AGRIC 3510WT - Agricultural Resource Management
Waite Campus - Semester 2 - 2014
General Course Information
Course Code AGRIC 3510WT Course Agricultural Resource Management Coordinating Unit School of Agriculture, Food and Wine Term Semester 2 Level Undergraduate Location/s Waite Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 7 hours per week plus field trip Prerequisites AGRIC 1510WT, AGRIC 1520WT, SOIL&WAT 1000WT Assumed Knowledge AGRIC 2505RW, ANIML SC 2503RW, SOIL&WAT 2500WT Course Description In Agricultural Resource Management students will examine the biophysical processes operating at a landscape level and socioeconomic drivers and institutions behind change in agriculture. There are 5 general themes: Climate Change; Water; Energy; Biodiversity; Catchment Management. A series of lectures will outline the technical principles of each of these themes, viz: climate change models, climate adaptation strategies, water policy, irrigation, groundwater flow systems and their management, surface water resource management, carbon economy in agriculture, soil resource management, on-farm biodiversity management, catchment management processes and NRM organisations. Specialist guest speakers will deliver presentations on the salient issues on these themes. In a series of 5 written reports students will apply their own understanding of the technical principles in commentaries on the specialist presentations of issues. Students will be required to read topical material before the specialist lectures. There will be a quiz before each specialist lectures to assess understanding of the pre-reading material. In two oral presentations students will develop the skill of presenting a mature commentary on these resource management issues based on the scientific and technical principles. There will be an all-day field trip to observe agricultural resource management in practice in the Adelaide Hills &/or Murray Lands.
Course Coordinator: Dr Ian Nuberg
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
1. The integration of prior knowledge and development of new knowledge to understand how models are used to predict future, their scope and limits; agreed and contested explanations of climate change; agricultural strategies of adaptation to predicted climate change
2. Knowledge of groundwater flow and surface water systems and their management; hydrological principles of irrigation’s interaction with environment; water policy and pricing mechanisms; energy futures in agriculture and feasibility of bioenergy options; the role of
carbon and soils in future energy economy
3. The integration of prior knowledge and development of new knowledge to understand principles of ecosystem mimicry in agriculture and role of agroforestry in NRM
4. Knowledge of biophysical principles underpinning catchment management and NRM organisations responsible for catchment management in all states of Australia
5. Ability to critically evaluate information, prepare mature written opinions, orally present credible logical arguments and collaboratively source and share information
6. Understanding of the geopolitical complexities of climate, water, energy and biodiversity issues
7. An ability to express a valid opinion about how society can meet and address the agricultural and environmental challenges of the future
8. Demonstrated understanding of how their skills can be used to address challenges.
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. 1-4, 6 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 5,7,8 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 5,7,8 Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 5 A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1 A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 8 A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 5,8 An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 8
Required ResourcesThere is a prescribed reading list on MyUni that provides background to the themes of the course.
Students are expected to read the whole list and use these sources as starting points for researching similar literature to prepare assignments.
Recommended ResourcesApart from the prescribed reading list on MyUni the following texts are also recommended.
Nuberg,George & Reid (2009) Agroforestry for Natural Resource Management
Pratleyand Robertson (1998) Agriculture and the Environmental Imperative
Stokes and Howden (2010) Adapting agriculture to climate change
These texts will be available in Waite library reserve.
Online LearningMyUni: Teaching materials and course documentation will be posted on the MyUni website (http://myuni.adelaide.edu.au/).
Course administration is accomplished using MyUni: activities will include email, announcements, lecture handouts and recordings, an online reading list of over 50 scientific articles, materials for completing assignments.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThere are six components to the course.
1. Pre-reading and Quizzes. For each of the five themes there is some reading that must be done before the first lecture in the theme. These readings serve as primers in some of the knowledge you are expected to already have.
