GEOG 403: Soils and Environmental Land Use Planning


Natural Environmental Systems, Urban Economic Systems



Course Description

Application of soil science to environmental issues; use of geospatial data in mapping and utilizing the soil resource in agricultural, urban, and natural systems; use of soils information in wetland delineations, waste disposal, nutrient and contaminant cycling, erosion-sedimentation, ecological restoration, and environmental quality. Professional ethics, certification, and licensing of soil scientists.

Upon completion of this course: You should have a working knowledge of soil science that can be used intelligently to discuss and make decisions. You will understand the nomenclature as well as the basic chemical, physical and biological properties of soils. You will be able to relate soil science principles to agricultural, urban, and natural systems. The knowledge gained can be used as a basis for wise land use decision making and planning.

Course Objectives

  • Appreciate soil as a complex natural resource.
  • Develop soil description skills that can be used worldwide.
  • Have a working knowledge of Soil Taxonomy.
  • Understand and recognize soil-geomorphic spatial patterns across landscapes.
  • Be able to utilize Soil Survey information.
  • Understand hydric soil morphology and genesis.
  • Be able to correctly interpret soil information and develop land use plans.
  • Know how to obtain and utilize soil data and information in decision making & planning.
  • Understand the content and the limitations of soil data, especially when used in a GIS.

Course Format

Lecture. Exams and Homework/Projects.