Course:SOIL516

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Urban Watershed Management
Soil516.jpg
SOIL 516
Section: 001
Instructor: Julie Wilson
Email: julie.wilson@ubc.ca
Office: MCML 112A
Office Hours: By appointment
Class Schedule: Online course
Classroom:
Important Course Pages
Syllabus
Lecture Notes
Assignments
Course Discussion


Urban Watershed Management

Course Overview

More than 50% of the global population now resides in cities and this number is expected to increase rapidly. This puts enormous pressure on water resources and without effective conservation and water reuse, many cities will face major water challenges. This online course presents a comprehensive approach to urban watershed management, and covers themes such as drinking water, waste water, riparian buffers and urban stream health, climate change adaptation, and more. It is intended for community leaders, professionals and graduate students interested in integrated water resource management in urban areas.

SOIL 516 is offered as a distributed learning course using an online App textbook which contains the course material, and the UBC Connect Learning Management System for class discussions, updates and assignments.

The course is equivalent to a 3-credit graduate level course and students can register for UBC academic credit in SOIL 516.

The course has the following components:

  • A multimedia textbook App that can be accessed online from your desktop and most mobile platforms (iOS, Android) - see "Textbook" section below.
  • All course information is posted on UBC Connect, which contains course announcements, discussion boards, links to resources, review questions, etc.
  • Assignments will be posted on UBC Connect.


Course instructor: Julie Wilson (julie.wilson@ubc.ca)

SOIL 516 is offered in Winter Term 1.

Prerequisites

As this is a graduate level course, a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as environmental sciences, engineering, planning, geography or biology is recommended. Academic or professional experience related to land and water resource management in an urban context is desirable.

There are no course prerequisites.

Relation to the Integrated Watershed Management Course

UBC also offers a distance learning course in Integrated Watershed Management (SOIL 515), which covers the principles of watershed management in a more general manner. The Urban Watershed Management course is different in that it focuses on urban watersheds and their specific land use, hydrology and water quality issues, and also the role of community groups and local governments. The Integrated Watershed Management course is not a prerequisite to taking this course; however, those with limited knowledge about watershed issues are encouraged to take SOIL 515 first, since it is an introduction to the topic. Those who have already taken SOIL 515 and are interested in urban issues will find this course a great follow-up. There is limited overlap in content between the two courses.

For further interest, the Watershed Management course series also offers SOIL 518 - Water in International Development and SOIL 520 - Agricultural Watershed Management.


E-Textbook

The main readings for the SOIL 516 course are based upon the Urban Watershed Management online e-textbook, developed by Dr. Hans Schreier's online learning team. The e-textbook can be accessed through your web browser on your desktop and most mobile devices (iOS, Android). Access to the e-textbook is restricted to students in the SOIL 516 course, and is password protected.

The access link and password will be sent to students during the first week of class.


Assessment and Grading

This is a distributed learning course and students are expected to read all the material in the online textbook, as it corresponds to the weekly course schedule. Grading will be based on two written assignments, participation in the online discussions, and a final examination.

Component Grading
Assignments (2): Term papers 45% of final mark
Final Examination 40% of final mark
Course Participation (Discussions) 15% of final mark

Criteria for evaluation of assignments:

  • Read and answer all questions carefully
  • Provide clearly stated objectives
  • Employ appropriate methods to address the issue raised in the assignment. Show your calculations where necessary.
  • Provide comprehensive subject matter coverage
  • Relevant literature documentation
  • Discuss strengths and weaknesses of the alternative findings
  • Present clear conclusions

Questions will be posted on the online discussion board every month and we expect students to take an active role and respond to each question on a regular basis (within 2-3 weeks). All responses will be posted on UBC Connect and all participants can read and respond to the contributions.

The final examination will be based on the materials presented in the online textbook, assignments and discussions throughout the term. A document will be emailed to you after the final week of classes. There are 7 questions and you must answer 6 in your final exam submission. Be concise in your responses, with no more than 500 words (~1 page) per answer, 12-pt font, single-spaced. You must email your completed exam to the instructor before the deadline.

All assignments and exams will be marked using the UBC grading scale. Final mark for UBC graduate credit = 3 credits.

Academic Integrity

The academic enterprise is founded on honesty, civility, and integrity. As members of this enterprise, all students are expected to know, understand, and follow the codes of conduct regarding academic integrity. At the most basic level, this means submitting only original work done by you and acknowledging all sources of information or ideas and attributing them to others as required. This also means you should not cheat, copy, or mislead others about what is your work. Violations of academic integrity (i.e., misconduct) lead to the breakdown of the academic enterprise, and therefore serious consequences arise and harsh sanctions are imposed. For example, incidences of plagiarism or cheating may result in a mark of zero on the assignment or exam and more serious consequences may apply if the matter is referred to the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Discipline. Careful records are kept in order to monitor and prevent recurrences.