Morrisville State College

Dr. Walid H. Shayya
School of Agriculture and Natural Resouces

Course Outline for AGRO 105



Spring 2004

WebCT Access of Course Material On-line (for students enrolled in the course)


Dr. Walid H. Shayya

Instructor Contact Information


AGRO 105 covers the principles of soil and water conservation.  It provides the student with a basic understanding of conservation practices and their impact on the environment.  Focus will be on practical applications through land use, runoff and erosion control, and soil and water management.  Emphasis will also be placed on assessing the impact of conservation practices on the environment.  Simple computer tools and models will be covered to enable students to gain a basic understanding of the complex, multifaceted problems that a professional is faced with while dealing with issues related to soil and water conservation.


  1. To allow the student to develop an appreciation of agricultural and small-scale watershed hydrology and it's relation to natural resources, agriculture, and the environment.
  2. To provide the student with an understanding of water and wind erosion and their control.
  3. To acquaint the student with using MS Excel for solving problems in soil and water conservation.
  4. To acquaint the student with using some of the basic models in soil and water conservation.
  5. To develop the student's analytical thinking and problem solving skills in soil and water conservation.


The instructor has the following designated office hours per week:

  • Mondays: 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
  • Tuesdays: 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.
  • Wednesdays: 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
  • Thursdays: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
  • Fridays: 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

Students are also welcome to make appointments to see the instructor at other times. Students with disabilities who require accommodations to fully-participate in the course activities are requested to contact the instructor within the first two weeks of the semester.


This is a two-credit hour course.  It includes three contact hours per week of lecture and two contact hours per week for laboratory.  The course runs for 7.5 weeks starting from March 24, 2004 (the 8th teaching week of the semester). The lectures are scheduled for Mondays and Wednesdays, 7:30 to 8:45 a.m., in Room 202, Charlton Hall.  The laboratory is scheduled for 2:00-3:50 p.m. on Thursdays in Room 201, Charlton Hall.


Schwab, G.O., C.C. Fangmeier, W.J. Elliot, and R.K. Frevert.  1993.  Soil and Water Conservation Engineering (fourth edition). Wiley and Sons.


  • Attendance: Given the nature of the course, all students are urged to attend all classes. Attendance will be taken during each class session and appropriate actions will be taken when students have more than five unexcused absences during the semester. Very few or no absences will be considered during the grading process when the student is close to receiving the next higher letter grade. No make-up examination will be given without a written medical excuse, family emergency, or prior permission from the instructor. Students are responsible for all materials covered in the class, whether presented orally during the lectures and laboratories or assigned.
  • Assignments: This course will include several assignments.  At the end of the semester, the one assignment with the lowest grade will be dropped for each student.  However, a student missing an assignment will receive a grade of zero on that assignment, although this grade could be dropped if the assignment is considered to be the one with the lowest grade.  Class assignments will account for 30% of the final grade.  Therefore, it is important that students complete their assignments accurately, neatly, and on time.  Assignments received past the due date will be devalued 5% for each day that the item is late.  No class assignment of any student will be graded (for credit) once the same assignment is corrected and returned to the class.  
  • Examinations: There will be one midterm examination and a comprehensive final in AGRO 105.  Class examinations will cover class material, homework and laboratory assignments, and assigned readings.
  • Academic honesty policy: The College imposes specific actions in response to incidents of cheating and academic dishonesty. These procedures will be followed and appropriate actions will be taken if these event were to occur.
  • Class behavior: Good behavior in the classroom is expected from all students.   Students who engage in unacceptable behavior will be asked to leave the class.
  • Things to remember: The material covered in AGRO 105 should be straightforward and easy, only if the student keeps up with this material (understanding earlier lectures will be critical to grasping concepts presented in subsequent lectures).  Each student should plan to spend at least two hours per week for every lecture convened in class.  Given the course's focus, students are also urged to spend the time in solving problems and completing the required homework and laboratory assignments on time (and independently).  Completing assignments well before the due date will give the student a chance to ask questions should he/she encounter problems.  Students also should remember to ask questions of the instructor when they face difficulties, whether inside or outside the classroom.  The instructor has an open-door policy and welcomes the opportunity to visit with students whenever needed.


  • Class participation, attendance, work ethic ==> 10% of final grade
  • Homework and laboratory assignments ==> 30% of final grade
  • Midterm examination (on the 29th of April) ==> 25% of final grade
  • Final examination ==> 35% of final grade


The distribution of grades in this course will be based on the A-F University grading scheme. The letter grades correspond to the following percentage scale: A (90-100%), A- (87-89.9%), B+ (83-86.9%), B (80-82.9%), B- (77-79.9%), C+ (73-76.9%), C (70-72.9%), C- (67-69.9%), D+ (63-66.9%), D (60-62.9%), and F (<60%).



Lecture Topic*

Textbook Chapter

Laboratory Topic*


-  Introduction to ARGO 105


Introduction to Computer Models and MS Excel


-  Introduction to Soil and Water Conservation
-  Meteorology

Chapters 1 and 2

Weather Data Collection


-  Precipitation and Analysis Techniques

Chapter 2

Precipitation and Analysis


-  Infiltration, Evaporation, and Transpiration

Chapter 3

Evapotranspiration Estimation


-  Runoff

Chapter 4

Predicting Runoff
14 -  Water Erosion and Control Structures

Chapter 5

Midterm Examination
(April 29, 2004)


-  Wind Erosion and Control Practices

Chapter 6

Soil Erosion Using RUSLE


-  Vegetated Waterways
-  Water Supply and Quality

Chapters 7 and 17

Open Channel Flow

Final Examination (comprehensive)

*The topics and corresponding dates listed in the table above are tentative and may be subject to change during the semester.