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.
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
One viva voce exam (40%), soil physics written assessments (20%), soil chemistry written assessments (20%), soil judging (12%), pedology written assessments (8%)
Textbooks: D. Hillel, 2004. Introduction to Environmental Soil Physics. Elsevier Science, San Diego, CA, USA. R. Schaetzl and S. Anderson, 2005. Soils: Genesis and Geomorphology. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, USA. D.L. Sparks, 2003. Environmental Soil Chemistry (2nd ed.). Academic Press, San Diego, CA, USA.