2005-2006 University of Guelph Undergraduate Calendar

XII. Course Descriptions

Soil Science

Department of Land Resource Science.

SOIL*2010 Soil Science W (3-2) [0.50]
An introduction to the principles of soil science - the origin of soils, their classification and interpretation in natural and modified environments. Soil will be studied as a product of the natural environment, with a focus on formation processes and changes which occur when it is modified through use. A variety of uses including agriculture, forestry, recreation, and urban development will be considered. This course is not for B.Sc.(Agr.) students. (Also offered through distance education format.)
SOIL*2120 Introduction to Environmental Stewardship F (3-2) [0.50]
An introduction to the concepts of resources management, environmental planning and assessment, land stewardship and sustainable development. Case studies of specific issues such as parks and natural heritage conservation, agricultural land loss, and integrated rural resources management will provide insight on approaches to decision making. Discussion of the concept of stewardship as an environmental ethic. (Also offered through distance education format.)
SOIL*2200 Environmental Issues in Agroecosystems W (3-3) [0.50]
This course provides an introduction to a range of specific environmental and resource issues in agriculture. Issues to be covered include geological resources, climate change, nutrient management, groundwater contamination, source water protection, land use planning, and natural resources management. In each case, the policy context for the issue is presented, as well as the science needed for understanding and preparation of management decisions. This course is designed to suit students in a variety of science programs including agriculture. (First offering Winter 2006.)
Prerequisite(s): 0.50 first year credits in each of Biology, Chemistry and Math.
Restriction(s): AGR*2301/2
SOIL*3030 Tutorials in Organic Agriculture 1 F (3-2) [0.50]
Building on the introductory exposure offered in CROP*2050, this course will rely on lectures and small group mentoring to stimulate independent, learner-centered analysis of selected topics in organic agriculture. Students will participate in an interdisciplinary analysis of case-study topics offered in the form of two,6 week modules on biophysical and social issues, including composting and crop rotations as well as socio-political and marketing forces bearing on organics. The goal is to encourage holistic, systematic thinking in students learning to become self-directed analysts and decision-makers. Seminar periods will support both guest speakers and student presentations.
Prerequisite(s): CROP*2050
SOIL*3050 Land Utilization F (3-0) [0.50]
Principles of land utilization and planning at the global, national, regional and local levels. Land characterization and classification using photo-interpretive techniques and computerized soil survey interpretive programs. Land capability/suitability for agriculture, forestry and engineering purposes. Emphasis on specific land use issues in Canada.
Prerequisite(s): 1 of AGR*2301/2, AGR*2320, GEOG*1300, GEOL*1000, SOIL*2010
SOIL*3060 Environmental Soil Chemistry F (3-2) [0.50]
The formation and properties of clay minerals and organic matter; ionic exchange, soil acidity, and alkalinity, oxidation and reduction potential, and dissolution and precipitation. Laboratory sessions will illustrate principles of soil chemistry.
Prerequisite(s): 1 of AGR*2301/2, AGR*2320, SOIL*2010
SOIL*3070 Environmental Soil Physics F (3-3) [0.50]
Practical aspects of water movement and contaminant transport in soils. Hands-on experience with standard laboratory and field methods of measuring soil physical properties. Applications of soil physics in characterizing pathogen and nutrient transport to groundwater, landfill cap and linear design, turf management.
Prerequisite(s): 1 of MATH*1080, AGR*2301/2, SOIL*2010
SOIL*3080 Soil and Water Conservation F (2-3) [0.50]
A lecture-demonstration course on the processes leading to deterioration of soil and water quality, the impact of deterioration on use, and preventative or corrective measures. Soil erosion by water and wind, soil compaction and salinization. Drainage channel maintenance, sedimentation and nutrient enrichment of water. Conservation programs and policies. Reclamation of severely disturbed soils and saline-sodic soils. Emphasis will be on concepts and solutions to problems in a systems approach. (Also offered through distance education format.)
Prerequisite(s): 1 of AGR*2301/2, AGR*2320, SOIL*2010
SOIL*3100 Resource Planning Techniques W (2-2) [0.50]
An intermediate techniques course directed at the application of a systematic approach to problem-solving in natural resource management. Major topics include procedures of ecological land classification, computer-assisted resource analysis and environmental impact assessment.
Prerequisite(s): SOIL*3050
SOIL*3170 Soil Processes in Landscape F (3-3) [0.50]
This course examines factors and processes that influence soil development, including the impact of human activities. Special attention is given to understanding the significance of soil properties and features, with emphasis on their spatial and temporal variability on local to global scales. Principles of soil classification are discussed and several classification systems are examined; emphasis is given to the Canadian System of Soil Classification. The roles of remote sensing, landform analysis, soil imaging (micropedology), digital image analysis, as well as geographic information systems, in quantifying soils and landscapes, are also presented. Field trips taken to observe specific soils and landscapes in southern Ontario; a fee is charged to help offset costs of this activity.
Prerequisite(s): 1of AGR*2320, AGR*2301/2, SOIL*2010
Restriction(s): SOIL*4170
SOIL*3200 Environmental Soil Biology W (3-3) [0.50]
