Prerequisites of the course include basics of statistics (e.g. courses ME-004 and ME-005), MAAT-407 Environmental Soil Science Readings I, MAAT-406 Soil Science Laboratory II.
After the course the student is able to:
- define study questions and independently compose a study plan
- independently carry out a scientific research with relatively large study material
- take analytical approach to the study question and widely utilize previously learnt knowledge
- use statistical methods to analyse results
- write a report resembling a scientific article
The course prepares students for doing their master's thesis work.
During the course, basic analytical methods of soil science learnt during previous courses will be widely applied. Students plan and carry out relatively wide scientific research independently using appropriate methods, apply previously studied theoretical knowledge and write a high quality scientific report. In addition to laboratory exercises, students will familiarize themselves with the subject of the study by using literature.
There are several possible research subjects; each course chooses one subject area and uses a course manual containing all work instructions dealing with the subject. In recent years, the subject area of the course has been soil phosphorus. Phosphorus is an essential plant nutrient for all plants, and a scarce supply of phosphorus clearly limits the growth of plants and crop formation especially in unfavorable growth conditions. On the other hand, soil phosphorus may cause a risk for water bodies in the watershed. The occurrence and behavior of soil phosphorus as well as adsorption and desorption reactions involved in the leaching of phosphorus and the components participating in these reactions will be studied by several methods.
2 h lectures, 120 h laboratory exercises,148 h independent work
The laboratory exercises are carried out in a group within the 4-week laboratory period. Before the course the students familiarize themselves with the laboratory manual and set up their own schedule. The teacher will go through the schedule with the students to make sure it is realistic. A written report of the analyses and the results should be completed by the end of the autumn term. The students search for literature dealing with the chosen subject and utilize it when writing the report. The report is written independently. Final examination can be taken when the report is accepted.
- Laboratory manual
- D.L. Sparks (ed.): Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 3. Chemical methods. SSSA Book Series No. 5. Soil Science Society of America 1996. 1390 p.
- J.H. Dane & G.C. Topp (eds.): Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 4. Physical methods. SSSA Book Series No. 5. Soil Science Society of America 2002. 1692 p.
A report resembling a scientific article will be written. Passing the final exam completes the course.
Grading scale 0-5. Lab report 70%, final examination 30%.
If foreign students are enrolled, the language of instruction is English.
University lecturer Sanna Kanerva
Vastaa opintojaksoa 817846 Maaperä- ja ympäristötieteen harjoitustyöt III, 10 op.