2. Lectures. The presentations are given by university staff and guest presenters. The presentations do not attempt to cover all knowledge and issues across these themes; just that which is particularly relevant for agriculture and for which we can bring real expertise. The presentations are important for setting the context and generating discussion. Not all this material is examined directly as in conventional exams, but sets the context for the reading list which is examinable. The lectures will also present ideas and literature that should be used in writing the Discussion Paper.
3. Reading and question sets. Each day after the presentations students will break into study
groups to create a shared understanding of the reading material. There are a lot of references which will be too much for an individual to read and digest in an afternoon. However, students will
work in groups with each individual reading a different paper, making notes and sharing those back to the group. These notes, especially the response to the question sets will be essential for the written examination. The material in the first eight weeks should also be liberally cited in the discussion paper.
4. Discussion paper / take home exam. After the topic of the discussion paper is announced students will have 13 days to write professionally-presented, critical evaluations of a series of questions around the various themes. To achieve this, students will need to keep up with all the work in the study groups it will not be possible to give a mature and professional analysis in such a short time. Students are advised to plan their work and social commitments well around the dates of this exam.
5. Oral presentations. While it is important to be able to express oneself in the written form, it is equally important, and for some people more challenging, to do so in the verbal form. Students will give two oral presentations, where they will develop their oral presentation skills and ability to argue the point on some complex agricultural resource management issue. Students' performance will be evaluated by their peers who will also provide constructive feedback on how to
improve each others' performance.
6. Written examination. There will be a 2 hour formal written examination on the material
covered in the Reading and Question Sets
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
The schedule above is indicative of the flow of events across the semester. Details will vary from year to year depending on availability of guest speakers and timing of public holidays.
Schedule Quizzes Lectures Group work Week 1 Resilience thinking;
Preparation for oral presentations
Week 2 Climate Quiz Adaptation to Climate change in Agriculture Climate reading list Week 3 Soil Quiz Soil quality and fertility management Week 4 Soil carbon resource in Australian soils;
What is a model and why build one?
Soil reading list Week 5 Water Quiz Water in Australia;
Water for food and fibre;
Water balance measures and estimates
Water reading list 1 Week 6 Water management in rain fed systems;
Water management in irrigation
Water reading list 2 Week 7 Energy Quiz Agricultural Energy and Biofuel;
Australians in International Agricultural Development
Energy reading list Week 8 Ecosystem services as a business Oral presentations (short)
Ecosystem Services reading list
Week 9 often there is a public holiday near this week Week 10 Vegetation Quiz Agroforestry as Natural Resource Management;
Vegetation and water interactions
Vegetation reading list Week 11 Natural Resource Management institutions and agriculture Oral presentations (long) Week 12 Review of the 5 Themes in preparation for written exam Oral presentations (long)
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 Task Type Due Weighting Quizzes Formative
20% Oral Presentations Formative and Summative Weeks 8
11 and 12
Take Home Exam Summative Week 10 25% Written exam Summative Exam week 35%
5 short (~10 minute) quizzes (usually
multi-choice) on material to be read
BEFORE the topic is discussed in class 4 marks each = 20
5 minute presentation: own choice but relevant to your agricultural experience = 5
10 minute presentation on specific resource management topics. You will take a critical stance on an issue and support the argument with relevant scientific evidence = 15
Discussion paper integrating knowledge and critical analyse of issues across the 5 themes = 25
Based on knowledge gained from the reading lists = 35
SubmissionIt is a university-wide policy that assignments must be submitted by their deadline. There will be a penalty of 10% of the total mark for each day (or part of a day) that an assignment is late, up to a maximum penalty of 50% of the total mark. Assignments that are submitted after the assignments for the rest of the class have been marked may not be accepted.
Extensions of deadlines may be allowed for reasonable causes. Such situations would include compassionate and medical grounds of the severity that would justify the awarding of a replacement examination. Evidence for the grounds must be provided when an extension is requested. Extensions of deadlines should be negotiated with the course coordinator before the assignment is due.
Extensions will not be provided on the grounds of poor time management.
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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