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GEOG284 Soils and the Environment

The characteristics and structure of soils; nutrient systems; human impact on soils; laboratories as required.

Soils are the basis of life on Earth: they support natural terrestrial ecosystems, and those created by humankind, on which we rely for food and other key resources. But increasingly our activities, from agriculture and forestry, to urban, industrial and even recreational land uses, threaten the health of the major resource. In this paper, we look at soil from an ecological point of view, to understand human impacts on soil health and provide a basis for addressing those problems through informed environmental management.

Paper title Soils and the Environment
Paper code GEOG284
Subject Geography
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2017
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,018.05
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,320.00

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Prerequisite
GEOG 101
Restriction
GEOG 390
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science
Contact
geography@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
Co-ordinator: Professor Richard Morgan
Paper Structure
There are four main sections to the paper. The first section deals with the form and dynamics of the soil from the nutrient system perspective, the second section provides the theoretical basis for understanding soil formation processes, the third section covers the influence of soil conditions on plant life and the fourth section deals with the impact of human actions of soil, and indirectly on vegetation, using the principles established earlier in the course.
Teaching Arrangements
There are two lectures per week plus a laboratory programme during which the students, in groups of 6-8, work through a series of soil tests to investigate a soil affected by a particular land use.
Textbooks
Textbooks are not required for this paper.

Recommended:
Main course text: McLaren, R.G. and Cameron, K.C. (1996) Soil Science. Oxford University Press., Auckland (2nd edn.)

Entry-level text:Ashman, M.R. and Puri, G. (2002) Essential soil science. Blackwell

Extension text:Brady, N.C. and Weil, C.C. (2007) The nature and properties of soil. (14th edn.)
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
On completion of the paper students should have:
  • An understanding of the structure and processes of the soil, from an ecological perspective
  • An appreciation of the nature of the main New Zealand soil types and the environmental factors that gave rise to them
  • An understanding of the main processes by which people affect the soil system, and the implications of such effects
  • A familiarity with the main techniques for the chemical analysis of soils
  • An awareness of the opportunities for postgraduate research in this field
Eligibility
An environmental science background will be an advantage

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Timetable

Not offered in 2017

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

The characteristics and structure of soils; nutrient systems; human impact on soils; laboratories as required.

Soils are the basis of life on Earth: they support natural terrestrial ecosystems, and those created by humankind, on which we rely for food and other key resources. But increasingly our activities, from agriculture and forestry, to urban, industrial and even recreational land uses, threaten the health of this major resource. In this paper, we look at soil from an ecological point of view, to understand human impacts on soil health and provide a basis for addressing those problems through informed environmental management.

Paper title Soils and the Environment
Paper code GEOG284
Subject Geography
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for 2018 have not yet been set
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

Prerequisite
GEOG 101
Restriction
GEOG 390
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science
Eligibility
An environmental science background will be an advantage.
Contact
geography@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
Co-ordinator: Professor Richard Morgan
Paper Structure
There are four main sections to the paper:
  • the first section deals with the form and dynamics of the soil from an ecological perspective,
  • the second section provides the theoretical basis for understanding soil formation processes,
  • the third section covers the influence of soil conditions on plant life and
  • the fourth section deals with the impact of human actions of soil, and indirectly on vegetation, using the principles established earlier in the course.
Teaching Arrangements
There are two lectures per week plus a laboratory programme during which the students, in groups of 6-8, work through a series of soil tests to investigate a soil affected by a particular human activity.
Textbooks
Recommended:
Main course text: McLaren, R.G. and Cameron, K.C. (1996) Soil Science. Oxford University Press., Auckland (2nd edn.)

Entry-level text:Ashman, M.R. and Puri, G. (2002) Essential soil science. Blackwell

Extension text:Brady, N.C. and Weil, C.C. (2007) The nature and properties of soil. (14th edn.)
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
On completion of the paper students should have:
  • An understanding of the structure and processes of the soil, from an ecological perspective
  • An appreciation of the nature of the main New Zealand soil types and the environmental factors that gave rise to them
  • An understanding of the main processes by which people affect the soil system, and the implications of such effects
  • A familiarity with the main techniques for the chemical analysis of soils
  • An awareness of the opportunities for postgraduate research in this field

^ Top of page

Timetable

Second Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
L1 Thursday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41
Friday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41

Practical

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
P1 Thursday 14:00-16:50 30, 32-34, 36-39
P2 Friday 14:00-16:50 30, 32-34, 36-39