Course overview

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Course overview

  1. 1. Developing Your understanding of the properties and processes that are basic to the use and management of soils.<br />SSC200: Soil Science<br />
  2. 2. Outline<br />My world...<br />Why We Study Soil?<br />Soil Science… more than the study of dirt!<br />What does a soil scientist do?<br />Insuring your success in SSC200<br />Course organization<br />Expectations<br />Grading and Evaluation<br />
  3. 3. Course Overview<br />My World… <br />
  4. 4. My World… <br />I’m a North Carolina native – born in Winston-Salem<br />I have been on-campus for morethan half of my life<br />Will be celebrating the20th anniversary of my21st birthday this year<br />Family<br />Wife – Shannon<br />Son – Sullivan (8yrs)<br />Daughter – Sidney (6yrs… goin’ on 26)<br />
  5. 5. My World… <br />Education<br />Bachelor of Science – Horticulture (Ornamentals)<br />Master of Science – Soil Science (Waste Management)<br />Doctor of Philosophy – Soil Science (Phosphorus Chemistry)<br />Employment History<br />Extension Associate – ’95 to ’96<br />Assistant Professor – ’96 to ’02<br />Associate Professor – ’02 to present<br />
  6. 6. My World… <br />Professional Interests<br />Geographic Information Sciences<br />Soil Science in K12 Education<br />Personal Interests<br />Landscaping<br />Music…listening, not playing. Currently on my iPhone: Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, Ozzy/Black Sabbath, Rolling Stones Magazine Top 500 Songs of All Time, and… Jonas Brothers with Hanna Montana<br />
  7. 7. My teaching philosophy<br />“Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as hard duty.” -- Albert Einstein.<br />My role as a teacher is not to force-feed you meaningless facts, rather it is to facilitate your understanding of broader concepts, the details of which are refined through self-study<br />
  8. 8. Course Overview<br />Why We Study Soil?<br />
  9. 9. What is Soil?<br />Definitions:<br />dirt: (dûrt) – the organic and inorganic material transported through your front door on the bottom of your shoes<br />soil: (soil) – a natural body comprised of solids (minerals and organic matter), liquid, and gases that occurs on the land surface, occupies space, and is characterized by horizons, or layers, that are distinguishable from the initial material as a result of additions, losses, transfers, and transformations of energy and matter<br />
  10. 10. What is Soil Science?<br />Traditionally, soil science has been split into a number of disciplines:<br />Soil fertility – plant nutrition & crop nutrient use<br />Soil physics – water movement, heat transfer, construction properties, etc<br />Soil chemistry – chemical composition of soil, processes affecting mineral breakdown and reformation<br />Soil microbiology – bacteria, fungi, invertebrates and other organisms responsible for biological properties of soil <br />
  11. 11. What is Soil Science?<br />Today, we think of soil science as more cross-disciplinary<br />Sustainable Agriculture<br />Ecosystem Services<br />Water Quality<br />Land Use Management<br />Waste Management<br />
  12. 12. Soil, Food & Fiber<br />The plants we use for food and fiber rely on soils to provide water, nutrients, and physical support.<br />A significant portion of the Earth's exposed land cannot be used for any agricultural purpose. Large portions lie in the far north. Large portions are extremely arid. Large portions are very mountainous.<br />The human population on earth is more than six billion. Each person has a piece of land about ½ an acre at his or her disposal on which to grow all that he or she needs.<br />
  13. 13. Soil and Global Warming<br />Microscopic organisms regulate the accumulation of carbon in the soil.<br />Carbon stored in the soil exceeds that stored in the atmosphere and all living plants (~1.4 trillion tons combined). <br />Conservation practices that increase the storage of carbon may very well have a positive impact on stabilizing or even reducing global temperatures<br />
  14. 14. The Global Water Cycle and Soil<br /> Did you know there is roughly six times more water stored in the global soil resource than is stored in the Earth‘s atmosphere? <br />Annually, more than 375 trillion gallons of water seep into the soil to be filtered before recharging the groundwater used for drinking, manufacturing and crop production.<br />
  15. 15. Soil Erosion<br />Did you know that sediment is the number one pollutant of North Carolina waterways?<br /> Soil scientists are studying new methods to prevent soil loss from construction sites in the mountains where trout streams are highly-sensitive to ecosystem disruption. <br />
  16. 16. Soil and Ground-water Quality<br />Soil scientists are involved in conducting ground-water studies to trace contamination and to develop strategies to make corrective actions. <br />
  17. 17. Soil Remediation<br />One in four Americans live within 3 miles of a Superfund site, the USEPA’s designation for most polluted places in America. <br />Soils scientists monitor, evaluate, and remediate these sites to protect the environment and human health.<br />
  18. 18. Forensic Science and Soils<br /> In order to solve crimes, forensic soil scientist study soil that has been disturbed or moved as the result of human activity. <br />Crime scene investigators collect soil samples that are later analyzed using a variety of chemical, physical and biological techniques to determine the source of the soil.<br />
  19. 19. Soil Science on Mars and Beyond<br />Exploration Rovers have been sent to explore the Martian terrain, looking for scientific evidence in the soil that life might have existed on the red planet at some time in the past. <br />Spectrometers and cameras gather data that is relayed back to earth for analysis. <br />When the scientists want to investigate below the surface, they dig a hole by lodging the rover against a rock, and then spinning one of the six wheels, creating a crater five inches deep.<br />
