Soil and Water Chemistry

Study soil and water chemistry. Learn about the complex interactions of soil and water in the environment and their applications in agriculture, health and environmental management.

Course Code: BSC307
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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This course discusses the interactions between soil, water, and the environment. In the first lesson, you'll refresh your chemistry knowledge, the move on to important geochemical cycles. Once the basics are established, you'll learn about soil structure and classification, the effect of pH and cation exchange capacity, soil sampling, nutrient content and uptake, soil fertility, and more.

In the second half of the course, you'll learn about the hydrological cycle, groundwater and seawater, and drought and its impact. After these basics are established, you'll move on to a discussion of potable water, EC and other chemical testing, and real world applications of water chemistry and human health. The course culminates in a Problem-Based Learning Project, to help cement your learning.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Soil Chemistry – Introduction
  2. Soil Chemical Properties and Processes
  3. Soil Chemical testing
  4. Soil Chemistry - Applications in Agriculture
  5. Soil Chemistry – Applications in Environmental Management
  6. Introduction to Water Chemistry
  7. Chemistry of Water Sources and Drinking Water
  8. Water Chemical testing
  9. Water Chemistry – Human and Environmental Health Applications
  10. Water Chemistry – Applications in Agriculture Problem-Based Learning Project

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Describe the dominant geochemical cycles on earth.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic chemistry including atoms and their components, elements, compounds and chemical reactions.
  • Explain the important chemical reactions occurring in soil and their consequences.
  • Differentiate between different soil fractions with respect to their nature, size and chemical activity.
  • Describe different soil test methods and explain how the test results are used.
  • Explore components of soil fertility.
  • Describe soil chemistry/fertility factors affecting crop growth in different farming environments.
  • Explain ways of improving soil fertility for crop production.
  • Discuss the impact of chemically altering soil vs. cycling and other natural methods.
  • Describe inorganic and organic soil pollutants.
  • Discuss effects on health and the environment.
  • Discuss ways to remediate soils.
  • Outline the components of the earth’s water cycle.
  • Describe the main chemical properties of water.
  • Explain the various ways in which water is classified.
  • Explain the chemistry of different water sources, giving examples of different properties and reactions.
  • Describe different water test methods and explain how the test results are used.

What You Will Do

  • Research redox reactions, then diagram the reductive and oxidative processes in photosynthesis.
  • Discuss the chemical structure of a colour-causing compound.
  • Discuss how hydrogen defines the difference between acidic soil and alkaline soil.
  • Gather soil samples from 3 different locations and perform pH tests on each of the soil samples.
  • Conduct research about costs, operation and application of various types of soil testing equipment.
  • Research tillage, and how it affects all the components of soil fertility and chemical ratios in the soil.
  • Discuss the relationship between carbon and nitrogen in the soil and how nitrogen affects carbon availability.
  • Research pesticide heavy crops in your area, then alternative or low-chemical ways to reduce pests.
  • Research the chemistry of seawater. Draw a diagram representing the oxygen and carbon dioxide movement in seawater.
  • Investigate potable water and potable water treatments.
  • Investigate the relevance of water hardness in agriculture.
  • Research the relationship between EC and pH.

How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

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If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

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If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

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Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

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Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

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We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

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We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

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You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

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We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Lynette Morgan

Dr Morgan has a broad expertise in horticulture and crop production, and a keen appreciation of the global scene. She travels widely as a partner in Suntec Horticultural Consultants, and has clients in central America, the USA, Caribbean, South East Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.

Lachlan Allan

Lachlan has experience of the hospitality, banking and utilities sectors in managerial positions in the UK. Following a career change after moving to Australia, he is also experienced in the medical engineering field where he was an engineer responsible for devices at hospital sites and laboratories

Melissa Leistra

Melissa has a Masters Degree in Human Nutrition from Deakin University and Bachelor's degree specialising in personal development, health and physical education. She has enjoyed teaching Hospitality in the areas of commercial cookery and food and beverage. Her experience includes 16 years teaching health and nutrition and working in the hospitality industry. Melissa enjoys living a self-sustainable lifestyle on a farm and raising all types of animals. She is an experienced vegetarian/vegan cook and loves to create wholesome food using her slow combustion wood stove.

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