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Unit of study_

The Soil at Work - SOIL3010

Year - 2020

This is a problem-based applied soil science unit addressing the physical, chemical and biological components of soil function. It is designed to allow students to identify soil-related problems in the real-world and by working in a group and with an end-user, to suggest short and long-term solutions to problems such as fertility, resilience, carbon management, structural decline, acidification, salinisation and contamination. By designing and administering strategies to tackle real-world soil issues, students will develop their research and inquiry skills and enhance their intellectual autonomy. By producing reports and seminars that enables understanding by an end-user, students will improve the breadth of their communication skills. This is a core unit for students majoring or specialising in soil science and an elective unit for those wishing to gain an understanding of environmental problem-solving. It utilises and reinforces soil-science knowledge gained in SOIL2003 and SOIL2004, as well as generic problem-solving skills gained during the degree program.

Problem-based unit: each student completes one problem as part of a team, involving multiple team meetings

Introduction to the problem group presentation (10%); status of the problem group report (10%); how to tackle the problem seminar (15%) - team seminars, before fieldwork, analyses done; results seminar (25%) - team seminars; final group report (30%); activities diary (10%)

Reference book: I.W.Heathcote 1997. Environmental Problem Solving: A Case Study Approach. McGraw-Hill, New York, NY, USA.


SOIL2003 or SOIL2004 or SOIL2005


Faculty: Science

Semester 2

24 Aug 2020

Department/School: Life and Environmental Sciences Academic Operations
Study Mode: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Census Date: 28 Sep 2020
Unit of study level: Senior
Credit points: 6.0
EFTSL: 0.125
Available for study abroad and exchange: Yes
Faculty/department permission required? No
More details
Unit of Study coordinator: Prof Budiman Minasny (Coordinator), Prof Balwant Singh, Prof Alex McBratney, A/Prof. Stephen Cattle, A/Prof Damien Field
HECS Band: 2
Courses that offer this unit

Non-award/non-degree study If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student. Cross-institutional study If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to undertake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.

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