The Department of Soil Science offers over 40 courses at levels ranging from introductory for non-majors, to advanced courses for majors in soils and allied disciplines. Departmental course offerings are periodically revised and updated, and new courses are developed to serve today’s students.

The Department of Soil Science is housed in the Soils Bldg., King Hall, and the Hiram Smith Annex. It is part of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS).

The department’s graduate seminar series each semester focuses on topical issues and provides an exciting forum for faculty and graduate students to exchange ideas and information on a continuing basis.

All faculty members with research appointments advise graduate students enrolled in M.S. and Ph.D. programs.

Course Listing:  100’s & 200’s | 300s | 400s | 500s | 600s | 700s & up

101 Forum on the Environment (Spring Semester)

(Also Envir St); 1-2 cr. (W-E). Lectures and discussions about environmental issues. Historical and contemporary environmental impacts of humans on the biosphere. Global futures: population, technology, societal values, resources and prospects for sustainable management. P: Open to Fr. Whitman.

131 Earth’s Soil:  Natural Science and Human Use  (Spring Semester)

2 cr.  Hartemink

132 Earth’s Water: Natural Science and Human Use (Spring Semester)

(Also Atm Ocn); 3 cr. (P-E) Water is central to the function of planet Earth. As humans increase their impact on Earth’s systems and cohabitants, our understanding of the multiple roles of water becomes critical to finding sustainable strategies for human and ecosystem health. This course explores the science of Earth’s hydrosphere, with constant attention to human uses and impacts. P: High school math and science. Urrutia.

230 Soil: Ecosystem and Resource (Spring Semester)

(Also Envir St, Geog); 3 cr. (P-I) Soils are fundamental to ecosystem science. A systems approach is used to investigate how soils look and function. Topics investigated include soil structure, biology, water, fertility, and taxonomy as well as the human impact on the soil environment. P: Not open to students with credits in Soil Sci 301. Balster.

289 Honors Independent Study (Spring,Summer Semester)

Spring, Summer; 1-2 cr. P: Enrolled in the CALS Honors Prgrm & So or Jr st. Inter-Ag 288.

299 Independent Study (Fall, Spring, Summer Semesters)

Fall, Spring, Summer; 1-3 cr. P: Open to Fr, So or Jr st & written cons inst.

301 General Soil Science (Fall Semester)

4 cr. (P-I). Physical, chemical and biological properties of soils as they affect soil-plant-water relations, soil classification and suitability for agricultural and other uses. P: Math 112 & Chem 103 or equiv. Soldat, Urrutia.

321 Soils and Environmental Chemistry (Fall Semester)

3 cr. (P-I). Sources, reactions, transport, effects and fates of chemical species in soils and associated water and air environments. Emphasis on the chemical behavior of elements and compounds and the phenomena affecting natural and anthropogenic materials in soils. P: Intro Chem 103-104 or 109-110 or equiv. Bleam.

322 Physical Principles of Soil and Water Management (Spring Semester)

3 cr. (P-I). Soil physical properties and interactions as related to soil and water management resource management and conservation. Water runoff (leading to soil erosion and surface water contamination); tillage and nutrient management; soil thermal and moisture regimes; solute movement; soil compaction, air and aeration. P: Physics 103; Soil Sci 301 or cons inst. Lowery

323 Soil Biology (Fall Semester)

(Also Pl Path); 3 cr (B-I). Nature, activities and role of organisms inhabiting soil. Effects of soil biota on ecosystem function, response to cultural practices, and impacts on environmental quality, including bioremediation of contaminated soils. P: Chem 104 and Botany 130 or equiv. Hickey, MacGuidwin.

324 Soils and Environmental Quality (Summer, starting 2017)

(Also Envir St); 3 cr. (P-I). Interaction of soils with environmental contaminants and the role of soils in pollution control. P: Chem 103 and 104 or equiv; Jr. St. Ventura Offered online in 2016

325 Soils and Landscapes (Fall Semester)

3 cr. (P-I). Study and description of soils as integral elements of the landscape. Mechanisms of soil development. Morphological features and spatial relationships governing soil classification and the functionality of soil for multiple land use purposes. Field trips. P: Soil Sci 230, 301 or equiv; or cons inst. Hartemink.

326 Plant Nutrition Management (Spring Semester)

(Also Agron, Hort); 3 cr. (P-I). Functions, requirements and uptake of essential plant nutrients; chemical and microbial processes affecting nutrient availability; diagnosis of plant and soil nutrient status; fertilizers and efficient fertilizer use in different tillage systems. P: Soil Sci 230 or 301 and one of the following: Bot 100 or 130; Hort 120 or 122; Agron 100. Barak, Urrutia.

