460:400 Introduction to Soil Science

Instructor: Elzinga
Terms Taught: Fall
Credits: 3

This course introduces the basic physical, chemical and biological processes that occur in soils. The major soil types of the world and their classification will be discussed, and the relation of major soil characteristics to soil productivity, conservation and sustainability will be addressed. Students are introduced to the role of soils in food production, carbon sequestration, groundwater quality and the processing and cycling of nutrients and contaminants. The lab part of the course provides hands-on practical measurements and exercises of the concepts discussed during lecture.

Learning objectives:
Upon completion of the course, students are expected to:
- be familiar with the major soils of the world and their classification, and the processes leading to their formation and properties
-understand and define the physical, chemical, and biological processes that operate in soils
-be familiar with the factors influencing carbon, nutrient and contaminant cycling within terrestrial ecosystems
- have an appreciation for soils as a dynamic, non-renewable natural resource