SOILS 101 - Introductory Soils
SOILS 101 (GN) Introductory Soils (3 credits). A study of soil properties and processes and
relationships to land use, plant growth, environmental quality, and society.
This survey and foundational course introduces students to a broad range of subject matter from most
sub-disciplines of soil science. The students study a range of soil characteristics and seek to understand
their relationship to soil function, land use, plant growth, environmental quality, and society/culture.
This course introduces students to the variety and complexity of soils on a local, national, and
international scale. This introductory course in soil science introduces the student to the study,
management, and conservation of soils as natural bodies, as media for plant growth, and as components
of the larger ecosystem. This course presents basic concepts of all aspects of soil science including:
composition and genesis; physical, chemical, and biological properties; soil water; classification and
mapping; soil conservation; management practices; and soil fertility and productivity including practices
of soil testing, use of fertilizers and manures, and liming. The course introduces the relationships of soil
to current concerns such as environmental quality and non-agricultural land use. This course should
instill awareness of soil as a basic natural resource, the use or abuse of which has a considerable
influence on human society and life in general.
This course is required or on a list from which students select for many environmental and agriculturalrelated majors. It is specifically listed as a prerequisite for many other SOILS courses and for several
soils-related courses taught at Penn State. This course also satisfies the requirement for 3-credits in the
natural sciences (GN), for non-science maojors or any student... [continues]
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