ENVR12001 - Soil Science and Conservation
Term 1 - 2017


All details in this unit profile for ENVR12001 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student). The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.

Overview

Soils are the physical and chemical foundation of terrestrial ecosystems and Australian soils are among the oldest and most fragile in the world. In this unit you will learn the origin of soils and how they are affected by geology, geography, climate, living organisms and time. You will develop soil classification and testing skills in the laboratory and in the field, and study the conservation, management and remediation of Australian soils.

Details

Career Level Undergraduate
Unit Level Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 7A
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Pre-requisites:

BIOL11099 Living Systems

CHEM11041 Chemistry for the Life Sciences

Residential Schools

This unit has a Compulsory Residential School for distance mode students and the details are:
Click here to see your Residential School Timetable.

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Offerings

Term 1 - 2017
  • Mixed Mode
  • Rockhampton

Website

This unit has a website, within the Moodle system, which is available two weeks before the start of term. It is important that you visit your Moodle site throughout the term. Go to Moodle

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Practical and Written Assessment 50%
2. Presentation and Written Assessment 20%
3. Examination 30%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades.

All University policies are available on the IMPortal.

You may wish to view these policies:

  • Grades and Results Procedure
  • Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework)
  • Review of Grade Procedure
  • Academic Misconduct Procedure
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – Domestic Students
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – International Students
  • Refund and Excess Payments (Credit Balances) Policy and Procedure
  • Student Feedback – Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Facilities and Devices Policy and Procedure

This list is not an exhaustive list of all University policies. The full list of University policies are available on the IMPortal.

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Describe the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of soil
  2. Describe and classify a range of soils
  3. Conduct soil tests in the laboratory and field
  4. Discuss the major challenges for the sustainable management and remediation of Australian soils.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Practical and Written Assessment    
2 - Presentation and Written Assessment  
3 - Examination    

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1. Communication  
2. Problem Solving  
3. Critical Thinking  
4. Information Literacy
5. Team Work      
6. Information Technology Competence      
7. Cross Cultural Competence      
8. Ethical practice        

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Practical and Written Assessment      
2 - Presentation and Written Assessment    
3 - Examination          

Textbook Information

There are no required textbooks.

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
  • Australian soils and landscapes: an illustrated compendium http://ezproxy.cqu.edu.au/login?url=http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.ezproxy.cqu.edu.au/lib/cqu/detail.action?docID=714045
  • Soil health, soil biology, soil born diseases and sustainable agriculture: a guide http://ezproxy.cqu.edu.au/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1194484&site=eds-live&scope=site
All submissions for this unit must use the Harvard (author-date) referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorNathan Brooks-English (n.english@cqu.edu.au)
Note: Check the Term-Specific section for any additional contact information provided by the teaching team
Week Begin Date Module/Topic Chapter Events and Submissions
Week 1 06-03-2017

Soil Development (pedogenesis) and soil chemistry

Readings as assigned on Moodle Week 1 tab.

Week 2 13-03-2017

Physical properties of soils

Readings as assigned on Moodle Week 2 tab.

Week 3 20-03-2017

Soil microbes and soil sampling and processing

Readings as assigned on Moodle Week 3 tab.

Week 4 27-03-2017

Field Trip and Res School (no lectures this week)

Readings as assigned on Moodle Week 4 tab.

Field trip and residential school (Compulsory). See Moodle for more details.

Week 5 03-04-2017

Soil mineralogy and clays

Readings as assigned on Moodle Week 5 tab.

Field Workbook and Summary Due Friday (07 Apr 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Vacation Week 10-04-2017
Week 6 17-04-2017

Soil solutions and ion chemistry

Readings as assigned on Moodle Week 6 tab.

Week 7 24-04-2017

Soil acidity and nutrients

Readings as assigned on Moodle Week 7 tab.

Week 8 01-05-2017

Pollutants and wastes in soils

Readings as assigned on Moodle Week 8 tab.

Week 9 08-05-2017

Guest Speakers

Readings as assigned on Moodle Week 9 tab.

Group Written Report must be submitted before 5PM Friday, May 12, 2017.

Week 10 15-05-2017

Soil microbial ecology, nutrient cycling, and transport

Readings as assigned on Moodle Week 10 tab.

Week 11 22-05-2017

Soil conservation (biodegredation and bioremediation)

Readings as assigned on Moodle Week 11 tab.

Week 12 29-05-2017

In class presentations, unit overview and exam preparations

Group Oral Presentation slides must be submitted before 8AM Monday, May 29, 2017.

Self and Peer Assessments (SPA) must be submitted before 5PM June 2, 2017.

Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017
Exam Week 12-06-2017

1 Practical and Written Assessment

Assessment Title Field Workbook and Summary
Task Description

You will need to submit a summary (30% of the total unit grade) and your Field Workbook (20% of the total unit grade) from your residential school. The summary of work accomplished at the residential school (no more than 1000 words excluding title page, references, tables and figure captions) should include a brief description of the experiments carried out and their results, including figures. Please view the video recording on Moodle of how to make publication ready figures in Excel and use these instructions to generate your figures in the summary. Final details of this assessment will be posted on Moodle. You must also submit a scanned copy of your Field Workbook completed on the field trip that also includes a legible soil characterisation for the site we visited.

This residential school is compulsory. Residential schools listed in the CQUni Handbook are compulsory for all students enrolled in the aligned unit, unless specifically listed as optional.

Assessment Due Date Week 5 Friday (07-Apr-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Feedback on the Field Workbook and Summary will be returned before 5PM on April 24, 2017.
Weighting 50%
Assessment Criteria

The Summary will be marked on:

  1. Completeness (all experiments described and results presented);
  2. Clarity, grammar, punctuation and organisation;
  3. Figure presentation (figures should be publication ready).

The Field Workbook will be marked on:

  1. Completeness and legibility;
  2. Soil characterizations reasoning;
  3. Accuracy of the soil characterizations.

A complete rubric with weightings will be available on moodle.

Conditions Minimum mark or grade - 40%
Referencing Style Harvard (author-date)
Submission Online

Please submit your Field Workbook and Summary separately. Submit the scan of your Field Workbook as a pdf document. Please submit your Summary as a word document with embedded figures and pictures.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Describe the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of soil

3. Conduct soil tests in the laboratory and field

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

5. Team Work



2 Presentation and Written Assessment

Assessment Title Group Written Report, Group Oral Presentation & SPA
Task Description

This is a group assessment. Your group's task is to write a Group Written Report and deliver a Group Oral presentation on one of the three scenarios presented on Moodle. Both the written report and oral presentation should include: a description of the setting; a summary of the approach you would take to identify potential problems regarding soil at the site; and, how you would assess, quantify and measure these issues. The Group Written Report will be a maximum of 3000 words long (excluding title page, figure captions, tables and references). The Group Oral presentation will consist of a 6 minute presentation of the work with 2 minutes for questions.

Your group members will be awarding you a rating based on your contributions to the group work using the Self and Peer Assessment (SPA). It is in your best interests to participate fully and politely with your peers. See the Working in Groups pdf on the Moodle page.

A more detailed task list is available on Moodle.

This assessment will be weighted in the following way:

Group Written Report: 10% of total unit grade

Group Oral Presentation: 5% of total unit grade

Self and Peer Assessment (SPA): 5% of total unit grade

Assessment Due Date Group Written Report must be submitted before 5PM Friday, May 12, 2017; Group Oral Presentation slides must be submitted before 8AM Monday, May 29, 2017; Self and Peer Assessments must be submitted before 5PM Friday, June 2, 2017.
Return Date to Students Feedback on Group Written Report will be returned by 8PM May 22, 2017. Feedback on Group Oral Presentation will be returned 8PM June 5, 2017. Anonymised SPA scores will be returned to you before release of grades.
Weighting 20%
Assessment Criteria

The Group Written Report, Group Oral Presentation & SPA will be graded in the following way:

Group Written Report:

  1. Completeness of scenario description;
  2. Approach and reasoning;
  3. Appropriateness of the methods selected to assess, quantify and measure the issues;
  4. Clarity, grammar, spelling, references, and contribution statement.

Group Oral Presentation:

  1. Presentation quality (including slides, on-time delivery, organization and focus);
  2. Audience targeting;
  3. Equal division of presentation time;
  4. Quality of answers to questions asked after the presentation.

Self and Peer Assessment (SPA):

  1. Each student's final mark for the SPA will be an average of their peers' assessment of them and their contribution to the group.
Conditions Minimum mark or grade - 40% overall (all 3 parts considered together).
Referencing Style Harvard (author-date)
Submission Online
Group submission

Group Written Report must be submitted as a word document on through Moodle TurnItIn; Group Oral Presentation slides must be submitted through Moodle; a link to complete the Self and Peer Assessments will be sent to your CQU email when all Group Oral Presentations are completed.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Describe the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of soil

2. Describe and classify a range of soils

4. Discuss the major challenges for the sustainable management and remediation of Australian soils.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

6. Information Technology Competence

7. Cross Cultural Competence



Examination

Outline Complete an examination
Date During the University examination period
Weighting 30%
Condition Minimum percentage of examination marks required to pass course - 40%
Length 120 minutes
Details Dictionary - non-electronic, concise, direct translation only (dictionary must not contain any notes or comments).
No Calculators Permitted
Closed Book
Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

2. Describe and classify a range of soils

4. Discuss the major challenges for the sustainable management and remediation of Australian soils.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking


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