populations and use sampling data to make informed decisions about pest management practices.

    6.  Evaluate economic factors that constrain pest management practices and explain economic optimisation of pest management.

    7.  Explain the benefits of an integrated approach to pest management, and compare and contrast integrated approaches to those based on one or two main pest suppression practices.

    8.  Critically evaluate a pest management program.

    9.  Use a spreadsheet to construct a simple mathematical model.

    10. Clearly communicate their thoughts and understanding orally and in writing.
    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)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-8
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 8
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 8
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 10
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 9
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 7,8
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 4,6,7
  • Learning Resources
    Online Learning
    All course materials are available online through the University’s MyUni portal.   These include the course handbook, lecture and practical notes, recorded lectures, and example of a past examination paper, and lists of readings.  Each week students must complete an online quiz to prepare for the scheduled practical session.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures are supported by assigned readings that build student’s knowledge in the area of pest biology and management. The hands-on learning approach in the practicals helps to develop deeper understanding of these topics and assists students in their development of practical skills such as diagnosis, robust sampling and resistance management.
    Workload

    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
    There is a series of lectures that cover the influence of damaging microorganisms, invertebrates and weeds on plant health, and the means to manage plant health in a cost effective and sustainable manner. Practical sessions consider diagnosis, quantification and management of organisms that damage crops in the field and after harvest.
    Specific Course Requirements
    1.  Attendance at lectures is optional, but strongly encouraged.

    2.  Attendance at practicals is required, and all practical sessions are assessed.   Students must complete an online quiz before each practical, which gives formative feedback and ensures they are aware of key technical, health and safety issues.
  • 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 Type of assessment % of Grade Hurdle?  Outcomes being assessed/achieved
    Practical exercises (in-class) Formative & Summative 17% No 1-10
    Practical reports Formative & Summative 17% No 1,3,4,10
    Case Study report Summative 6% No 3,6,7,8,10
    Practical quizes Formative 0% No 1,2,3,4,5,6,9
    Final examination Summative 60% No
    1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,10
    Assessment Detail
    Practical exercises (in-class) – a total of 17% from in-class tasks during 6 practical classes as
    follows:

    Pest Forecasting Practical (4%)
       Students prepare a spreadsheet that includes a regression analysis and equations for a degree-day model to forecast the development of a selected insect pest.  Students are assessed on the precision and accuracy of their work (learning outcome 9), the extent to which their spreadsheet displays elements of best practice (9), and the quality and depth of answers to questions about the exercise (9,10).  The assignment is submitted at the end of the practical session and feedback is given within two weeks.

    Biology and diagnosis of invertebrate pests (3%)
       Students answer questions about practical pest diagnostic problems and mount and label insects to enable authoritative identification.  Students are assessed on the quality and depth of answers to questions about the exercise (1,10), and their technical skill in mounting and labelling specimens (1).  The assignment is submitted at the end of the practical session and feedback is given within two weeks.

    Disease diagnostics (3%)
       Students work in groups of four to examine a range of plant diseases and subsequently use of computer and textbook resources to identify one disease and the causal organism, and recommend control measures.   Students are assessed on the quality of answers to questions in the three page report template, prepared as a group, and a short individual verbal presentation to the class expanding an aspect of the report (1, 3, 10).  The written assignment is submitted at the end of the practical session and feedback is given within two weeks.

    Biological control of insects (2%)
       Students prepare a brief written report (~4 pages, including graphs) on a small experiment and answer questions about observations made in the field and of live specimens that they view in
    the laboratory.   Students are assessed on their analysis and interpretation of experimental data (3,4), and quality and depth of answers to questions about their observations (3,4,10).   The assignment is submitted at the end of the practical session and feedback is given within two weeks.

    Postharvest Pest Management (3%)
       Students work in groups to discover the elements of a chosen supply chain, determine the key pest control points and then apply their knowledge to develop a method that will maintain or improve the end product. This is then presented to the class as an informal hand-drawn poster/diagram. They choose a crop and product of interest to them (horticultural, agricultural or viticultural) the week before the practical to allow them time to identify resources (textbooks, websites, journal articles) in preparation. Students will be assessed, as a group, with regards to the quality, reasoning and depth of the analysis and solutions presented (2, 3,4), and their ability to communicate their poster and ideas to the class (10). The assignment is submitted at the end of the practical session and feedback is given within two weeks.

    Root Disease Management (2%)
       Students prepare a brief group assignment (3 page form with questions) on the interpretation of root disease testing measurements and appropriate ways to take advantage of them in managing root diseases for a selected crop. The assignment is submitted at the end of the practical session and feedback is given within two weeks

    Practical reports – a total of 17% for 4 practicals as follows:

    Diagnosis of herbicide damage (3%)
       Students are provided with a case study and have to prepare a two page report outlining the steps they would take to determine the likely cause of damage. Students are assessed on their ability to assess the problem (1), identify the information required to make an informed judgement about the cause of the problem and to communicate that information (10). The assessment is submitted one week after the practical session and feedback is provided within one week of submission.

    Sampling and decision making (6%)
       Students analyse and interpret an extensive class data set that is collected during a field excursion. Students are assessed on the precision and accuracy of their work (5), the extent to which their spreadsheet displays elements of best practice (9), and the quality and depth of answers to questions about the exercise (5,10).  The assignment is submitted  one week after the practical session and feedback is given within three weeks (includes two weeks of mid-semester break).  

    Pesticide chemistry and application (4%)
       Students prepare a three page report on the results of three short experiments. Students are assessed on their analysis and interpretation of experimental data (3,4,5), and quality and depth of answers to questions about their observations (3,4,5,10). The assignment is submitted one week after the practical session and feedback is provided within one week of submission.

    Pesticide resistance management (4%)
       Students prepare a four page  report on the results of a computer simulation. Students are assessed on their ability to analyse and communicate the results of the simulation (4,7,8) and the quality and depth of their answers to questions about the results of the simulation (4,7,8,10). The assignment is submitted one week after the practical session and feedback is provided within one week of submission.

    Case study (6%)
       Students choose one of the field excursions (Biology and management of pests of cereals OR protected crops) as the basis for an extended report (1200-1500 words).  Students are assessed on their description of the type of production enterprise (10), the pests that affect the crops (2-8,10), and a critical evaluation of pest management practices (8,10). The assignment is submitted  no later than one week after the second excursion  and feedback is given within two weeks

    Theory Exam (60%)
    The final theory exam will examine all components of the course. It will consist of short answer and long answer questions.



    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 (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.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

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