Table 1: Soil Science

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, SOIL3010, ENVX3001, and ENVX3003.
Intermediate units of study
SOIL2004
The Soil Resource
6      Semester 2
SOIL2005
Soil and Water: Earth's Life Support Systems
6    N SOIL2003 or LWSC2002
Semester 1
Senior core units of study
Students must complete both SOIL3009 and SOIL3010.
SOIL3009
Contemporary Field and Lab Soil Science
6    P SOIL2003
Semester 1
SOIL3010
The Soil at Work
6    P SOIL2003 or 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, SOIL3010, ENVX3001, and ENVX3003.
Intermediate units of study
SOIL2004 The Soil Resource

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Stephen Cattle Session: Semester 2 Classes: Two 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour practical per week, 6-day fieldtrip in the week immediately preceding the start of Semester 2 (Week 0) Assessment: Fieldtrip participation (5%), soil survey mapping report (35%), laboratory report and poster presentation (20%), group tutorials (15%), viva voce exam (25%) Practical field work: Computer and laboratory practical sessions; 6-day fieldtrip Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit will familiarise students with the description and mapping of soil types in the Australian landscape, with common analytical methods for soil and with the various forms of degradation that may alter the quality and function of soil. It is an applied soil science unit that builds on the fundamental soil science concepts learned in the SOIL2003/SOIL2005 unit. The first practical component of the unit, a six-day soil survey, will give students experience in soil description and classification in the field, and soil samples collected during this survey will be subsequently analysed for a variety of attributes by the students in laboratory practicals. In the lecture series, topics including soil security, soil fertility and soil degradation will be discussed and linked to practical sessions. By the end of this unit, students will be able to construct maps of soil properties and soil type distribution, describe primary soil functions, soil attributes and types of soil degradation in an agricultural context, and be able to recognize and communicate the ability of a soil profile to sustain plant growth. Students will gain research and inquiry skills by collecting, analysing and interpreting soil survey data, and will gain communication skills by having to prepare and present a poster.
SOIL2005 Soil and Water: Earth's Life Support Systems

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Balwant Singh Session: Semester 1 Classes: Lectures: 3 hours per week; lab: 3 hours per week for 10 weeks Prohibitions: SOIL2003 or LWSC2002 Assessment: Field excursion: attendance and creative assessment (5%), the attendance at the excursion is complusory to get any mark for this assessment task; quiz: (10%); written assignment: modelling assessment including modelling (15%); laboratory report: group oral presentation and written assignment (20%); final exam: final written exam (50%) Practical field work: Approximately eight hours working field at Cobbitty Farm Wk 0 (Friday, 22 Feb 2019) Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Soil and water are the two most essential natural resources on the Earth's surface which influence all forms of terrestrial life. This unit of study is designed to introduce students to the fundamental properties and processes of soil and water that affect food security and sustain ecosystems. These properties and processes are part of the grounding principles that underpin crop and animal production, nutrient and water cycling, and environmental sustainability. You will participate in a field excursion to examine soils in a landscape to develop knowledge and understanding of soil properties, water storage, water movement and cycling of organic carbon and nutrients in relation to food production and ecosystem functioning. At the end of this unit you will be able to articulate and quantify the factors and processes that determine the composition and behaviour of soil, composition of water, soil water storage and the movement of water on the land surface. You will also be able to describe the most important properties of soil and water for food production and sustaining ecosystem functions and link this to human and climatic factors. The field excursion, report and laboratory/computer exercises have been designed to develop communication, team work and collaborative efforts.
Textbooks
Brady, N.C. and Ray R. Weil. (2007). The Nature and Properties of Soils. 14th Edition, Prentice Hall, New Jersey. White, R.E. (2006) Principles and Practice of Soil Science: the Soil as a Natural Resource. 4th ed., Blackwell Science, Oxford. Diana H. Wall, Richard D. Bardgett, Valerie Behan-Pelletier, Jeffrey E. Herrick, T. Hefin Jones, Karl Ritz, Johan Six, Donald R. Strong, and Wim H. van der Putten (Eds.) (2012). Soil Ecology and Ecosystem Services. Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780199575923. Kutllek, M and Nielsen, D.R. (2015). Soil: The Skin of the Planet Earth, Springer, ISBN: 978-94-017-9788-7 (Print) 978-94-017-9789-4 (Online). Gordon, N. D., McMahon, T. A., Finlayson, B. L., Gippel, C. J., and Nathan, R. J. (2004) Stream Hydrology: an Introduction for Ecologists, John Wiley and Sons Inc.
Senior core units of study
Students must complete both SOIL3009 and SOIL3010.
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, A/Prof Damien Field 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 Assessment: One viva voce exam (40%), soil physics written assessments (20%), soil chemistry written assessments (20%), soil judging (12%), pedology written assessments (8%) 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.
SOIL3010 The Soil at Work

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Budiman Minasny (Coordinator), Prof Balwant Singh, Prof Alex McBratney, A/Prof. Stephen Cattle, A/Prof Damien Field Session: Semester 2 Classes: Problem-based unit: each student completes one problem as part of a team, involving multiple team meetings Prerequisites: SOIL2003 or SOIL2004 Assessment: Introduction to the problem group presentation (10%); status of the problem group report (10%); how to tackle the problem seminar (20%) - team seminars, before fieldwork, analyses done; results seminar (20%) - team seminars; final group report (25%); activities diary for group (15%) Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This is a problem-based applied soil science unit addressing the physical, chemical and biological components of soil function. It is designed to allow students to identify soil-related problems in the real-world and by working in a group and with an end-user, to suggest short and long-term solutions to problems such as fertility, resilience, carbon management, structural decline, acidification, salinisation and contamination. By designing and administering strategies to tackle real-world soil issues, students will develop their research and inquiry skills and enhance their intellectual autonomy. By producing reports and seminars that enables understanding by an end-user, students will improve the breadth of their communication skills. This is a core unit for students majoring or specialising in soil science and an elective unit for those wishing to gain an understanding of environmental problem-solving. It utilises and reinforces soil-science knowledge gained in SOIL2003 and SOIL2004, as well as generic problem-solving skills gained during the degree program.
Textbooks
Reference book: I.W.Heathcote 1997. Environmental Problem Solving: A Case Study Approach. McGraw-Hill, New York, NY, USA.
Senior elective units of study
Students must complete ENVX3001 and ENVX3003.
ENVX3001 Environmental GIS

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Bradley Evans 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 a day of GPS fieldwork at Arthursleigh University farm and two days in Canberra visiting various government agencies which research and maintain GIS coverages for Australia. By the end of this UoS, 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.