Table 1: Soil Science

Unit outlines will be available though Find a unit outline two weeks before the first day of teaching for 1000-level and 5000-level units, or one week before the first day of teaching for all other units.
 

Unit of study Credit points A: Assumed knowledge P: Prerequisites C: Corequisites N: Prohibition Session

Soil Science

A major in Soil Science requires completion of SOIL3009, SOIL3888, ENVX3001, and ENVX3003.
Senior core units of study
Students must complete both SOIL3009 and SOIL3888.
SOIL3009
Contemporary Field and Lab Soil Science
6    P SOIL2003 or SOIL2004 or SOIL2005
Semester 1
SOIL3888
Protecting the Soil Resource
6    P 12cp from (GEOS2X16 or SOIL2005 or ENSC2001 or BIOL2032 or BIOL2X31)
N SOIL2004
Semester 2
Senior elective units of study
Students must complete ENVX3001 and ENVX3003.
ENVX3001
Environmental GIS
6    P 6cp from (ENVI1003 or AGEN1002) or 6cp from GEOS1XXX or 6cp from BIOL1XXX or GEOS2X11
Semester 2
ENVX3003
Hydrological Monitoring and Modelling
6    A SOIL2005 or GEOS2116 or ENVI1003 or GEOS1001 or ENSC2001
P Completion of 72 credit points of units of study
N LWSC3007
Semester 2

Soil Science

A major in Soil Science requires completion of SOIL3009, SOIL3888, ENVX3001, and ENVX3003.
Senior core units of study
Students must complete both SOIL3009 and SOIL3888.
SOIL3009 Contemporary Field and Lab Soil Science

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Budiman Minasny (Coordinator), Prof Balwant Singh, A/Prof. Stephen Cattle, Prof Alex McBratney Session: Semester 1 Classes: Two lectures and two practicals, or one lecture and three practicals per week, 6-day field excursion north-western NSW commencing 15 days prior to beginning of Semester 1 Prerequisites: SOIL2003 or SOIL2004 or SOIL2005 Assessment: one viva voce exam (35%), field trip written assessments (30%), soil judging (15%), laboratory reports (15%) Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This is a theoretical and empirical unit providing specialised training in three important areas of contemporary soil science, namely pedology, soil chemistry, and soil physics. The key concepts of these sub-disciplines will be outlined and strengthened by hands-on training in contemporary field and laboratory techniques. All of this is synthesized by placing it in the context of soil distribution and use in North-Western New South Wales. The unit is motivated by the teaching team's research in this locale. It builds on students, existing soil science knowledge gained in SOIL2003. After completion of the unit, students should be able to articulate the advantages and disadvantages of current field and laboratory techniques for gathering necessary soil information, and simultaneously recognise key concepts and principles that guide contemporary thought in soil science. Students will be able to synthesise soil information from a multiplicity of sources and have an appreciation of the cutting edge areas of soil management and research. By investigating the contemporary nature of key concepts, students will develop their skills in research and inquiry. Students will develop their communication skills through report writing and will also articulate an openness to new ways of thinking which augments intellectual autonomy. Teamwork and collaborative efforts are encouraged in this unit.
Textbooks
Textbooks: D. Hillel, 2004. Introduction to Environmental Soil Physics. Elsevier Science, San Diego, CA, USA.
SOIL3888 Protecting the Soil Resource

