Soil Science Research: From Data Analysis to Presentation

In this assignment, students analyzed soil science data using R, created presentations, and delivered their findings in a conference-style setting.

Authors: Sarick MatzenPostdoctoral Associate and Céline PalludAssociate Professor in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
Course Number & Title: Sustainable Soils Research Incubator
Grant Type: Berkeley Collegium Grant Program

This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

soil research
Assignment Title
Soil Science Research: From Data Analysis to Presentation
Delivery Format In-person

High Impact Practices (HIPs)

(Review definitions for each category(link is external)(link is external).)

  • Collaborative Assignments and Projects
  • Diversity and Global Learning Courses
  • Undergraduate Research
Learning Objectives
  • Use R to visualize data 

  • Use R to conduct basic statistical analyses

  • Create a presentation

  • Deliver a presentation

  • Give constructive feedback on presentations and integrate feedback into one’s own presentation

Brief Summary of Assignment

Provided with a soil science study background, data, and model R code, students work in small groups to use R to analyze data and visualize data, create presentations sharing the results, practice presentations in groups, and finally deliver presentations in a conference-style setting.

Innovative Teaching Reflection

Students gain experience making and sharing meaning of real-world data and working through multiple stages of the scientific process.

Assignment Length

3 weeks

Step-by-Step Instructions

See handout

Impact & Feedback
  • We found that this project greatly increased students’ comfort with interpreting and presenting results.
  • The R script is designed to be accessible to novice R users. The R portion of the project is best done in an in-class group setting to allow for supportive problem solving. 
  • The presentation practice session is an important opportunity for students to give and receive feedback and should not be skipped.
Assignment Details See materials