JORD200 Soils in Natural Environments - Field and Laboratory Course

Credits (ECTS):10

Course responsible:Attila Nemes, Line Tau Strand

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk

Limits of class size:20

Course frequency:Annually.

Nominal workload:250 hours.

Teaching and exam period:This course starts in August. This course has teaching/evaluation in August block, Autumn parallel.

About this course

Natural soil-forming factors; climate, living organisms, parent material, topography (relief) and time, and growingly human-activities determine soil development and which chemical, and physical properties characterize the soil. Central to this nexus is the role of water in forming soils, and the fate of water as it moves in the soil. In this course, we will particularly emphasize the connection between soil morphology and signs of water regime. We emphasize the development of skills in describing, testing and analyzing morphological, physical and chemical soil properties. Connecting what we observe and analyze in the field with what laboratory analyses tell us is central to the course. We follow soil samples from field to the laboratory. Interpretation of these soil characteristics in a landscape context is important for solving many issues related to the earth's ecosystem functioning / services.

Learning outcome

After completing the course, the student should be able to carry out a standard soil profile description, field classification and sample soil for standard chemical and physical analysis. Students will obtain experience with and learn how to handle soil variability in soil properties observable in the field. Students will perform their own laboratory work for both soil chemical and soil physical properties. The students should be able to measure and calculate various physical and chemical soil parameters, and be able to connect information on physical, chemical, and morphological soil parameters to different soil ecosystem functions. Group work is central to the course and will provide training in collaboration. The group work will help the students become better at discussing, and value and respect different input and competence so that the goal - the report - is better and the work becomes more efficient.
  • Three weeks in August will, in full, be used for intensive field and laboratory work. The field and laboratory work will be conducted group wise and will be followed by key lectures in plenum. The fieldwork consists of 1) soil profile descriptions and field classification 2) in situ measurements of some soil physical parameters such as infiltration tests and soil moisture and temperature measurements 3) soil sampling for chemical and for soil physical analysis in laboratory 4) soil variability assessment a limited area. The laboratory work includes preparing (drying and sieving of soil) for and carrying out some chemical and physical soil analysis. Some analysis will be conducted by the students themselves other will be sent for analysis to professional laboratories. Analysis done by the students include, aggregate stability and size, determination of volumetric conditions in soil, pore-size distribution, measurements of water and air capacity and conductivity in soil, pH, organic matter content by loss on ignition. Particle size analysis, cation exchange capacity (CEC) and some extractions of Fe and Al will be analyzed by others. In the autumn parallel, two hours each week will be used for lectures and processing of the data for the final report. Students must organize the writing of the group report themselves (each student should allocate 100 h to report writing in the autumn parallel).
  • The teachers are available during field and laboratory work.
  • Basic course in soil science e.g. JORD100 Soil Science
  • Total assessment:

    • Written report (group work, 2-4 students) (40%)
    • Individual oral examination (60%)

    Both parts of the examination must be passed.

    Grading system A-E / Not passed.

    Oral exam Grading: Letter grades Group assignment Grading: Letter grades
  • External examinor will participate in the oral exam and evaluate the group reports.
  • Participation in the field and laboratory work is mandatory (80% presence required)
  • In August the students must be prepared for whole days in the field and must be equipped for and prepared for physical work connected to the fieldwork.
  • Reduction of credits: Students with exam from JORD230 will get a reduction of 2 ECTS
  • Special requirements in Science