SOIL 548 – Major Project

SOIL 548 (Major Project, 6 credits) is the capstone course for the professional Master of Land and Water Systems (MLWS) program. The academic expectation of SOIL 548 is a demonstration by the candidates that they can formulate and articulate a water or land resource concern or issue and develop a framework that analyzes the issue, provides a synthesis of how the issue may be addressed and provides recommendations for the resolve of the concern or issue. The analysis will consist largely but not exclusively of existing (published) information and integration with relevant field experience. Each student enrolled in SOIL 548 will be co-supervised by both a UBC faculty member, and an approved adjunct or professional (drawn from the MLWS Professional Advisor Group). In all cases there will be a minimum of two supervisors/reviewers. The final mark will be set by the two reviewers and will be approved by the Director of the MLWS program.   The topic of the Major Project will be agreed upon by the Academic Coordinator and Director of the MLWS program, the student and the proposed supervisor(s). The SOIL 548 Major Project may be conducted at the site of the adjunct/professional supervisor’s employment/business location. If the project is off campus, the MLWS Academic Coordinator, Director, or designate, will ensure that the goals of the Major Project can be adequately conducted on-site.   The Major Project will involve a final report and an oral presentation to fellow students and to members of the instructional staff of the MLWS Program. The report guidelines include the following sections: 1) Introduction, stating the subject matter of concern and a context of the issue, 2) a pertinent literature analysis and synthesis, 3) a problem statement and an outline of the approach taken to address the stated problem/issue, 4) results, analysis and synthesis, 5) discussion/summary and recommendations, followed by 6) pertinent references and literature cited. *NEW*: The Major Project Marking Scheme can be found here. Important: Students are encouraged to utilize online and digital technologies to present their final reports in creative, interactive ways. Examples include: creation of a website or blog and allowing comments/feedback from colleagues, using photo series/video to introduce different concepts, digital mapping, moving graphs, etc.   Timeline for Completion of SOIL 548:
  1. The title and issue/problem will be presented by the student in Term 1 (September – December) to the Director and Academic Coordinator of the MLWS program; appropriate co-supervisors will be assigned to and approve the project concept.
  2. The candidate will prepare a draft proposal of the project and a tentative timeline for approval by project co-supervisors (cc MLWS Academic Coordinator and Director) (Term 1 – Term 2, September – April).
  3. Upon completion of the proposal the candidate will, in consultation with the co-supervisors, work on the analysis and prepare a project draft as outlined above (Summer Terms, April – July).
  4. The final draft project will be shared with the supervisory committee for final feedback and approval. Final oral presentation will be scheduled (Late July – Early August).
  5. The grade for the Major Project will be determined by the co-supervisors and approved by the Director of the MLWS program. This grade must be submitted to the Academic Coordinator by the second week of August in order to graduate by August 31st.
Note: Potential communication or program problems will be considered by a specially appointed committee consisting of the Director, two UBC Faculty members agreed to by both the student and the co-supervisors.  

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