GVMLASP-Laboratory Analysis of Soils and Pollutants

Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: GVMQAD Quantitative Analysis of Environmental Data
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Elizabeth Shaw

Email: e.j.shaw@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
GVMLASP develops your laboratory and reporting skills. Over the course of 10 practical classes you will develop knowledge of the main analyses which are applied to soils to determine properties pertinent to the fate and behaviour of pollutants. You will also undertake a number of tests that are used to assess the concentration and bioavailability of a suite of contaminants in polluted soils. This module provides practical experience of techniques introduced and applied in GVMPBE.

To provide students with the skills required to analyse key soil properties related to pollutant fate
To gain experience analysing organic contaminants and potentially toxic elements in environmental samples
To introduce good laboratory practice and the importance of care for health protection and precise results
To develop good reporting and record keeping in the laboratory
To improve understanding of the relationships between soil properties and pollutant fate

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module you should be able to:
•Demonstrate the principles of good laboratory practice
•Record observations in a laboratory notebook
•Analyse the key soil properties influencing the fate of pollutants
•Measure the concentration and bioavailability of pollutants in soils
•Process analytical data and apply simple statistical tests to compare samples
•Interpret and present the results of laboratory analysis in a written report

Additional outcomes:
A wider knowledge of good laboratory practice and how it is to be maintained if precise, accurate and reliable results are to be produced. This is essential as more organisations require quality assurance certification as a pre-requisite before dispatching samples to a laboratory for analysis.

Outline content:
Soil pH
Soil texture
Soil moisture
Soil Organic Matter
Plant bioassay
Analysis of soils for total/available toxic elements and organic pollutants
Preparation of standards for calibrating analytical instruments
Batch sorption experiment
Data analysis and interpretation

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
All practicals are undertaken under supervised laboratory conditions
There will be support from technical and demonstrating staff as well as the module convenor

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 1
Practicals classes and workshops 29
Guided independent study 70
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 70
Practical skills assessment 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:
No exam

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Report on pollutants in soils (70%)
Laboratory notebook (30%)

Formative assessment methods:
Short report on soil properties

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
Resubmission of laboratory notebook and written essay in summer term

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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