EARTH221-22B (HAM)

Soil Science

15 Points

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Division of Health Engineering Computing & Science
School of Science
Earth Sciences

Staff

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Convenor(s)

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Administrator(s)

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)

Tutor(s)

Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)

Librarian(s)

: cheryl.ward@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
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Paper Description

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An introduction to the nature, formation, and classification of soils, their physical, chemical, mineralogical, and biological properties, and issues of soil quality, land degradation and sustainable management.

Note: The details below are applicable as at 15 November 2021 but because some uncertainties about COVID-19 impacts remain then the paper outline is provisional and subject to change.

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Paper Structure

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The paper is composed of lectures, laboratories (which are streamed, A and B), a 3-hr field trip, and tutorials. The paper will run during Trimester B and will start Mon 18 July with both lectures and labs.

Lectures

There will normally be three one-hour lectures per week

Lecture 1: Monday 2 pm

Lecture 2: Tuesday 11 am

Lecture 3: Wednesday 12 noon

Labs

We have three labs in total*. Students must attend one stream of the labs (A or B) in person, including the essential introductory laboratory (Lab 1, 1.5 hours), as follows:

Lab 1 stream A Intro (Lab 1A): Thursday 21 July, 9 am 10.30 am E1.06

Lab 1 stream B Intro (Lab 1B): Thursday 21 July, 10.30 am 12.00 noon E1.06

Lab 2 stream A (Lab 2A): Thursday 28 July, 9:00 am – 12.00 noon E1.06

Lab 2 stream B (Lab 2B): Thursday 4 Aug, 9:00 am – 12.00 noon E1.06

Lab 3 stream B (Lab 3B): Thursday 11 Aug, 9:00 am – 12.00 noon E1.06 [note stream B this week]

Lab 3 stream A (Lab 3A): Thursday 18 Aug, 9:00 am – 12.00 noon E1.06 [note stream A this week]

*Note: we are using the lab time slot 9 am -12 noon for the soils field trip (entire class) scheduled for Thursday 22 September.

Field trip

There will be a 3-hr soils field trip in person to a local site on Thursday 22 September from 9 am to 12 noon (i.e. in the scheduled lab time slot). Students must attend the field trip. More details will be provided nearer the time.

Tutorials

A number are scheduled: see below and main schedule.

The programme of lectures, practicals and tutorial topics are provided in a schedule available on Moodle.

The paper is supported by learning resources accessed via Moodle.

Tests

Two tests are scheduled, each 50 minutes in duration, and will be held in person on campus. The cover the first and second halves of the paper.

Final exam

An final exam in the exam period completes the assessment. More details will be provided later.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • 1. Explain the role of soil science as a central discipline in the geosciences and wider community.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • 2. Describe key features of soil profiles/pedons including horizonation and show the general distribution of soil types on a large-scale map.
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  • 3. Describe the physical properties of soil and their importance including the storage of water and air and their movement into and out of soil.
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  • 4. Describe the biology community of soil and the pools of organic matter and nutrients (specifically C, N, and P) in soil and explain how they are cycled.
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  • 5. Describe the clay mineralogy of soil, exchange mechanisms of cations and anions.
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  • 6. Describe the macro and micronutrient in soil and their availability to organisms.
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  • 7. Describe use of the language of communication about soils via soil classification.
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  • 8. Describe soil formation and explain the broad pattern of soils in part of the Waikato region.
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  • 9. Describe the general pattern of soils in New Zealand and some of their land-use attributes.
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  • 10. Communicate effectively through written reports.
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  • 11. Collect, analyse and interpret field and laboratory data appropriate to soil science.
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  • 12. Undertake basic soil investigation in the field including soil mapping and selection of soil profile sites and reference data, and the description of soil profiles using appropriate (pedological) terminology.
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  • 13. Undertake soil investigation methods in the laboratory including a range of soil chemical and soil physical analytical techniques.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment

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Information about each item is provided in the lab manual and field trip guide, and in class/tutorials
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 50:50. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 50% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 50:50 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 50% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Lab report no. 1
15 Aug 2022
5:00 PM
7
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Lab report no. 2
29 Aug 2022
5:00 PM
7
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Test 1 (1st half of paper)
14 Sep 2022
12:00 PM
12
  • In Class: In Lecture
4. Field report
3 Oct 2022
5:00 PM
7
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Test 2 (2nd half of paper)
19 Oct 2022
12:00 PM
12
  • In Class: In Lecture
6. Online quizzes
5
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
7. Exam
50
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Copies of PowerPoint lectures in full will be provided on Moodle before the lectures to allow extra note-taking (optional, print off your own copy if desired).

A lab manual will be available for downloading from Moodle (please print off your own copy).

The field trip guide will be available for downloading from Moodle (please print off your own copy).

Two field guide books will be lent to students to save costs. They will be available for collection before the field trip from the FG Link reception area. They must be returned in good order at the end of the paper to the same staff in FG Link (ground floor). Some of you may get a copy of a single volume that combines the two booklets into one.

(i) B. Clayden & A.E. Hewitt Horizon Notation for New Zealand Soils (reprinted courtesy of Manaaki Whenua Press and Landcare Research); and

(ii) Guide to Pedon Description compiled by D.J. Lowe.

if you intend going on in soil science or pedology, you are welcome to purchase your own private copy of these two booklets which have now (from 2020) been compiled into a single volume. They are available for purchase from Waikato Print Shop (single booklet "Pedon description" with white covers, with Clayden and Hewitt's soil horizon notation at the back).

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Recommended Readings

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Recommended (copies in library)

A.E. Hewitt, M.R. Balks, & D.J. Lowe. The Soils of Aotearoa New Zealand (1st ed). Springer, Cham, xx + 332 pp. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-64763-6 (also available electronically via Waikato University library)

R. McLaren & K. Cameron. Soil Science - Sustainable Production and Environmental Protection, revised edition. Oxford Univ. Press.

L. Molloy & Q. Christie. Soils in the New Zealand Landscape 2nd ed. published by the NZ Society of Soil Science (NZSSS), Lincoln.

The latter book has recently been reprinted by NZSSS and soft­bound copies ($40) are available from the society's secretariat at info@groundworkassociates.co.nz . The book is also available free (as a series of chapters in pdf format) on the NZSSS website at https://nzsss.science.org.nz/books/

R. Weil & N. Brady. The Nature and Properties of Soil, 15th edition. Pearson.

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Online Support

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Online support will be provided via Moodle, which is accessible to all students who are enrolled in the paper. PLEASE NOTE: Moodle will be used for class notices etc. and it is your responsibility to check the site regularly. Instructions provided on Moodle and in lectures are considered to be given to the class as a whole. Lectures will be recorded on Panopto and uploaded to Moodle.

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Workload

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There approximately 30 lectures, 3 tutorials, a short introductory lab and two full labs, ~3 hours for a field trip, 2 tests, online quizzes, and a final exam. The workload for each item should relate broadly to the value of the assignment but is largely individual choice. A 200­ level 15-point paper in any of the science subjects offered by the University of Waikato typically involves ~50 hours of supervised study and it is assumed that up to around 100 hours will be spent in private study by an ‘average’ student.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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This paper is a prerequisite for EARTH322 "Soil and Water Management"

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Prerequisite(s)

Prerequisite papers: EARTH101 or ENVSC101 or ERTH104 or ENVS101

Corequisite(s)

Equivalent(s)

Restriction(s)

Restricted papers: ERTH233, ERTH234

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