Soil biological processes involving both microflora and fauna with emphasis on waste management, soil fertility and structure, plant residue decomposition and xenobiotic compound biodegradation. Students will apply this knowledge in a project involving biodegradation of an organic waste.
Prerequisite(s): 10.00 credits including AGR*2301/2 or SOIL*2010
SOIL*3300 Land Resource Stewardship S (3-0) [0.50]
This course will examine 'stewardship' programs as an approach to environmental conservation in both the agricultural and natural resource conservation sectors in Canada. It will focus on the central role of private landowners, with emphasis on the voluntary policy perspective of stewardship programs in comparison to regulatory perspectives. As well, it will examine the non-government organizations such as land trusts and farm organizations that often run stewardship programs. Programs addressing environmental conservation issues in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, wildlife, habitat conservation, and species at risk will be considered. (Offered through distance education format only.) (First offering Summer 2005.)
Prerequisite(s): SOIL*2120 or SOIL*2200
SOIL*3600 Remote Sensing W (2-4) [0.50]
An introduction to remote sensing, as applied to the study and monitoring of the biophysical environment (atmosphere, vegetation, soil, hydrology, geology). Relevant conventional photographic techniques are examined, but current analogue and digital imaging technologies are emphasized. Attention is given to both airborne and earth-orbiting imaging platforms. Key aspects of computerized image analysis are covered. Practical experience is gained through the interpretation of high-resolution digital imagery, using industry-standard commercial software.
Prerequisite(s): 10.00 credits (recommend: 1 of GEOG*2420, AGR*2301/2, AGR*2320, SOIL*2010
Restriction(s): Priority Access course. Enrolment may be restricted to particular programs or specializations. See department for more information.
SOIL*4070 Problems in Land Resource Science S,F,W (0-6) [0.50]
Students will carry out a research project in an area of special interest. Individualized supervision will be provided by a faculty member. The preparation of an oral and/or written report will be required. Approval to take this course must be obtained from the Department Chair during the previous semester.
Prerequisite(s): AGR*2320 or ENVS*2010 and 1.00 credits at the 3000 or higher level in soil science, geology or meteorology
Restriction(s): Department chair consent required.
SOIL*4090 Soil Management F (3-1) [0.50]
A lecture-tutorial course on the practical aspects of soil management for crop production as they relate to the physical, chemical and biological properties of soils; major emphasis is placed on soil fertility as related to field soil properties and fertilizer, lime and manure use, soil and plant testing for mineral nutrients. The beneficial aspects of drainage, irrigation, erosion control and related tillage practices on soil fertility are also presented. Due regard is given to both economic and environmental aspects of soil management practices.
Prerequisite(s): 1 of AGR*2301/2, AGR*2320, SOIL*2010
SOIL*4110 Natural Resources Management Field Camp F (0-6) [0.50]
A course directed toward investigating methods of collecting and processing land resource field data. Practice in mapping information from air photographs and ground surveys, construction of inventory maps and integration of information. The course will consist of a one week field camp prior to the fall semester, following which the students, working in groups, will prepare and present a comprehensive report in consultation with faculty. Students will be responsible for their living and transportation expenses for the field session, in addition to regular tuition fees. The course may be offered with different emphasis in content depending on student demand. Students are required to notify the designated departmental instructor of their intention to participate in the Field Camp during the previous Winter semester (or earlier if going on exchange programs).
Prerequisite(s): SOIL*3100
Restriction(s): Registration in B.Sc.Env.NRM and B.Sc.Agr.AGMN students.
SOIL*4160 Design of Organic Production Systems F (2-3) [0.50]
This interdisciplinary course calls upon students to use the analytical framework developed in Tutorials in Organic Agriculture I and II to apply organic principles to managed agroecosystems. The course covers the interactions of soils, plants, microbes, and animals with management and environmental factors related to annual and perennial crops and livestocks. The core principle of problem avoidance rather than problem solving is illustrated with practical examples from such dimensions as integration of crop and livestock agriculture, farm-scale nutrient budgeting, permaculture, and herd health in the production of organic field crops (grains and oilseeds), horticultural crops (fruit and vegetables), and livestock (beef, sheep, dairy, pigs, chickens). (First offering Fall 2006.)
Prerequisite(s): (1 of AGR*2350, CROP*4220, SOIL*3170) or (CROP*3130, SOIL*3030)
SOIL*4210 Earth and Atmospheric Science Field Camp F (1-3) [0.50]
A course restricted to students in the Earth and Atmospheric Science major giving experience in collecting and processing field data. A complete environmental impact assessment including geology and soil classification, topographical survey using GPS, air photo and satellite image analysis, identification of plant species, and measurement of soil hydrologic properties. The course will consist of a one week field camp prior to the fall semester, following which the students, working in groups, will prepare and present a comprehensive environmental impact assessment. The field camp will be held within an easy daily driving distance to Guelph. Students are required to notify the designated departmental instructor of their intention to participate in this course during the previous winter semester (or earlier if going on exchange programs).
Prerequisite(s): 3 of GEOL*3060, GEOL*3190, SOIL*3060, SOIL*3070, SOIL*3200, SOIL*4170
Restriction(s): SOIL*4110