Soils play critical roles in sustaining life. They support plants and agriculture, serve as home to a plethora of organisms, recycle organic matter and nutrients, provide materials for construction, art, and medicine, preserve paleoecological and archaeological records, regulate global climate through the exchange of greenhouse gasses, and filter contaminants in water and waste. This course introduces fundamentals of soil formation, physical, chemical and biological characteristics, and classification schemes. It explores the role of, and how humans interact with, soils in Canadian forests, wetlands, agricultural systems, and industrial and urban settings. Aspects of carbon, nutrient, and pollutant biogeochemistry in soils are explored in detail. This course fulfills 2 field days.
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