  20. 20. What does a soil scientist do?<br />The job of a soil scientist includes:<br />collection of soil data, <br />evaluation for soil suitability, <br />interpretation of soil properties, <br />land use planning <br />Soil scientists work in both the office and field. <br />This career crosses many different areas of employment<br />
  21. 21. your path to Success in SSC200<br />Course Management <br />
  22. 22. Expectations<br />You can expect us to:<br />Come to class and be well prepared.<br />Start and end class on time.<br />Make this class interesting and challenging.<br />Encourage and accept points of view different from our own.<br />Encourage questions and discussion during class.<br />Be available to students after class, during office hours, or any other time you have questions, comments, or concerns.<br />Return graded assignments and exams in a timely manner and provide appropriate feedback on your performance. Our goal is to return them one week after the due date.<br />Appreciate that this is not the only class you are taking this semester.<br />
  23. 23. Expectations<br />We expect you to:<br />Read and understand the information contained in the course syllabus.<br />Attend all lectures and laboratory sessions.<br />Read assigned portions of text BEFORE each lecture.<br />Ask questions and participate in class discussions.<br />Notify me or your teaching assistant ahead of time if you cannot be present for a lab or exams<br />Regularly check you’re the e-mail account listed with NCSU Records & Registration<br />
  24. 24. Course Organization: Lecture<br />Lecture periods will be used to present and discuss the majority of the material for this course. <br />A critical part of the learning process will be listening and taking notes during class. <br />You will gain the greatest understanding from lecture by first reading the assigned sections of the textbook; come to class, participate in the discussion, and take notes; then use the slides handouts and instructor notes to fill in the holes<br />
  25. 25. Course Organization: Laboratory<br />The laboratory will provide hands-on experience:<br />soil analytical skills<br />illustration of soil science concepts<br />Prior to lab each week you will read a brief introduction <br />During each session you will complete various exercises then submit data sheets to your laboratory instructor. <br />Attendance and completion of all lab activities is required. <br />After lab, you may be asked to complete a problem set, write a report, or complete an on-line quiz.<br />
  26. 26. Course Organization: Self-Study<br />You will use the textbook for coverage of basic concepts and terminology. <br />To help you be a more effective reader, reading guides are available on the course web site. <br />The purpose of the reading guides is to help you recognize and bring together the key concepts contained in the assigned readings. <br />These reading guides are provided for your benefit and will not be collected or graded. <br />
  27. 27. The Textbook<br />Available at the NCSU Bookstores<br />Preferred is the third edition, but with some creativity, you can survive with the first or second edition, available on eBay, Amazon, etc <br />
  28. 28. The Lab Manual<br />Available at the NCSU Bookstores or as a PDF on course website<br />
  29. 29. Evaluation and Grading Criteria<br />The majority of your grade (75%) will be based on lecture exams.<br />3 exams during the semester – 15% each<br />Comprehensive exam at semesters end – 30% <br />Laboratory assignments will constitute another 25%.<br />The exams will be given during the regularly scheduled lecture period<br />
  30. 30. Evaluation and Grading<br />Grades will be based on the point distribution described in the on-line syllabus <br />E.g., A+ 100 to 97; A 96 to 93; A- 92 to 90… etc<br />Each exam will be curved using a linear curve with a maximum grade set at 100 and the median grade set at 80 (unless the median is higher than an 80).<br />Penalties will be applied for late completed work<br />
  31. 31. Student Conduct<br />Academic Integrity – It is now University policy that all students sign the Honor Pledge on tests and assignments for each course as specified by the instructor<br />The Honor Pledge is: "I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this test/assignment.“<br />On each exam, you will be asked to sign a statement indicating you have abided by the honor pledge<br />There is much to be learned by collaborating with your peers. Unless specified otherwise, assume all assignments allow for group work.<br />
  32. 32. Student Conduct<br />Attendance:<br />Is required by University policy <br />Exams will be based primarily on material covered in class. Therefore, regular attendance of lectures should lead you to greater success in this course.<br />Please be on time. Arriving late disrupts class and is inconsiderate of your fellow students.<br />
  33. 33. Student Conduct<br />You are expected to conduct yourself in a mature manner that is considerate and respectful of your classmates.<br />Any person who disrupts class or lab will be asked to leave. <br />Guests are welcome to attend class but are expected to abide by the same code of conduct as students. <br />For safety reasons, during the lab, there shall be no tobacco, no food and no drink.<br />
  34. 34. Final thoughts…<br />Value your time in this class…you are the paying customer<br />Each of you are paying $495 - $2,054 to buy soil science knowledge<br />Our goal is to make this class enjoyable and relevant<br />Your goal should be to maximize the volume of information you “download” from the instructors<br />During the semester, if you feel you are not getting what you need from the course, let me know<br />Stop by my office<br />Catch me on-line for a chat (details to follow in an e-mail)<br />Send me anonymous feed back thru the “anonymous-mailer” link provided on the course web (again, details to follow in an e-mail)<br />

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