EARTH322-19A (HAM)

Soil and Water Management

15 Points

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Division of Health Engineering Computing & Science
School of Science


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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:
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    • 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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This paper integrates an understanding of land/soil and water processes that occur at paddock to catchment to national scales. A focus is on management practices that optimise resource use for productive purposes with attention to avoidance or minimisation of environmental effects.

Topics include soil degradation, soil fertility, nitrogen and phosphorus cycling, coupled to the hydrological setting within which landuse practices lie. Hydrological concepts build on an understanding of catchment-scale processes, analysis of hydrological regimes, and the estimation of water balance components including evaporation and drainage. Topics in the paper are set within the context of resource management law and the National Policy Statement for fresh water management.

Please note that the paper outline is provisional and content, timetable, and mark weightings are subject to change (any changes will be notified).

Note in schedule the initials of staff involved:

Tanya O'Neill (TO)

Dave Campbell (DC)

Louis Schipper (LS)

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Paper Structure

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The paper is composed of lectures, practicals, a field trip, and an exam.

There are about 26 lectures and tutorials (see programme for dates when schedule lecture slots are not used).


There are two 50 minute lectures per week (location below)

Lecture 1: Tuesday 9 am

Lecture 2: Wednesday 4 pm

Practicals and Field trip

There are four laboratory practicals and one field trip.

  • Visual Soil Assessment (VSA) field trip to dairy farm will be held on Monday 18 March (2-5 pm)
  • Practical 2: Overseer - Monday 25 March (class split into two groups, 2-4 pm, 4-6 pm)
  • Practical 3: Catchment lab - Monday 8 April (2-5 pm)
  • Practical 4: River flow regime lab - Monday 29 April (2-5 pm)
  • Practical 5: Evaporation estimation lab - Monday 13 May (2-5 pm)

Tutorials will be held prior to both tests and the exam (see programme for times)

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Describe factors and land management practices that result in the degradation of soil and approaches that are used to avoid or remediate this degradation
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Describe the management of soil nutrients (with an emphasis on nitrogen and phosphorus cycling) and soil pH, including beneficial and adverse effects on the land use and downstream receiving environments including water and atmosphere
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Define the components of the catchment water balance and explain how these relate to a range of hydrological processes that occur within a catchment’s boundaries
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Describe how changes in land use management (incl. role of irrigation and drainage) can bring about significant changes in catchment water yield and quality, and describe the main measurement and modelling methods used to detect and study these changes
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • In the context of the National Policy Statement – freshwater management (2014), describe how land uses may be constrained by the need to set and achieve freshwater quality objectives
    Linked to the following assessments:
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See assessment block below for details but overall there are:

  • Four lab reports worth 5% each to be completed and handed in during lab
  • Two tests worth 12.5% each
  • A field trip report worth 15%
  • Final exam worth 40%
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 60:40. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 40% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 60:40 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 40% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Practical 1: Visual soil assessment field report
5 Apr 2019
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Practical 2: Overseer lab
  • In Class: In Lab
3. Practical 3: Catchment lab
  • In Class: In Lab
4. Practical 4: Flow regimes lab
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Practical 5: Evaporation estimation lab
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
6. Test 1
9 Apr 2019
9:00 AM
  • In Class: In Lecture
7. Test 2
29 May 2019
4:00 PM
  • In Class: In Lecture
8. Exam
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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Power point slides given in the course will be available provided on moodle before the lecture. For the land component of the course there are also a set of one page outlines for each lecture with self-testing questions. These notes are not intended to be a complete collection of reference material for the course. You are expected to research the topics yourself, using the library resources. The following text is available in the library and on course reserve. This is the same text that is recommended for 2nd year soils course EARTH221.

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Recommended Readings

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Highly Recommended

  • McLaren and Cameron 1996 Soil Science. 2nd edition. Oxford Press. Available in the library
  • Jellyman P.G. et al., 2016. Advances in Freshwater Science. Available in the library
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Online Support

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The paper is supported by learning resources accessed via Moodle.

Online support will be provided via Moodle, which is accessible to all students who are enrolled in the paper.

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A 300-level 15 point paper in any of the science subjects offered by the University of Waikato typically involves less than 50 hours of supervised study and it is assumed that up to 100 hours will be spent in private study and assessment items by an ‘average’ student.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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This paper links to EARTH321 and EARTH331, and leads on to graduate papers in soil and environmental sciences, EARTH502 and ENVSC503.

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Prerequisite papers: EARTH221 and EARTH231




Restricted papers: ERTH334, ERTH345

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