Soil Science - Online and Distance Education

Soil Science

 

Courses

Once admitted to the program, students will select an advisor from the full-time faculty who will help plan their program. Our Soil Science faculty understands that field skills are indispensable for a complete education in the soil science field. We have designed our program to require two hours of credit in intensive field skills training. To satisfy this need, we are offering classes in soil geomorphology and hydric soils which concentrate this training into four or five day-long classes.

36 credit hours are required, including:

  • 12 credit hours of soil science classes (excluding seminar)
  • 1 credit hour of soil science seminar
  • 6 credit hours of a masters project
  • 2 credit hours of field classes to obtain practical skills (these are 4 to 5 days long)
  • 3 credit hours of a statistics class (recommended)
  • 12 credit hours of elective

 

Courses for the Master of Soil Science

SSC 511 - Soil Physics

Units: 4

Soil physical properties and theory of selected instrumentation to measure them. Topics including soil solids, soil water, air and heat. Emphasis on transport processes and the energy concept of soil and water.

Offered in Fall Only

SSC 532 - Soil Microbiology

Units: 4

Soil as a medium for microbial growth, the relation of microbes to important mineral transformations in soil, the importance of biological equilibrium and significance of soil microbes to environmental quality.

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SSC 540 - Geographic Information Systems [GIS] in Soil Science and Agriculture

Units: 3

Geographic information systems [GIS], global positioning system [GPS], and remote sensing to manage spatially variable soils, vegetation, other natural resources. Develop: function understanding of GIS principles, working knowledge of ArcGIS, problem-solving/critical-thinking necessary to use GIS to characterize and manage soils, agriculture, natural resources. Introduction to GIS; Maps/Cartography; Vectore/Raster Data Models; Georeferencing/Coordinate Systems; Spatial Data Sources; GPS/GPS skillls/ Remote Sensing; Statistics/Interpolation; Precision Agriculture; Computer Aided Design and GIS; Creating Analyzing 3-D Surfaces. Credit not given for both SSC 440 and SSC 540.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Spring Term

SSC 541 - Soil Fertility

Units: 3

Soil conditions affecting plant growth and the chemistry of soil and fertilizer interrelationships. Factors affecting the availability of nutrients. Methods of measuring nutrient availability.

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Summer Term 1 2020 Fall Term

SSC 551 - Soil Morphology, Genesis and Classification

Units: 3

Morphology: Chemical, physical and mineralogical parameters useful in characterizing soil. Genesis: soil-forming factors and processes. Classification: historical development and present concepts of soil taxonomy with particular reference to worldwide distribution of great soil groups as well as discussions of logical bases of soil classification.

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Summer Term 1 2020 Fall Term

SSC 562 - Environmental Applications Of Soil Science

Units: 3

Identification and evaluation of basic factors influencing movement of potential pollutants through soil and their underlying strata. Development of understanding of processes of soil and site evaluation for waste disposal and transport of pollutants through soils.

Offered in Spring Only

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2020 Spring Term

SSC 570 - Wetland Soils

Units: 3

Wetland definitions, concepts, functions and regulations; chemical, physical and morphological characteristics of wetland soils. Wetland soil identification using field indicators and monitoring equipment; principles of wetland creation, restoration and mitigation. Special project required for SSC 570. Two mandatory field trips. Field trips for distance education students are not required but optional. Credit will not be given for both SSC 470 and SSC 570.

Offered in Fall Spring Summer

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Summer Term 1 2020 Fall Term