Pennsylvania State University Berks Campus Reading, Pennsylvania SOILS 101 – Introductory Soils Spring 2013 Course Description: 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. Overview: 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 interested in soils, ecology, or the environment. Course Objectives: At the end of this course, students should be able to: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Appreciate the variety and complexity of soils.Describe the ways in which soils are an integral component of the terrestrial ecosystem. Use the technical terminology associated with the description and use of soils. Identify soil properties important to land use, environmental quality, plant growth and society/culture.
Demonstrate skills required to make field observations and interpretations of soils for various uses. Retrieve and use information from a variety of sources for land use planning and soil management decisions. Explain the impact of land use and management decisions on agricultural productivity and sustainability, environmental and ecological health, and land degradation.Understand how soils can affect everyday decisions like how to develop a garden or where to build a house. – page 2 – Instructor: Dr. Mike Fidanza 234 Luerssen Office: 610-396-6330 Cell: 484-888-6714 E-mail: [email protected] edu Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9:00 am – 9:50 am, and 11:00 am – 11:50 am; or, by appointment (call or e-mail to schedule an appointment) Class Lecture: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 125 Luerssen Building, 10:00 am – 10:50 am.
Required Textbook: Brady, N. C. and R. R. Weil. Elements of the Nature and Properties of Soils. 3rd edition*.
Pearson/Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ. *or earlier editions are acceptable Grading: 4 exams ………………………. …………….. ………………… 300 points • lowest exam score dropped • 3 exams X 100 points per exam = 300 points total 15 quizzes ……………………..
. ……………………………… 150 points • 15 quizzes X 10 points per quiz = 150 points total Soils Writing Assignment . ……………………… ……………… 50 points • Fertilizer Worksheet ————————————————————————————————–Total ….
. 500 points Final Grade will be based on the following scale:Points Grade Points Grade ? 465 A 385 – 399 C+ 450 – 464 A350 – 384 C 435 – 449 B+ 300 – 349 D 415 – 434 B ? 299 F 400 – 414 B- Exams: Exam format is typically multiple choice, true/false, and matching. Exact content and format of each exam will be discussed in class by the instructor.
The lowest exam score of the four exams will be dropped, therefore, only the top three exam scores will count towards the final course grade. Quizzes: Quiz format is typically multiple choice, true/false, and/or matching delivered online through the ANGEL course website.Exact content and format of each quiz will be discussed in class by the instructor and/or information will be available on the ANGEL course website. Soils Writing Assignment: To be explained in class. – page 3 Class Attendance and Etiquette: Attendance is highly recommended since some lecture information will not be found in the text, and handouts and other supplemental material will be available only on the day on which they are presented in class. Class attendance and participation may be considered toward your final grade.Attendance will be recorded on a random basis, however daily attendance may be recorded if absenteeism or lateness is a problem.
Appropriate and respectful behavior is always expected. Also, please silence cell phones during class time. Academic Integrity: Students are expected to be familiar with the University Rules and Policies regarding academic integrity. Refer to the Penn State Berks Campus Student Handbook, or locate the document on Penn State’s website, which can be accessed through any computer terminal connected to the PSU Center for Academic Computing.Academic integrity is defined as the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to: cheating, failure to protect your work from others (or facilitating acts of academic dishonesty by others), plagiarism, fabrication of information or citations, unauthorized prior possession of examinations, submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the instructor, or tampering with the academic work of others. A student charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral and written notice of the charge by the instructor.
If the student feels that they have been falsely accused, they should seek redress through informal discussions with the instructor (first), division or department head, dean, or CEO. If the instructor believes the infraction to be sufficiently serious to warrant referral of the case to the Office of Conduct Standards, or result in a grade of “F” for the student for the course, the student and faculty instructor will be afforded formal due process procedures outlined in the University Rules and Policies mentioned above.Academic dishonesty will be dealt with strictly and in accordance with Pennsylvania State University policy. Disclaimer: The class schedule, policies, statements, and assignments in this course are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances or by mutual agreement between the instructor and the students.
**** Weather Emergency: Call 610-396-6375 for up-to-date Berks Campus information. **** – page 4 – Date: Jan Jan Jan 7 9 11 M W F Topic: Introduction and course administration Introduction to soil scienceIntroduction to soil science (continued) Textbook Chapter: 1 1 1 Jan Jan Jan 14 16 18 M W F Soil formation Soil formation Soil formation 2 2 2 Jan Jan Jan 21 23 25 M W F NO CLASS – Martin Luther King Day Soil classification Soil classification –3 3 Jan Jan Feb 28 30 1 M W F Soil classification Exam #1, chapters 1, 2, 3 Soil physical properties 3 –4 Feb Feb Feb 4 6 8 M W F Soil physical properties Soil physical properties Soil physical properties 4 4 4 Feb Feb Feb 11 13 15 M W F Soil water Soil water Soil and the hydrologic cycle 5 5 6 Feb Feb Feb 8 20 22 M W F Soil and the hydrologic cycle Soil aeration and temperature Soil aeration and temperature 6 7 7 Feb Feb Mar Mar Mar Mar Mar 25 27 1 411 13 15 M Clays and soil chemistry W Exam #2, chapters 4, 5, 6, 7 F Clays and soil chemistry 8 NO CLASS – Spring Break M Clays and soil chemistry W Soil acidity and other properties F Soil acidity and other properties 8 –8 Mar Mar Mar 18 20 22 M W F Soil biology and ecology Soil biology and ecology Soil biology and ecology 10 10 10 Mar Mar Mar 25 27 29 M W F Soil organic matter Soil organic matterSoil organic matter 11 11 11 Apr Apr Apr 1 3 5 M W F Soil fertility Exam #3, chapters 8, 9, 10, 11. Soil fertility 12 –12 Apr Apr Apr 8 10 12 M W F Nutrients management and fertilizers Nutrient management and fertilizers Nutrient management and fertilizers 13 13 13 Apr Apr Apr 15 17 19 M W F Soil erosion Soil erosion Soil erosion 14 14 14 Apr Apr Apr 22 24 26 M W F Soil and chemical pollution Soil and chemical pollution Soil and chemical pollution 15 15 15 8 9 9 ************ April 29 – May 3: Final Exam Week (Exam #4, chapters 12, 13, 14, 15). ************