Course Objectives: To provide students with
hands-on field experience with soil profile description and to familiarize them
with the fundamentals of soil forming processes, morphology,
classification, mapping, and the connections between soils and other
aspects of the physical environment.
Course Prerequisites: Soils are unique in the physical
environment. They are the result of bio-geo-chemical processes.
Soil morphology, chemistry, and spatial distributions reflect and integrate
all aspects of physiography and human land-use (geology, slope, climate,
vegetation, fauna, time, land-use and agricultural practices). A strong
background in the physical sciences is helpful, especially some basic
chemistry or geochemistry but it is not required. A strong background
in the earth sciences, especially physical geography, geomorphology, and
earth surface processes is helpful but it is not required. A good
background in map reading, GIS, and aerial photographic interpretation is
helpful but it is not required. Those of you with strong backgrounds
in the ecological sciences and resource management will also be well-prepared
to begin. All that you really need to succeed in this course
is: the ability to work effectively with others, some time management
skills, some computer literacy (email, web publishing, word processing, and
maybe some graphics capabilities), and an open and inquisitive mind.
This course is primarily a field-oriented course in Pedology.
Pedology is that branch of soil science that concentrates on soil genesis
and field relationships. The lecture and laboratory components are
integrated. Attendance is critical. Grades are based on the
criteria shown in the table below.
last updated 9-24-08