Chemistry of Soils
Soil Science (SOIL) 702/802
Course Description: Chemical composition of soil, colloidal phenomena and the exchange and fixation of elements, cation exchange capacity and source of negative charge, inorganic reactions in soil and their effect on soil properties. Prereq: one year college chemistry or permission.
COURSE SYLLABUS: This page includes the basic course outline, course goals, grading objectives, a description of the required research paper, and a list of additional resources.
STUDY QUESTIONS: These questions are provided to help students study for exams. Some are questions that have been asked on past exams, some are ideas for questions that the instructor decided against refining for an exam (too "far out"), and some are designed just to indicate the types of information students should attempt to understand.
SOIL CHEMISTRY COMPETENCIES: The areas listed are those developed by the Soil Science Society of America. Those who wish to be certified by the national certification organization as professionals in soil science are required to take an exam, in which case at least a basic understanding of these areas will be required. This course is not specifically designed to follow the competency criteria listed, but students should be exposed to most areas as they go through the course.
PERIODIC CHART: Need to check on element information? Here is a one of the best resources I have found. The only problem is that, residing in England, it can sometimes be a bit slow.
OTHER SOIL CHEMISTRY COURSES: There are other Soil Chemistry courses on the web. If you would like to look at what is being taught at other institutions you can click on the following connections. There are not many available yet, but there will be more with time.
You may also wish to check out this SOIL CHEMISTRY PAGE from Purdue. The page contains a number of links that could be useful.
THIS LINKS PAGE contains a number of links that just might be helpful in getting a grasp on the intricacies of soil chemistry.
Finally, here is a link of which you should be aware: If you are a soil science major, the SOIL SOCIETY OF AMERICA
is your professional society.
A NOTABLE QUOTE:
"Implications (of the word rival) in modern European languages is distinctly negative: 'competitor,' 'adversary,' even 'enemy.' Its original meaning in Roman law, however, was neutral. It referred merely to a person who shared with another the water of a rivus, a stream used for irrigation. Sharers of so vital a resource as water - or soil - may choose either to cooperate or to compete. ... As earth scientists, we are called upon to cooperate with one another, to cooperate with the earth, and to educate the public toward a greater awareness of our environment and of our place in it."
Daniel Hillel, In so many words: language in relation to the soil (Soil Sci. 152:403-4, 1991)
(rev. Jan 1998)