332 Nutrient Management: Turfgrass (Fall Semester)

(Also Hort); Even Yrs; 3 cr. Nutrient requirements of turfgrasses; nature of turfgrass response to fertilization; soil and tissue testing methodology and interpretation; irrigation scheduling; irrigation water quality; use of irrigation and fertilizers to minimize environmental impact; writing effective nutrient management plans. P:Soil Sci/Hort/Agron 326. Soldat.

334 Nutrient Management: Agronomic Crops (Fall Semester)

(Also Agron); 1 cr. Nutrient requirements of major agronomic crops; nutrient sources; nutrition management for agronomic crops from yield, quality, economic and environmental perspectives. P: Soil Sci/Hort/Agron 326.

370 Grassland Ecology (Fall Semester)

(Also Botany, Agron): 3 cr. Understand factors driving global continental, regional, and local distribution of grasslands. Discuss how management affects provision of grassland ecosystem goods and services. Compare and contrast plant community and ecosystem dynamics in native prairie and intensively managed pastures. P: Intro crse in Agron, Botany, or Soil Sci; or Bot/zoo 151-152; or Biocore 301 or 333. Jackson.

372 On-Site Waste Water Treatment and Dispersal (Fall Semester)

(Also Biol Syst Engr); 2 cr. On-site treatment and dispersal of waste water from homes, commercial sources and small communities. Sources, pretreatment units, nutrient removal units, constructed wetlands, surface and soil dispersal systems, recycle and reuse systems, regulations, alternative collection systems. P: Chem 103. Karthikeyan.

375:  Soils and Human Health (Spring Semester 2018)

3 cr. Pedersen and Hartemink

375/875 Microbiomes: People and the Planet

(Also LSC COMM 375 and M&ENTOX 375/875)  1 cr.  Classroom and online sections available at both the undergraduate and graduate level.  Hickey

399 Coordinative Internship

Fall, Spring, Summer; 1-8 cr. P: So, Jr or Sr St and cons of supervising inst, advisor, and internship program coordinator.

425 Environmental Microbiology

(Also Microbio) Spring; 3 cr. Microbial interactions in soils, water, extreme environments and biofilms. Modern methods for studying microbial ecology, role of microbes in nutrient cycles and biogeochemistry. Use of microbes for mitigating man-made environmental problems of industrial, agricultural, and domestic origin. P: Bact 303, Chem 341 or 343.

451 Environmental Biogeochemistry

(Also F&W Ecol) Spring, Odd Yrs; 3 cr. Emphasis is given to consideration of the processes influencing the distribution and cycling of chemical elements in native and anthropogenic ecosystems, global and ecosystem-level cycles of elements, and biogeochemical cycling in major soil-biome systems. P: Chem 103-104 or equivalent. Not currently offered.

468 Managing the Environmental Impacts of LIvestock Operations

(Also An Sci, Dy Sci, Envir St) Spring; 2 cr. Introduces nonpoint pollution policies and regulations and environmental losses impacting air and air quality. Discuss management practices that influence the cycling and balance of nitrogen and phosphorus across a farm and its components (livestock, crop and soil). P: Jr st.

499 Soil Management

Fall; 3 cr. A capstone applying independent and team problem solving, critical thinking and oral and written communication skills to issues in soil science. P: Sr St or second sem Jr majoring in Soil Science, or cons inst. Ventura, Balster.

523 Soil Microbiology and Biochemistry

(Also Microbio) Spring; 3 cr. (P-I). Transformations of nutrients and contaminants in soils and groundwater by microorganisms: emphasis on enzymatic mechanisms and metabolic pathways. Approaches for analyzing microbial populations and activities including molecular techniques. Applications of microbial activities for bioremediation of contaminated soils and groundwater. P: Chem 104; Bact 303 or Bot 375 or Biochem 501, or cons inst. Whitman (

524 Urban Soil and Environment (Fall Semester 2017)

(Also F&W Ecol, Hort); 3 cr. Many environmental issues related to urbanization are derived from the manipulation of soil. By coupling contemporary literature in urban soils with soil science, students will be able to evaluate environmental issues within the urban environment and provide new ways of remediating their impact. P: Soil Sci 301 or 230 or cons inst. Instructor to be determined

525 Soil Geomorphology

(Also Geog) Spring; 3 cr. (P-A). Soil development as related to landscape throughout the Quaternary; focusing on the relationship of soils to climate and vegetation, landscape evolution, and time; principles of soil stratigraphy; case histories of soil geomorphic studies; field trips. P: Soil Sci 325 and Geog, Geol 320; or cons inst.

