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Unit (2019)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2019 academic year.

Agricultural and Environmental Technologies (ANS311)

Organisational Unit Agricultural Sciences
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S2-internal, S2-external
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S2
Description This forward-looking unit will examine the increasing role in agricultural systems and for environmental monitoring of advanced high technology methods such as sensor networks, fast crop monitoring and GIS mapping systems, data analytics, visualisation techniques, simulators, agricultural robots (drones) and models. Students will study the strengths and weaknesses of these technologies in modern precision farming and environmental practice, and be exposed to practical exercises both in the classroom and in the field.
Unit Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this unit, students will:
1. understand contemporary advanced methods and future directions in agriculture and environmental management using a range of advanced technologies.
2. be able to critically evaluate offered technological solutions for practicality and economic advantage
3. understand how different technologies may be applied in specific agricultural situations and be aware of the limitations of different approaches.
4. have skills in the collection, analysis, visualisation and application of data using an array of technologies.
5. have knowledge of techniques to acquire data from different platforms, manipulate the data to generate new knowledge and visualize data for better understanding.
Timetabled Learning Activities Lectures: 2 hours per week; computer laboratories/outdoor practicals: 10 x 2 hours (weeks 2-13)
Unit Learning Experiences The essence of the unit is a combination of necessary introduction to and explanation of the advanced technologies which will support you in the modern practice of precision farming. Not all technologies on offer are good choices; particular solutions will need to be examined for viability, cost effectiveness and sustainability. We will spend time in lectures on a critical evaluation of these technologies and methods with that in mind. For each, a certain level of skill is needed to make it function, should it be chosen. Practical computer labs using the latest open-source software will allow you to try out data analysis, mapping, visualisation, and simulated models of farm plots. Where possible, you will attend practical demonstrations of sensor, mapping and robotic technologies in test crops on the Murdoch farms. Your project will then allow you some choices in demonstrating your mastery of these techniques. This will be supported by extra reading material and videos on the Moodle website.
Other Learning Experiences The unit is expected to include at least one 1-day practical excursion to the University Farm at Whitby Falls, Mundijong.
Assessment Online quiz covering subject content of the Unit (20%)
Project - a choice of crop data analysis mapping and interpretation, precision farm modelling or simulation with a formal write up (30%)
2 hour written exam covering theory and a scenario (50%)
Prerequisites Nil.
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Crop and Pasture Science (BSc) [New in 2016]
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


Unit Coordinator
Professor Michael Jones
Professor of Agricultural Biotechnology

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 2424
e: M.Jones@murdoch.edu.au
o: 235.2.003 - Loneragan, Murdoch Campus
Unit Contacts

MURDOCH: S2-External
MURDOCH: S2-Internal
Professor Michael Jones
Professor of Agricultural Biotechnology

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 2424
e: M.Jones@murdoch.edu.au
o: 235.2.003 - Loneragan, Murdoch Campus
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