Course Outline

ENS224 Soil Properties, Processes and Rehabilitation

Course Coordinator:Peter Davies (pdavies1@usc.edu.au) School:School of Science, Technology and Engineering

2022Semester 2

USC Sunshine Coast

USC Moreton Bay

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to the USC website for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?

Description

Soils represent an important and essential element of the planet’s ecosystems, and are particularly relevant to not only environmental scientists and the Earth sciences, but to all industry and community stakeholders. This course provides you with advanced theory, sampling and analytical skills regarding soils, specifically with regards to physical, geochemical and biological processes and culminates with a series of field trips where you will evaluate local degraded and contaminated sites, conduct assessments and evaluations of these sites and provide recommendations for their rehabilitation.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Asynchronous material 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Laboratory 1 – On campus weeks 3 5 6 7 8 12 and 13 2hrs Week 3 7 times
Fieldwork – Weeks 1 2 4 9 10 and 11 3hrs Week 1 6 times

Course Topics

Pedogenesis; soil sampling; physical, geochemical and biological properties of soils; nutrient cycling in soils; soil laboratory basics and statistical analyses; instrument techniques appropriate for soil analysis; field work, including site assessment and field analyses

What level is this course?

200 Level (Developing)

Building on and expanding the scope of introductory knowledge and skills, developing breadth or depth and applying knowledge and skills in a new context. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally, undertaken in the second or third full-time year of an undergraduate programs.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Demonstrate and apply theoretical and practical knowledge of soil processes and principles to regional and global contexts Knowledgeable
2 Use practical techniques and analytical methods to collect and organise soil and sedimentary information e.g. observation, sampling, laboratory testing, recording Empowered
3 Integrate findings to identify, classify and interpret soils and to assess, evaluate and provide recommendations for their rehabilitation Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
4 Communicate findings through scientific reports and seminars. Engaged

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.

Pre-requisites

ENS103

Co-requisites

Not applicable

Anti-requisites

Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Basic knowledge of geological and pedological theory

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

The field trip in week two is designed as a field workshop to assist in completing task 1a.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1a Written Piece Individual 10%
500 words
Week 3 In Class
All 1b Written Piece Individual 40%
1500 words
Week 12 In Class
All 2 Report Individual 30%
2500 words
Week 9 Online Submission
All 3 Oral Group 20%
15 minutes
Week 13 In Class
All - Assessment Task 1a:Field Trip Workbook A
Goal:
The goal of this task is to develop field and reporting skills through observing, recording data and completing a workbook (provided) on different soil types and associated environments observed on the field trips taken throughout the course.
Product: Written Piece
Format:
You are required to complete and submit a 2000 word workbook on the observations and data collected during the field trips. (500 words per field trip) Students will receive formative feedback on the first two field trips (1a)
Criteria:
No. Learning Outcome assessed
1
Descriptions of each field site, soil parameters and associated environments observed.
1 2
2
Validity / rigour of field work conducted
1 3 4
3
Presentation and interpretation of data
1 2 3 4
4
170 Descriptions of each field site, soil parameters and associated environments observed.
1
All - Assessment Task 1b:Field Trip Workbook B
Goal:
The goal of this task is to develop field and reporting skills through observing, recording data and completing a workbook (provided) on different soil types and associated environments observed on the field trips taken throughout the course
Product: Written Piece
Format:
You are required to complete and submit a 2000 word workbook on the observations and data collected during the field trips. (500 words per field trip) Students will receive formative feedback on the first two field trips (1a)
Criteria:
No. Learning Outcome assessed
1
Descriptions of each field site, soil parameters and associated environments observed.
1 2 3 4
All - Assessment Task 2:Soil CoreReport
Goal:
To produce an initial site assessment and scientific report that integrates and evaluates soil core information
Product: Report
Format:
You are required to submit a 2500 word report on the observations and data collected from the physical and geochemical analyses of the soil core collected during the first six weeks of the course.
Criteria:
No. Learning Outcome assessed
1
Demonstration of appropriate data collection
1 3
2
Application of practical techniques and analytical methods to provide descriptions of cores observed based on soil core characteristics.
2 3 4
3
Validity and rigor of laboratory work conducted and use of appropriate statistical analysis
1 2 3 4
4
Integration of findings to provide appropriate presentation and interpretation of data
1 2 3
5
Evidence of teamwork and collaboration with peers
1 2 4
6
Communication of results
1 2 4
All - Assessment Task 3:Field Trip Rehabilitation Seminar
Goal:
You will collect and analyse complex field data from the field trips completed during semester and develop a presentation that includes site rehabilitation activities to a group of peers and professionals.
Product: Oral
Format:
Student groups will present a 15 minute oral seminar supported with multimedia resources to their peers, course staff and invited environmental professionals.
Criteria:
No. Learning Outcome assessed
1
Scientific communication: presentation of a scientific seminar
1
2
Assessment and descriptions of soils observed based on their characteristics.
2 3
3
Validity and rigour of field / laboratory work conducted
1 2 3
4
Recommendations
1
5
Evidence of teamwork and collaboration with peers
1 2 3 4
6
190 Scientific communication: presentation of a scientific seminar
1 2 4

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required National Committee on Soil and Terrain (Australia) 2009 Australian Soil and Land Survey Field Handbook n/a CSIRO PUBLISHING

Specific requirements

Not applicable

How are risks managed in this course?

Risk assessments have been performed for all field activities and low to moderate levels of health and safety risk exists. Moderate risks may include working in an Australian bush setting, working with people, working outside normal office hours for example. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.

SafeUSC

USC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email safe@usc.edu.au.

The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email studentwellbeing@usc.edu.au.

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or studentcentral@usc.edu.au.

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email studentwellbeing@usc.edu.au or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email AccessAbility@usc.edu.au or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

Visit the USC website: https://www.usc.edu.au/explore/policies-and-procedures#academic-learning-and-teaching

Student Charter

USC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • USC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • USC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • USC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
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  • Email:studentcentral@usc.edu.au