532 Environmental Biophysics

(Also Atm Ocn) Fall, Even Yrs; 3 cr. (P-I). Plant-environment interactions with particular reference to energy exchanges and water relations. Models are used to provide a quantitative synthesis of information from plant physiology, soil physics, and micrometeorology with some consideration of plant-pest interactions. P: Intro calculus, Physics 103, Botany 130, and computer programming; or cons inst. Kucharik (Agronomy).

575 Assessment of Environmental Impact

(Also Envir St) Spring, Even Yrs; 3 cr. Overview of methods for collecting and analyzing information about environmental impacts on agricultural and natural resources, including monitoring the physical environment and relating impacts to people and society. P: Jr st. authorization may be required. Ventura.

601 Special Topics in Soil Science

Fall or Sping, SS; 1-3 cr. Topics in various areas of soil science. P: Jr. St.

606 Colloquium in Environmental Toxicology

(Also Env Tox, Entom, Pl Path, AHABS, and F&W Ecol) Fall, Spring; 1 cr. (B-I). Lectures by resident and visiting professors on toxicology and problems related to biologically active substances in the environment. Pedersen.

621 Soil Chemistry

Spring, Even Yrs; 3 cr. (P-A). Solubility relationships, complex ions, ion exchange and oxidation-reduction reactions in soils. P: Chem 221; Soil Sci 326; or cons inst. Bleam.

622 Soil Physics

Fall; 3 cr (P-I). Physical properties of soils. Water retention and transmission in soils. Transport of heat, gas and solutes. Physical environment of soil organisms and soil-plant-water relations. P: Calculus & a course in physics, Soil Sci 301 or cons inst.

623 Microbiology of Waterborne Pathogens and Indicator Organisms

Spring; 3 cr. (P-A). Source, environmental fate and transport of major groups of waterborne pathogens, including epidemiology and testing of associated indicator organism. Management and treatment technologies for prevention of pathogen transmission. P: Soil Sci 523 or Civ Engr 322 or cons inst. Long.

626 Mineral Nutrition of Plants (Fall Semester 2017)

(Also Botany, Hort) 3 cr. (A). Essential and beneficial elements, solutions and soil as nutrient sources, rhizosphere chemistry, nutritional physiology, ion uptake and translocation, functions of elements, nutrient interactions, genetics of plant nutrition. P: Botany 350 or cons inst. Barak. Spalding.

631 Toxicants in the Environment: Sources, Distribution, Fate, & Effects

(Also Env Tox, Civ Engr). Spring; 3 cr. (B-A). Nature, sources, distribution and fate of contaminants in air, water, soil, and food and potential for harmful exposure. P: Chem 343 and 345 or equiv; Chem 561 or equiv; Physics 1203 and 104 or equiv; Math 211; or cons inst. Pedersen.

681 Senior Honors Thesis

P: Honors program candidacy.

682 Senior Honors Thesis

Continuation of 681. P: Honors program candidacy and Soil Sci 681.

695 Applications of Geographic Information Systems in Natural Resources

(Also Envir St, Land Arc) Spring; 3 cr. Course has four components: 1) Detailed review of GIS concepts; 2) Case studies; 3) GIS implementation methods; 4) Laboratory to provide “hands-on” GIS experience. P: Land Arc/Envir St/Civ Engr 655 or Geog 377 or cons inst. Ventura.

699 Special Problems

Fall, Spring; 1-3 cr. P: Sr St and cons inst.

728 Graduate Seminar

Fall, Spring; 1 cr. Topical oral presentations by guest speakers and graduate students on contemporary concerns and issues involving land and soils. P: Grad St.

799 Practicum in Soil Science Teaching

Fall, Spring; 1-3 cr. Instructional orientation to teaching at the higher education level in the agricultural and life sciences, direct teaching experience under faculty supervision, experience in testing and evaluation of students, and the analysis of teaching performance. P: Grad St & cons inst.

875 Special Topics

Fall, Spring, Summer; 1-4 cr. Of interest to graduates. P: Grad St & cons inst.

990 Research

Fall, Spring, Summer; 1-12 cr. P: Grad St and cons inst.