AGPS 1103
                                           Introduction to Soils
                                               ...
- Lab 8 – soil biology
    I. Behavior and cycling of macronutrients in soil – N, P, K and S; principles of soil fertility...
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Intro Soils Course Syllabus

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Intro Soils Course Syllabus

  1. 1. AGPS 1103 Introduction to Soils Fall Semester 2010 Instructor: Kitty O’Neil Email: oneilk@msu.edu Office: XXX Agriculture Science Building Phone 607 XXX XXXX Class Meeting Times Lecture Tuesday 9:10 – 10:30 in Ag Sci 100 Lab Thursday 9:10 – 10:30 in Ag Sci 101 Course Description: AGPS 1103 is an introductory plant and soil science course covering the following topics: Fundamental principles of soil science and the relationship of soil characteristics to plant growth and productivity. Soil formation from parent materials; soil, physical, chemical and biological properties; soil life, soil water, soil conservation; plant nutrition, lime and liming practices; and use of soil surveys for land use decision-making. This course includes lecture and complementary laboratory exercises to provide a broad understanding of soils in preparation for subsequent success in Animal Science and Plant Science courses. Textbooks: 1. Brady, N.C. and R.R. Weil. 2004. Elements of the Nature and Properties of Soils. 2nd Edition. Pearson- Prentice Hall publ. 2. Lab Manual Course Objectives: 1. Know the basic terms and concepts used for the description, study, and management of soils. 2. Understand soil physical, chemical and biological properties and how these properties influence soil functions. 3. Understand soil functions, relationship with soil properties and classification, and relationship to land use and management for production of foods, fiber and fuels and also for environmental services and recreation. 4. Appreciate the role of soils and soil management as critical components of environmental systems and improving environmental quality. Course Outline: A. Introduction to soils, soil formation and soil taxonomy B. Soil physical properties; soil color, texture, structure; density and pore space - Lab 1 – introduction to soils, soil texture; Lab 2 – soil structure, bulk density, pore space C. Behavior and characteristics of soil water; water potential, movement, availability and storage in soil, hydrologic cycle - Lab 3 – soil water, water movement in soil D. Soil aeration and gas exchange; thermal properties of soil, redox potential - Lab 4 – soil mineral weathering E. Soil colloids/clays, silicate and non-silicate clays, cation exchange - Lab 5 – properties of soil colloids/clays F. Soil acidity, pH, alkalinity, buffers, lime application - Lab 6 – soil acidity, cation exchange capacity, lime application G. Soil organic matter, humus, influence on soil properties, organic soils - Lab 7 – soil organic matter H. Soil biology and ecology; soil organisms, fungi, bacteria; abundance, biomass, activity AGPS 1103 ▪ Fall 2010 ▪ Course Syllabus Page 1 of 2
  2. 2. - Lab 8 – soil biology I. Behavior and cycling of macronutrients in soil – N, P, K and S; principles of soil fertility and nutrient management - Lab 9 – acid rain; Lab 10 – soil testing, calculations J. Soil conservation; erosion and sediment control - Lab 11 – soil erosion, conservation, RUSLE K. Soil survey, GIS, wetland soils - Lab 12 – soil survey project Blackboard: Blackboard will be used regularly for announcements, distribution of course materials, supplemental reading, exercises and posting of grades. You may also submit assignments electronically via Blackboard. Grades: Grades will be based on the percentage of points earned on all exams, quizzes, assignments, and lab reports. The following table is an approximate guide for how points will be accumulated: Assignment No. Points Total In class exercises Every lecture 12 5 points each 60 Mid-term Exams 1.5 hr 3 50 points each 150 Lab Reports Collaborative, 1 wk to complete 6 15 points each 90 Land Use Project Collaborative 1 50 points 50 Final Exam End of semester, cumulative 1 100 points 100 TOTAL (approximate) 450 The grading scale below, based on percentage of total points, will be strictly followed: Percent Grade Percent Grade Percent Grade Percent Grade 91-100% 4.0 81-85% 3.0 71-75% 2.0 60-65% 1.0 86-90% 3.5 76-80% 2.5 66-70% 1.5 0-59% 0.0 Course Policies: Exams will be given during lecture class periods. In fairness to students who take exams as scheduled, a valid and documented excuse is required to take a make-up exam at an unscheduled time. Exams and assignments will be returned as quickly as possible. Answers will be discussed in class when the exam or assignment is returned. If you need to discuss grading on an exam or test, before or after class is the best time for this discussion. All assignments have a non-negotiable due date that will be clearly stated when the work is assigned. Late assignments may be submitted for a grade at the discretion of the instructor. Maximum grades for late submissions will be reduced 10% for each day the assignment is late, up to 50% reduction for work that is 5+ days late. The instructor will uphold the Academic Integrity Code, and the College policies on Academic Integrity. Students should read and understand the code, particularly the definitions and examples of misconduct under the ‘Student Responsibility’ section. Students engaging in any of these fraudulent practices will be penalized and college procedures for reporting misconduct will be followed. If any of these responsibilities are unclear, or if you are unsure how this applies to any course assignment, please ask. In-Class Participation: Your questions and comments during lectures are always welcome and encouraged. Please participate freely. In-class discussions are only discouraged when they distract from our course missions – I’ll take responsibility for keeping our focus, so you can ask away. Also, please feel comfortable in approaching me to discuss matters relating to your overall academic program, potential job opportunities, other schools, reference letters, etc. My interest in your success extends beyond this course. AGPS 1103 ▪ Fall 2010 ▪ Course Syllabus Page 2 of 2

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