SOIL&WAT 3020WT - GIS for Agriculture & Natural Resource III

Waite Campus - Winter - 2016

This course involves teaching sessions that may be attended by both Undergraduate and Postgraduate students. Geographic information systems have become an important tool far beyond the geographic disciplines. Applications in the agricultural sciences and natural resource management range from basic research on environmental sustainability to farm management and regional product marketing. This course gives an overview of the history and the rapid recent development of this technology and gives examples of commercially available state-of-the-art tools. Hands on computer exercises teach generic GIS skills of data capture, processing and presentation of results. Special practical exercises emphasize precision agriculture and management of spatial variability in agricultural production systems. Students will learn what information can be derived from space and airborne remote sensing for land management and how remotely sensed imagery can be combined with other sources of information in order to efficiently manage land, increase production and reduce costs and consider environmental benefits.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code SOIL&WAT 3020WT
    Course GIS for Agriculture & Natural Resource III
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Winter
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s Waite Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 10 days intensive during Winter semester
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible SOIL&WAT3007WT & SOIL&WAT 3014WT
    Assessment Practical exercises, written exam, research project
    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 in this course should be able to:

    1 Understand the GIS concept in an interdisciplinary setting
    2 Understanding of the basic concepts of precision agriculture
    3 Understand spatial variability of the biophysical environment and how it affects the sustainable use of natural resources
    4 Knowledge of the GIS marketplace and the different tools that are available
    5 Skill to use ArcGIS for spatial data preparation, analysis and visualisation
    6 In-depth skills of vector and raster processing
    7 Demonstrate an understanding of how airborne and spaceborne imaging sensors can provide spatial information for landscape management
    8 Show proficiency in integrating GIS data analysis with simple statistical analysis
    9 Demonstrated ability to conceptualise, plan and conduct scientific research in the area of agriculture and natural resource management
    10 Demonstrated ability for independent, critical and creative research
    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 & 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 course 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 Getting Started with ArcGIS
    Challenge: Examine spatial precision agriculture data on the computer and create a first map
    Day 2 Creating Map Symbology
    Referencing Data to Real Locations
    Challenge: Align yield data to spatial information from SA government
    Day 3 Organising Geographic Data
    Creating and Editing Data
    Challenge: Create a new layer of soil pH
    Day 4 Getting Started with GIS Analysis  Working with Geoprocessing and Modelling Tools
    Day 5 Using GIS in Agricultural research
    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: Linking ArcGIS and Google Earth
    Day 7 Topographic Analysis Practical Map Algebra Analysing Surfaces
    Challenge: Comparing apples and oranges – normalising yield maps and linking GIS data with statistical models in Excel
    Day 8 Interpolation Interpolating Raster Surfaces
    Challenge (to be completed on day 9): Generating soil attribute surfaces and evaluating the results using residuals
    Day 9 Spatial Statistics Mapping Distance and Density
    Using Cell, Neighbourhood, and Zonal Statistics
    Day 10 Introduction to projects
    Review and final exam
  • 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 Due Weighting Hurdle Learning Outcome
    Practicals Formative & Summative

    Daily submissions

    33% No 1-9
    Exam Summative Day 5 & 10 33% No 1-10
    Research Project 

    Formative & Summative 34% No 1-10
    Assessment Detail
    Practicals (33% of total marks):
    Several short online multiple choice quizzes (false answers show web links to lecture material, quizzes can be repeated until successful). Daily submission of practical reports – results will be discussed in class the next morning

    Exams (33% of total marks):
    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)

    Research Project (34%)
    Part 1 Project Design (10% of total marks for research project):
    The research project is chosen by the student. Students are required to conceptualise and design a small research project to apply and deepen the GIS skills. Project ideas, creativity and research design will be evaluated at 10%
    Part 2 Project report (24% of total marks for research project)
    Students are required to conduct and communicate GIS-based research through a written report. The report needs to include an introduction with citations from the literature, methods, results and conclusions. Students will receive individual support and feedback on the progress of their research project.
    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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