ENVR06052 2019 Soils and the Environment

General Details

Full Title
Soils and the Environment
Transcript Title
Soils and the Environment
Code
ENVR06052
Attendance
75 %
Subject Area
ENVR - Environmental Science
Department
ESCI - Environmental Science
Level
06 - NFQ Level 6
Credit
05 - 05 Credits
Duration
Semester
Fee
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Author(s)
Ann-Marie Duddy, Cait Coyle
Programme Membership
SG_SAGRI_B07 201900 Bachelor of Science in Science in Agri-Food Science SG_SAGRI_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Science in Agri-Food Science SG_SECOL_B07 201900 Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Environmental Science SG_SENVI_B07 201900 Bachelor of Science in Science in Environmental Protection SG_SENVI_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Science in Environmental Science SG_SECOL_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Ecology and Environmental Science SG_SECOL_C06 201900 Higher Certificate in Science in Ecology and Environmental Science SG_SSUST_C06 201900 Higher Certificate in Science in Sustainable Food Production SG_SSCIE_B07 201900 Bachelor of Science in Science SG_SAGRI_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Science in Agri-Food Science SG_SSCIE_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Science SG_SSCIE_C06 201900 Higher Certificate in Science in Science
Description

This module emphasises the importance of soil ecosystem services for the production of food and environmental protection, in addition to their value to society. Students are taught fundamental knowledge and practical skills on key physical, chemical and biological soil properties, in addition to their interactions, in agricultural, forest and urban soils.  Factors influencing soil formation and the great soil groups are addressed.  The module introduces students to the main global threats to soil health and their consequences.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;

1.

Explain key physical, chemical and biological soil properties.

2.

Outline key characteristics of great soil groups and the influence of the main factors of their formation.

3.

Demonstrate knowledge of major global threats to soil health (including their cause, nature and consequences)

4.

Interpret field and laboratory data relating to key soil characteristics with a critical understanding of the context.

5.

Outline the concept of soil ecosystem services and its importance to food production, the environment and society.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered full-time. This will include lectures, laboratory practicals, and site visits augmented by independent learning and directed learning. This approach is expected to address student learning needs. Moodle will be used as a repository of educational resources and as a means of assessment (e.g. quizzes, uploading assignments and journals).

Module Assessment Strategies

This module is 50% Continuous Assessment and 50% final exam.

A written class test during the mid-semester will comprise 20% of the module marks. A written report on a major soil topic will comprise 15% of the module marks and will be due during the latter part of the semester. A written report on soil analysis will consist of 15% of the module marks.

The student must reach an assigned gate (mark) in the final exam and achieve 40% overall to pass the subject.

 

 

Repeat Assessments

Repeat Continuous Assessment and/or Final Exam.

Module Dependencies

Prerequisites
None
Co-requisites
None
Incompatibles
None

Indicative Syllabus

1.0 Explain key physical, chemical and biological soil properties.

1.1 Soil Physics (texture, structure, soil water relationships).

1.2 Soil Chemistry (pH, CEC, nutrients and potential pollutants).

1.3 Soil biology (introduction to soil fauna and soil microorganisms, in addition to their role in the degradation of organic matter, plant growth and soil health).

2.0 Outline key characteristics of great soil groups and the influence of the main factors of their formation.

2.1 Factors influencing soil formation.

2.2 Irish Soil Classification System.

3.0 Demonstrate knowledge of major global threats to soil health (including their cause, nature and consequences)

3.1 Effects on different land-use activities (e.g. agriculture, forestry, built environment, waste disposal) on soil health.

3.2 Soil erosion, compaction, soil sealing, nutrient depletion, organic matter decline, loss of biodiversity and contamination.

4.0 Interpret field and laboratory data relating to key soil characteristics with a critical understanding of the context.

4.1 Field Assessment

Soil texture/structure/colour.

Soil water content.

Soil sampling strategies in the field.

Field trip to agricultural/urban/forested site.

4.2 Laboratory Analysis

Soil preparation and sub-sampling for analysis.

Soil pH, loss on ignition, bulk density, moisture content, liming requirements and analysis of essential soil nutrients.

Experiment on soil biology

Plant growth experiment on different soil types.

5.0 Outline the concept of soil ecosystem services and its importance to food production, the environment and society

5.1 The concept of soil ecosystem services.

5.2 The key soil functions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
50 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
50 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Short Answer Questions Continuous Assessment Assessment 20 % Week 7 1,2,3,5
2 Report on Laboratory Analysis Continuous Assessment Assignment 15 % Week 9 1,4,5
3 Written Report Continuous Assessment Assignment 15 % Week 10 1,3,5

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam Final Exam UNKNOWN 50 % End of Term 1,2,3,5
             
             

Full Time Mode Workload


Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Lecture Theatre (lectures) 2 Weekly 2.00
Laboratory Practical Science Laboratory (or field studies) 2 Weekly 2.00
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Self Study 3 Weekly 3.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 4.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Fay, D., McGrath, D., Zhang, C., Carrigg, C., O'Flaherty, V., Kramers, G., Carton, O.T., and Grennan, E. (2007).  Towards a National Soil Database: Synthesis Report. (2001-CD/S2 M2) ERTDI Report Series No.69. Teagasc and EPA, Wexford.


Fay, D., Kramers, G., Zhang, C., McGrath, D. and Grennan, E. (2007).  Soil Geochemical Atlas of Ireland, Ed. Kramers, G. Teagasc and EPA, Wexford.

 

Paul, E.A. 2007. Soil Microbiology, Ecology and Biochemistry. Academic Press.

 

Strawn, D.G., Bohn, H.L., O’Conor, G.A. 2015. Soil Chemistry. Wiley Blackwell

 

Weil, R.R. and Brady, N.C. 2016. The Nature and Properties of Soil. Pearson Education.

Journal Resources

Journal of Soil Science

URL Resources

www.teagasc.ie

www.fao.org

Other Resources

Examination hall for end of semester final theory exam.

Laboratory for practicals.

Lecture theatre for lectures.

Soil sampling equipment.

Transportation for a field trip.

Additional Information

None