ACE8043 : Soil & Land Resources - Assessment and Management
- Offered for Year: 2019/20
- Module Leader(s): Dr Julia Cooper
- Lecturer: Dr Simon Peacock, Dr Janet Simkin
- Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
- Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
|Semester 1 Credit Value:||20|
To provide an introduction to the assessment and management of land resources as affected by a range of variables to influence land use, wildlife habitat potential and agricultural systems. The module will review key soil properties and processes important for habitat, land use capability and soil quality assessment and will examine how environmental factors affect soil variability and its characteristics as a substrate to support plants and animals. The skills required for the assessment of: land use capability; habitat potential; risks of surface and groundwater pollution; and soil quality and ecosystem services will be developed.
The module is relevant to students with interests in wildlife conservation and biodiversity, agricultural and environmental management, ecosystem analysis and management, and environmental resource assessment and consultancy.
Outline Of Syllabus
1. Concepts of environmental assessment; soil forming factors and soil classification
2. Soil physical properties; Soil drainage and water
3. Soil chemical & biological properties; soil organic matter dynamics; nutrient cycles
4. Managing nutrients in agricultural and natural ecosystems; introduction to case studies
5. Soil survey and land evaluation; using information about land resources
6. Case Study: one from Assessing the sustainability of farm rotations; Determining risk of diffuse pollution; Habitat suitability assessment
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Lecture||12||2:00||24:00||N/A|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||23||1:00||23:00||Independent study|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||1||6:00||6:00||Oral Presentation preparation|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||1||23:00||23:00||Reflective Log preparation|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||1||36:00||36:00||Case Study preparation|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Practical||1||4:00||4:00||Practical 3 on soil chemistry|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Practical||4||2:00||8:00||Practicals 1 and 2 & Computer class 1 and 2|
|Guided Independent Study||Directed research and reading||1||2:00||2:00||Seminar 1 preparation|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Small group teaching||1||4:00||4:00||Seminar 3 soil quality group presentations|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Small group teaching||1||1:00||1:00||Seminar 2 - Introduction to Case Study|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Small group teaching||2||2:00||4:00||Seminar 1 on soil quality and Seminar 4 Case Study preparation|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Fieldwork||2||5:00||10:00||Field trip 2 and Field trip 4|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Fieldwork||2||8:00||16:00||Field trip 1 and Field trip 3|
|Guided Independent Study||Reflective learning activity||2||19:30||39:00||Private study lecture follow up and practical class follow up|
Teaching Rationale And Relationship
The course will be delivered using a variety of approaches.
Traditional lectures will be used for direct delivery of information, providing knowledge and improved understanding of relevant topics. They also provide the opportunity for interaction with the lecturer, who will clarify points of importance. In addition, spontaneous or planned discussions may occur to provide further insight into lecture topics. This is consolidated in workshops and field classes, which also allow illustration and practice of methodologies and a general consideration of implications.
Assigned readings will be used to provide more in-depth analysis of the information provided in the lectures. Self-directed learning will be encouraged as students work independently and are directed to reflect on the learning achieved in each topic area. The use of self-directed learning will allow the students to digest and assimilate the information they have been provided in the lectures, and also create the opportunity for students to further explore areas of interest independently.
The case study allows use of various sources of environmental information on land, soil and water resources to assess land suitability for agriculture, options for soil mismanagement approaches and/or wildlife habitat conservation/restoration, and/or to assess risks to the environment.
The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners
|Oral Presentation||30||1||M||25||Group presentation (4 per group): 30 mins total time for presentation. Based on surveys of soils quality conducted Field trip 3|
|Reflective log||1||M||25||Reflective log on learning during the module: 1500 words|
|Case study||1||M||50||Case Study report on 1 of 3 topics: nutrient man; diffuse water pollution from agriculture, habitat assessment: 2000 - 2500 words|
Assessment Rationale And Relationship
The module covers a broad topic area (land resource assessment and management) which takes place within a complex overall, integrated management system, consequently the assessed case study is an appropriate way of assessing the students’ integration of knowledge and understanding acquired over the programme of lectures, seminars and practical and field classes and group learning exercises. It provides a realistic problem solving scenario that needs to be completed under time constraint as in practical, commercial and research situations.
The use of reflective logs for each topic area covered as an assessment tool is an appropriate way to assess the acquisition and application of knowledge; such an assessment approach is designed to assist, enhance and promote the students learning experience in an integrative/holistic rather than compartmentalised manner.