EVSC 4270: SOIL SCIENCE

Department of Environmental Sciences
Clark Hall The University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904-4123

Revised, 20170522
This page is being developed on a continuing basis to support the lecture and laboratory portions of the course.

Links to useful information:

Instructors

(Fall 2017)

Lecture:  Aaron Mills  Clark Hall 213  (amills@virginia.edu)

Lab:    Jacob Malcomb                           (jm4bg@virginia.edu)

NOTE: I am quite often in my office (or the lab) and I welcome drive-by questions. I prefer not to establish firm office hours for a class this size, as you won't use them, but you will want to talk to me at other times. Please do so!  I will try to visit the lab each week as well.

Syllabus

           EVSC 4270

               Fall 2017

Lectures meet MWF at 09:00-09:50 in Clark G004

Lab meets Monday 14:00-17:00 in Clark, 201 

Contact information for the instructor can be found here.

NOTE: This syllabus is intended to assist you in finding the appropriate reading material to go along with lecture topics. It is unlikely that we will have time to cover each of the topics listed in an appropriate amount of detail. I suggest that you plan to read the text along the guidelines listed below even if the lecture schedule deviates somewhat from that listed. You are responsible for the material in the text whether it is covered in class or not.

APPROXIMATE LECTURE OUTLINE FOR EVSC 4270,  there WILL be slippage - the amount depends in part on my travel schedule and part on how quickly we move through lectures.

E represents days on which exams will be distributed

R represents days on which literature reviews from the graduate students will be due

DATE

TOPIC

READING IN BRADY

8/23

Introduction

1

8/25

Minerals, unconsolidated particles and soils

2:3

8/28

Primary particles and soils

4:1-3

8/30
Soil texture/structure 

9/1

Secondary particles in soils

4:4

9/4

Soil volume-solids vs. pore space

4:5-10

9/6

Soil formation              

2: 4-8

9/8

Soil formation

9/11

Development and horizonization

2:9-10

9/13

Retention of water 

5:1-4

9/15

Movement of water

5:5-11

9/18R

Water losses

9/20

Mineral weathering         

2:1-2

9/22

Soil colloids

8:1-5

9/25E

Soil Colloids

12:4, 8:13-15

9/27

Soil pH                         

9: 1-7

9/29
Soil pH
10/2
No Class - Reading day

10/4

pH and plant growth

10/6

Chemistry, mineralogy, pH

 8:6-11

10/9

Cation exchange            

10/11

Soil taxonomy

 3

10/13
Catch up

10/16

Soil taxonomy                 

10/18

Soil organisms

11

10/20

Carbon cycling in soil

12:1-3, 5-11

10/23

Nitrogen 

13:1-23 (includes reading on Sulfur)

10/25R

Nitrogen 

10/27

Phosphorus 

14:1-9

10/30

Phosphorus 

11/1E

Potassium

14:10-18

11/3

Micronutrients

15

11/6

Fertilizers

16

11/8

Fertilizers

11/10

Lime

9:8-11

11/13

Lime

11/15

Organic soils

11/17

Soil surveys and land use

19

11/20

Erosion

17

11/22-24 No Class - Thanksgiving

11/27R

Erosion & conservation

17

11/29

Uses of soil for non-agricultural purposes

18,20

12/1
Catch up

12/4E

Catch up

Final Exam Due Thursday, December 7 @ 17:00
 
 

GRADES WILL BE BASED:

75% lecture - 2 mid-terms, 1 final

25% lab - lab reports, project
 
 

TEXT: Brady, N.C., and R.R. Weil. 2017. The Nature and Properties of Soil 15th ed. Pearson Educational Ltd. (Available in Newcomb Hall Bookstore and on Amazon, etc.)  [Note: list price on this text is $145 - earlier versions (I am actually working from the 12th and 13th) have all the information needed for the course. If you can find a less expensive alternative - please do so!! The book is an excellent reference, and is very helpful when questions about soils arise. It is not priced unfairly, although it IS quite expensive.]

Additionally, Birkeland's Soils and Geomorpholgy is an excellent book - I use it as a reference for many of the topics we discuss in class. I recommend it for anyone who is a serious student of pedology.  There is a new edition, and I just bought a copy. You most certainly will see some material from the book during the semester.



SOME IMPORTANT GROUND RULES

ATTENDANCE: I do not penalize students for missing lectures - if you are so inclined, you may get the information anywhere you can. Laboratory attendance is mandatory, however, and lab reports will not be accepted if you were not there to do the work. Labs are hands-on experiences, and can't be made up from someone else's notes.
 
CELL PHONES IN CLASS: Be sure and turn your phone off or to vibrate before we begin each session. A ringing phone WILL result in your dismissal for the day. Repeated offenses will be met with much harsher penalties. If you are contemplating an EMERGENCY call, let me know before we start so that when your phone VIBRATES and you step outside to take the call, I know not to lock you out!  Texting during class will not be tolerated any more than calls.

NOTE: ALL EXAMS ARE TAKE-HOMES. QUESTIONS DO GET RECYCLED. USE OF OLD EXAMS (FROM ANY PREVIOUS CLASSES) FOR ANY PURPOSE IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN, AS IS ASKING ANY FORMER CLASS PARTICIPANTS ABOUT THE EXAMS!  VIOLATION OF THIS DIRECTIVE WILL RESULT IN AN HONOR REFERRAL!

Please note that I take the Honor System very seriously, and I will enforce its principles rigorously.


 



LAB SCHEDULE FOR EVSC 4270L
 

WEEK

DATE

TOPIC

REPORT DUE

1

9/4

Introduction

2

9/11

Texture 

R

3

9/18

Structure (Density and Porosity)

4

9/25

Soil Water I

R(2+3)

5

10/2

Soil Water II

6

10/9

Soil Chemistry I 

 R(4+5)

7

10/16

Soil Chemistry II 

8

10/23

Project

 R(7+8)

9

Project

10

Project 

11

Project

12

Project: Final Report Due 12/04

The Project is quite simple in concept. I want you to select a site that has some interest to you. At that site, expose the soil profile and do a thorough description of the soil. Then, please write a short paper (5-10 pp) on some aspect of that soil that is important to you (consistent with your personal interests). Additional details of how to go about this project will be discussed in class and in lab.
 
 

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