Course module: Introduction to soil science

Course title: Introduction to soil science
Course code:  
Subject areas (Curriculum):  Soil science
Duration:  4-16 hrs
Short description: This course provides an general introduction to soils. It includes terminology used in soil science; soil and their physical, chemical and biological properties; soil formation; soils and spatial variability; soils inventory; examples of the use of soil information in crop production estimation and land use and management planning.
Moderators: S. (Stephan) Mantel (including other colleagues) G.V.L (Godert) van Lynden (land conservation and degradation)
Target audience: BSc and MSc level students in agriculture, hydrology and other environmental sciences
Requirements: Knowledge requirements:
Basic knowledge of geography, biology and chemistry. Good knowledge of English
Programme: Lectures (each of about 45 min) on: 1) introduction and soil formation, 2) soil properties, 3) soil variation and soil survey, 4) soils and limits and potential for use, 5) soils degradation and conservation.
Exercises and visits: Soil auger description in the field (optional). Visit to the ISRIC World Soil museum with an introduction to soils of the world and their properties, exercise on world soils and their assessment.
Objective: After this introductory course, participants should have a (general) understanding of: 1) terminology and concepts in soil science, 2) how soils form, 3) the variation that exists in soils and of their properties, 4) how soils are mapped, 5) how the quality of soil affects land use potential, 6) how land use affects soil quality.
Software / materials:  -
Case studies: Course materials and supporting booklets will be made available to course participants
Literature: Van Reeuwijk, L.P., Spaargaren, O.C. & Mantel, S. Soil Science: soil, soil classification, problem soils, land evaluation, land resources information systems. ISRIC World Soil Information, Wageningen.
Minimum number of participants:  15
Maximum number of participants: 25