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CSES 5114: Soils for Professionals

Concentration: Environmental Science
Credits: 3 graduate credit(s)


Characterization of soils as a natural resource emphasizing their physical, chemical, mineralogical, and biological properties in relation to nutrient availability, fertility, plant growth, land-use management, waste application, soil and water quality, and food production. Calculations used in land-use management.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the genesis and classification of soils.
  • Relate physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils to nutrient and contaminant availability, site management practices, plant growth, and productivity assessment for a range of forest, agricultural, suburban and urban soil conditions found in the eastern United States.
  • Describe the role of soils in important ecosystem functions such as carbon and nutrient cycling, water-quality regulation, habitat support, etc.
  • Select proper land-use management practices that will enhance plant and animal production, prevent soil and water pollution, and/or enhance quality of life.

Prerequisites and Corequisites

One year of introductory biology and chemistry. Soils are a complex mixture of minerals, organic matter, and microorganisms. Therefore, students must have a strong background in biology and chemistry in order to understand the complex processes that occur in this media.


Lee Daniels