University of Florida

ABE 6933

Semester Taught - Fall - Distance Education with chat sessions

Catalog Description

Credits: 3

This course is designed to teach graduate students about irrigation such that they would have the skills to evaluate an irrigation system, identify parts of a system, and develop an irrigation schedule based on system characteristics. This course is designed for non-engineers  although quantitative ability will be required for calculations and analysis.


Students must be proficient in Microsoft Excel and Word. Students should be able to use equation functions and graphing functions in Excel. It is recommended that students have basic understanding of hydrology, unit conversions, and algebra.

Course Objectives

Those successfully completing this course will be able to:

  • Develop a soil moisture retention curve.
  • Define basic components of the hydrologic cycle and how they can be measured or estimated.
  • Identify evapotranspiration process and use available models to estimate.
  • Understand movement of water in soils.
  • Identify key components of an irrigation system and their function.
  • Calculate irrigation rates, irrigation efficiency, and plant water use efficiency.
  • Identify different types of irrigation delivery systems.
  • Determine an irrigation schedule for a system.


Dr. Kati Migliaccio
Telephone:352-392-1864 x273
Office: Rogers Hall room 273

Dr. Migliaccio will return email and phone messages within 48 hours of receiving them. Do not expect messages to be returned over the weekend. Office hours can be made by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Migliaccio.

Material/Supply Fees


Class Materials Required

Canvas (
This course is offered through Canvas and therefore requires internet access. Internet speeds vary, wireless and DSL will likely result in slow video downloads. To check the speed of your connection, try or a similar service. A speed rating of A or B should be sufficient. Internet connections with speeds graded as C or less are likely to be slow.

Be aware that participation is part of each student’s grade. Participation will consist of scheduled chat sessions. The time and day of the week for the chat session will be established on the first week of class based on a doodle poll. Chat will be scheduled between the hours of 9am and 5pm Eastern Time zone. If you know that you cannot participate in a chat during this time, you should not take this class. Chats may be replaced with discussions at the instructor’s preference. Chat session make ups will be provided for missed chats. Chats will be recorded and available for viewing.

Textbooks and Software Required:  
No textbooks are required. All required reading material is available through websites or the UF library. A dominant source of readings are from UF IFAS Extension Electronic Data Information Source (EDIS;

Recommended Reading:

  • Irrigation Association, 2011. Irrigation. 6th edition.  Irrigation Association Falls Church, VA.

  • Hoffman, G.J., R.G. Evans, M.E. Jensen, D.L. Martin, and R.L. Elliott. 2007. Design and Operation of Farm Irrigation Systems. 2nd Edition. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. St. Joseph, MI.

Additional readings may be provided at the instructors’ discretion.

Course Outline





Reading: None.
Lecture: Introduction to course and Sakai (Migliaccio)

Assignment test: Introduction using the discussions option in Sakai


Recommended reading: Ch 1-2 in FIS
Required reading: Ch 2 in Irrigation
Lecture: Introduction to water issues and irrigation (history of irrigation, how irrigation changed agriculture, current irrigation, water supply issues) (Dukes)

Assignment: Water issue review (75 pts)


Recommended reading: Ch 6 in FIS
Required reading: UF IFAS EDIS AE460; Ch 3 in Irrigation
Lecture: Soils and water – part 1 (properties/characteristics, soil moisture curves) (Migliaccio)
Class project: Discussion of class projects and grading

Assignment: Calculate parameters used to describe soil water characteristics (50 pts)


Recommended reading: Ch 6 in FIS
Required reading: UF IFAS EDIS AE266, TR015; Ch 3 in Irrigation
Lecture: Soils and water - part 2 (laboratory measurements and field measurements) (Migliaccio)

Assignment: Calculate parameters for soil moisture curve using tempe cell data (100 pts)


Recommended reading: Ch 4 in FIS
Required reading: UF IFAS EDIS AE449, AE171; Ch 6 in Irrigation
Lecture: Water source for irrigation (Migliaccio)
Class project: Deadline for class project idea submittal. This is required and those who do not submit will receive a 20 point deduction in their final grade for the class project.

Assignment: Literature review topic (75 pts)


Recommended reading: Ch 8 in FIS
Required reading: Ch 5 in Irrigation
Lecture: Plants and evapotranspiration (basic plant physiology, transpiration, plant water stress, different ET estimation techniques, online tools/resources) (Dukes)

Assignment: Estimate reference ET using tools presented (75 pts)


Recommended reading: Ch 12 and 19 in FIS
Required reading: UF IFAS EDIS CH17100; Ch 8 and 9 in Irrigation
Lecture: Irrigation system components – part 1 (Migliaccio)

Assignment: None.


Recommended reading: Ch 12 and 19 in FIS
Required reading: UF IFAS EDIS HS1217; Ch 8 and 9 in Irrigation
Lecture: Irrigation system components – part 2 (Migliaccio)
Class project: Schedule meeting with Drs. Migliaccio or Dukes to discuss class project idea. This should be completed by Oct 27.

