of Soil Amelioration
University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture
Svetošimunska cesta 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Pavilion 5th, 2nd Floor
Teaching activities of our department include Graduate study program Agricultural Engineering – Amelioration, international Graduate study program held in English language – INTER-EnAgro, and many other courses held as a part of other Undergraduate, Graduate and Postgraduate (doctoral) study programs. Main teaching activities are dedicated to sustainable water and soil management in the (agro)ecosystems, with an emphasis on agricultural ameliorations, irrigation and drainage, water quality and the protection of natural ecosystems from the detrimental effects of low-quality water. Our studies and courses ensure to students fundamental knowledge in the area of ameliorative soil science, soil physics and chemistry, geodesy, geomechanics, hydrology, hydrotechnics and geostatistics. Teaching materials are continuously improved and enhanced with an up-to-date knowledge and techniques in the area of precision irrigation and the application of remote/proximal sensing (spectral imaging, thermography), geostatistical, geochemical, and modeling approaches and methods for estimating the pollution risks in the (agro)ecosystem. Teaching also includes the use of up-to-date computational techniques for irrigation systems planning and designing, numerical modeling for estimations of surface and groundwater quantity and quality (HYDRUS, VS2DTI, CropWat), as well as the geoinformation mapping tools (ArcGIS). Besides the theoretical knowledge, students are also introduced to laboratory instrumental analyses, which enables them to conduct basic physical and chemical analyses of soil and water samples, and to correctly interpret obtained laboratory data.
Scientific and research activities
Until the 1950’s, activities at our department were mostly focused towards designing and protection of agricultural/forested areas from waterlogged conditions, with an emphasis on drainage and flood control and management. During the next decades, activities were focused on solving the issues of the agricultural soils water regime, drainage and irrigation systems, as well as the agro-/hydro-technical engineering. Through expert studies and projects, Department of Soil Amelioration has elaborated under the topic of water management (drainage, irrigation systems) at 700.000+ ha of national agricultural soils, and at 40.000+ ha in Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Venezuela, and Ethiopia. During the 1990’s, scientific and research activities were extended to other agro) environmental aspects, especially to the environmental (soil, water, sediments) quality criteria and their effects on agricultural crops. Research emphasis was dedicated to the effects of various issues (such as salinization, trace metals contamination, pollution with nitrates, phosphates, or pesticides) on quality and sustainability of water/soil resources used for agricultural production. Research activities at our departments are supported by continuous improvements and investments in analytical laboratory (e.g. accredited MELILAB) through equipment modernization, and the implementation of new methods, as well as the quality control/assurance system.
Experimental stations and laboratories
Analytical laboratory of the Department of Amelioration (MELILAB) is accredited laboratory in the field of water sampling and analyses according to the HRN EN ISO/IEC 17025:2007 normative document. MELILAB provides services of sampling and analyses of environmental samples for the expert, scientific and teaching activities. For the sampling and analyses quality control, MELILAB uses normative documents, validated methods, and participates in international inter-calibration studies of soil and sediment samples (WEPAL-ISE), plant (WEPAL-IPE) and water samples (IFA-Tulln).
Department of Soil amelioration was founded in 1922 as Department for Water Management of the Faculty of Economics and Forestry of the University of Zagreb, and as such, consolidated all teaching-scientific-expert work which was then focused on hydrological issues at agricultural and forest ecosystems. During the beginning of 1950’s, Department changes its name to Department of Soil Amelioration, from which forest flooding management was excluded as a separate Cabinet for flood management. Courses covering agricultural ameliorations and agricultural engineering are then developed at the Department. During the 1978, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences was integrated with several institutes into OUR-e Institute. With this integration process, parts of the Department activities regarding agricultural engineering were separated and transferred to the Institute for Mechanization, Technology and Engineering; and the rest of the Department activities were united under the name Department of Soil Amelioration which became a part of Institute for the Agroecology. During the 1992, Institutes were separated from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, and the Department of Soil Amelioration continued its activities until present as one of the 28th Departments of the Faculty of Agriculture.
Heads of the Department of Soil Amelioration from its founding until now:
- Prof. Viktor Setinski, PhD (1922. - 1946.)
- Prof. Vladimir Verner (1952. - 1975.)
- Fellow of the Croatian Academy Franjo Tomić, Professor emeritus (1978. - 1981., 1985. - 1993., 1999. - 2001.)
- Dragutin Petošić, Professor emeritus (1994. - 1999., 2006. - 2009.)
- Prof. Davor Romić, PhD (2001. - 2006.)
- Prof. Ivan Šimunić, PhD (2009. - 2012.)
- Prof. Marija Romić, PhD (11/2013. - 02/2015.)
- Prof. Gabrijel Ondrašek, PhD (2012. - 10/2013, 03/2015 - 2021.)