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Stephen Cattle Session: Semester 2 Classes: 4 hrs/week; some weeks 2 hrs lect, 2 hrs prac, other weeks 4 hrs prac Prerequisites: 12cp from (GEOS2X16 or SOIL2005 or ENSC2001 or BIOL2032 or BIOL2X31) Prohibitions: SOIL2004 Assessment: Status of the problem report (500-1000 words, individual work) - 10%; Consultants' report (2000-3000 words, group work) - 35%; Consultants' presentation (30 mins, group work) - 20%; Viva voce examination (20 mins per student) - 35% Practical field work: Between 2 and 5 days of soil survey/soil sampling in regional or peri-urban NSW Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The University of Sydney's new curriculum aims to provide increased experiential, collaborative and interdisciplinary learning and project-based learning is a core component of this. The SOIL3888 interdisciplinary project unit provides an opportunity for you to be part of an interdisciplinary student team that investigates a real world problem involving soil inregional or peri-urban NSW. Each student will select to work on a project related to agriculture or to the environment. Both projects will involve 2-5 days of fieldwork for soil observation and sampling. Students will work collaboratively in a series of practical sessions (before and after the fieldwork) to digitally map soil attributes, and to critically analyse all collected and mapped data. Each project group will then compile a 'consultant's report' for the landholder(s), detailing the issue or problem, the diagnosis and the recommended management strategies to optimize crop production/ecosystem services, while protecting the soil resource. For all students enrolled in SOIL3888, the fieldwork and practical sessions will be scaffolded with a series of lectures covering the high capability agricultural soils of eastern Australia and the various forms of soil degradation that must be managed for to protect our valuable soil resources. The project experience in this unit will give you the opportunity to apply your soil science skills and disciplinary knowledge (Graduate Quality 1) to an authentic problem and develop the other Graduate Qualities (2-6) that will be valuable for your future career.
Senior elective units of study
Students must complete ENVX3001 and ENVX3003.
ENVX3001 Environmental GIS

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Aaron Greenville Session: Semester 2 Classes: Three-day field trip, (two lectures and two practicals per week) Prerequisites: 6cp from (ENVI1003 or AGEN1002) or 6cp from GEOS1XXX or 6cp from BIOL1XXX or GEOS2X11 Assessment: 15-minute presentation (10%), 3500 word prac report (35%), 1500 word report on trip excursion (15%), 2-hour exam (40%) Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit is designed to impart knowledge and skills in spatial analysis and geographical information science (GISc) for decision-making in an environmental context. The lecture material will present several themes: principles of GISc, geospatial data sources and acquisition methods, processing of geospatial data and spatial statistics. Practical exercises will focus on learning geographical information systems (GIS) and how to apply them to land resource assessment, including digital terrain modelling, land-cover assessment, sub-catchment modelling, ecological applications, and soil quality assessment for decisions regarding sustainable land use and management. A three day field excursion during the mid-semester break will involve visiting Canberra to hear from various government agencies which research and maintain GIS coverages for Australia. By the end of this unit, students should be able to: differentiate between spatial data and spatial information; source geospatial data from government and private agencies; apply conceptual models of spatial phenomena for practical decision-making in an environmental context; apply critical analysis of situations to apply the concepts of spatial analysis to solving environmental and land resource problems; communicate effectively results of GIS investigations through various means- oral, written and essay formats; and use a major GIS software package such as ArcGIS.
Textbooks
Burrough, P.A. and McDonnell, R.A. 1998. Principles of Geographic Information Systems. Oxford University Press: Oxford.
ENVX3003 Hydrological Monitoring and Modelling

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Willem Vervoort Session: Semester 2 Classes: lecture 2hrs/week, computer practical 3hrs/wk Prerequisites: Completion of 72 credit points of units of study Prohibitions: LWSC3007 Assumed knowledge: SOIL2005 or GEOS2116 or ENVI1003 or GEOS1001 or ENSC2001 Assessment: Three individual assignments (25%), group based field report (25%), 2 hr final exam (50%). Practical field work: 3 days fieldwork near Cootamundra Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Globally, and in Australia in particular, water quantity and quality problems are growing due to increasing human use and a changing climate. In this unit, you will engage with field-based and quantitative problems related to water quantity and quality. This includes a multi-day field trip to regional NSW to collect samples and engage with field-based activities. During these activities, you will develop field-based skills for collection of hydrological data. The data will be used later in the unit to analyse and map the water quantity and quality issues in the catchment, relating this to landscape, management and climate. The second part of the unit focusses on developing an insight into model building, model calibration, validation and sensitivity analysis. It links back to the field experience by using long-term data collected by previous student cohorts and focussing on the identified landscape issues. This part of the study will allow you to directly engage with numerical approaches in prediction and forecasting in landscape hydrological models. The unit of study is specifically designed to extend your field hydrological knowledge and to strengthen your analytical and numerical skills in this area.