Assignment: Use information to design the components needed for a specific irrigation system and explain the function of each (75 pts)


Recommended reading: None.
Required reading: Ch 7 in Irrigation
Lecture: Irrigation calculations (Migliaccio)

Assignment: Assignment to complete specific calculations (75 pts)


Recommended reading: Ch 13 & 15 in FIS
Required reading: UF IFAS EDIS CH156; Ch 7 in Irrigation
Lecture: Irrigation hydraulics (Migliaccio)

Assignment: Hydraulic calculations (75 pts)


Recommended reading: Ch 5 in FIS
Required reading:
Lecture: Irrigation efficiency (Dukes)

Assignment: Assignment related to evaluating irrigation efficiency for a specific irrigation system (75 pts)


Recommended reading: Ch 5 in FIS
Required reading:
Lecture: Irrigation uniformity (Dukes)

Assignment: Calculate irrigation uniformity of a system (75 pts)


Recommended reading: Ch 8 in FIS
Required reading: Dukes, M.D. 2012. Water conservation potential of landscape irrigation smart controllers. Transactions of the ASABE  55(2): 563-569 (see link on Dukes’ website; UF IFAS EDIS AE460 (review); Ch 13 in Irrigation
Lecture: Irrigation scheduling tools – part 1 (Migliaccio)

Assignment: Use FAWN to develop an irrigation schedule (75 pts)


Recommended reading: Ch 8 in FIS
Required reading: UF IFAS EDIS AE485, AE499; Ch 13 in Irrigation
Lecture: Irrigation scheduling tools – part 2 (Migliaccio)

Assignment: Apply an irrigation scheduling web or app tool and compare the irrigation schedule to IFAS recommendations and FAWN ET (100 pts)


Class project: A class project will be submitted. The final project is worth 15% of the course grade which corresponds to 200 points.


Grading Scale (%)
A 95-100%
A- 90-94
B+ 87-89
B 83-86
B- 80-82
C+ 77-79
C 73-76
C- 70-72
D+ 67-69
D 63-66
D- 60-62
E <60
Participation in chats 15%
Homework Assignments 70%
Creative Project 15%

Be aware that participation is part of each student’s grade. .

Attendance and Expectations

Students are expected to complete materials provided in the modules and course assignments using Canvas. All late assignments will receive a letter grade (10%) deduction. Assignments should be submitted in Canvas. Graded assignments will be returned using the Canvas system. It is the student’s responsibility to check for assignments each week. Weekly assignments are provided in the syllabus and also in Canvas and are typically released on Mondays at 8 am. Any changes will be noted in announcements.

Chat sessions will be scheduled weekly and all students are expected to participate. Chat sessions occur using Adobe Connect or a similar service. Thus, students will need access to a computer with audio (web camera is optional). A chat session will be scheduled after course registration to best accommodate everyone’s schedule. Chat sessions may be replaced with discussions in Canvas at the instructors’ discretion. Students will be notified in advance of any such change. Chats will be graded by attendance and participation. Students are required to respond to at least one question, ask a question, or provide other input during the chat. Chats are recorded.
The class project will include four graded components: proposal (20 pts), draft project outline (50 pts), part 1 of project (100 pts) and final project (150 pts). The project will consist of applying the skills learned from this class to a specific irrigation system. The system can be from the student’s research or interest area. The instructor will also have an example system option that can be used.

Any work that is submitted should be the product of the student. Any assignments that are not the individual student’s work will be given a 0 grade and further disciplinary action per UF policy.

While this course is a distance education course, it should be treated and considered as a regularly offered course and will require the same amount of time that any other 3 credit graduate course would require.  Chat sessions are expected to be 1 to 1.5 hours in length each week. Assignments range in difficulty but will require several hours of work to complete each week. The class project should be given due attention as it represents 15% of the course grade.

The preferred methods for private communication regarding the course is via email or a scheduled meeting with the instructor. The preferred public communication regarding the course is in the weekly chat sessions. The primary means of day-to-day communication between the instructor and the class is the Canvas platform. Students should visit the online canvas course daily or at minimum every 2 days for updates and to keep current with course materials and assignments.

Onliine Course Evaluation Process

Student assessment of instruction is an important part of efforts to improve teaching and learning. At the end of the semester, students are expected to provide feedback on the quality of instruction in this course using a standard set of university and college criteria. These evaluations are conducted online at Evaluations are typically open for students to complete during the last two or three weeks of the semester; students will be notified of the specific times when they are open. Summary results of these assessments are available to students at

Academic Honesty

All students admitted to the University of Florida have signed a statement of academic honesty committing themselves to be honest in all academic work and understanding that failure to comply with this commitment will result in disciplinary action. This statement is a reminder to uphold your obligation as a UF student and to be honest in all work submitted and exams taken in this course and all others.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office. That office will provide the student with documentation that he/she must provide to the course instructor when requesting accommodation.

Use of Library, Personal References, PC Programs and Electronic Databases

These items are university property and should be utilized with other users in mind. Never remove, mark, modify nor deface resources that do not belong to you. If you're in the habit of underlining text, do it only on your personal copy. It is inconsiderate, costly to others, and dishonest to use common references otherwise.

Software Use

All faculty, staff and students of the University are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. Because such violations are also against University policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate. We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

UF Counseling Services

Resources are available on-campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career and academic goals which interfere with their academic performance. These resources include:

  1. University Counseling Center, 301 Peabody Hall, 392-1575, personal and career counseling;
  2. Student Mental Health, Student Health Care Center, 392-1171, personal counseling;
  3. Center for Sexual Assault/Abuse Recovery and Education (CARE), Student Health Care Center, 392-1161, sexual assault counseling;
  4. Career Resource Center, Reitz Union, 392-1601, career development assistance and counseling.