@Texas A&M University
SCSC 310 : Soil Morphology and Interpretations
Soil is a critical component of ecosystems and provides multiple services to human communities, including access to clean water, most of the food, and the nutrients we consume. It is also our first line of defense against flooding and is a relevant climatic regulator. This undergraduate course introduce students to the fantastic world of soils. Students learn how to describe soil properties and their variation in the landscape. They also learn how to classify and assess soils for different uses like construction, conservation, agriculture, forestry, urban, etc. Understanding what soils are and how they function is of utmost importance for human well-being and sustainable social development.
SCSC 605: Soil Genesis, Morphology and Classification
Soils are at the very interface between the living (biota) and the non-living (rocks) worlds and, as such, are highly diverse, complex, dynamic open systems. Hence, their study requires a profound understanding of many interacting abiotic and biotic factors and agents that control the reactions and reactions that occur within and through them. Bear in mind that soils are also witnesses of time, and their properties often reflect more past than current environmental conditions. The correct interpretation of soil forming factors and processes can provide a window to understand the history and predict future environmental change.
In this graduate course, students dig deeper into the concepts of pedogenic processes and explore their manifestation through the morphological description of soil profiles within different geomorphological histories and environmental and land use contexts. We will also review soil classification concepts and learn how soil classification integrates the current knowledge of soil properties and distribution into a hierarchically organized system. You will know to describe soil profiles and deduct their more likely formation pathways and distribution trends across the landscape based on geomorphological interpretations.
SCSC 498: Soil Judging
In this course, students have the opportunity to learn how to evaluate and describe soils and represent the Aggies at the national competition in the Fall Semester (Soil Judging and Evaluation II). Collegiate Soil Judging deals with morphology, description, classification, and interpretations of soil profiles and associated landscapes characteristics and understanding how those characteristics impact soil uses. During the first six weeks prior to the contest, you will be trained to describe fundamental soil properties, including soil texture, color, and structure, among many others. During the week of the contest, students describe 2-4 soil profiles per day and intensely study the geology, geomorphology and soil morphology of the contest area.