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Module

ACE2063 : Managing Soils in the Agri-Environment

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Julia Cooper
  • Lecturer: Professor Yit Arn Teh
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

The overall aim of the Module is to present the principles of soil management for agricultural systems and thereby enabling students to critically assess approaches to practical soil management in cropping and grassland systems. Student will gain a foundation in the basics of soil science and apply this within practical case studies.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics are introduced in the lecture programme,
•       Why soil matters; soil quality as integration of soil physical, chemical and biological properties
•       Factors driving land use patterns – links between land quality, soil, productivity and environmental impacts
•       Soil texture, OM and structure
•       Soil forming factors – spatial variability of soil, soil profile and classification (E&W)
•       Soil acidity – managing and maintaining pH
•       Plant response to nutrients (K, N, P), response curves – factors affecting nutrient availability in soils
•       Factors affecting soil water balance
•       Managing soils in practice – tillage systems
•       Managing soils in practice – integrated approaches to manage soil health

This will be supported through field and laboratory classes, where an system-approach to soils and soil forming processes is taken.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials210:207:00Pre-recorded lecture materials published on the VLE each week. Each recording is approximately 20 mi
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion82:0016:00Weekly online quiz; due each subsequent week; total 40% of assessment; time includes preparation
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:2020:20Preparation of a video on a concept in soil management in agricultural systems
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities70:404:40Independent learning activities
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading103:0030:00Reading of textbook and peer reviewed papers
Guided Independent StudySkills practice22:004:00Soil testing at home practical exercise; offline
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00Weekly 60 minute flipped classroom style sessions exploring a topic in small groups
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork23:006:002 field trips to Cockle Park Farm
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk80:304:00N/A
Total100:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce key knowledge and appropriate reading.
Field work introduces techniques in description of soil properties and assessment of soil quality and and practicals consolidate learning from lectures by problem solving. Practical soil management skills such as fertiliser recommendation and irrigation scheduling will be developed through practicals and their assessment.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
ACE2074Soils in Terrestrial Ecosystems1N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Computer assessment1M40it will consist of 8 x 5% valued week based on practical classes in soil biology, soil chemistry, irrigation and nutrient management
Oral Examination1M60Video presentation on a practical solution to a soil management challenge; supported by evidence from Peer-reviewed studies.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination tests the assimilation of a broad body of knowledge and understanding (LOs 1-2).

The reflective practical reports test application of soil information to guide management in practice (LOs 3-5).

An alternative assessment will be set for any Semester 1 Study Abroad student taking this module, who will not be in Newcastle during the January assessment period

Reading Lists

Timetable