Environmental Studies 79: Soil Science

Spring 1996
Tu Th 2:00-3:50p; X-Hour: W 4:15-5:05p
Field trips: Three Tuesdays in May 2:00 - 6:00p

Instructor:Andy Friedland
211 Steele Hall, 646-3609
Office Hours: Tu Th 9:30-10:30
& by appt.

Teaching Assistant: Celia Evans
410 Steele Hall, 646-3603

Required Text:The Nature and Properties of Soils, Eleventh edition. N.C. Brady and R.R. Weil. Macmillan Publishing Co., NY, 1996, 740 pgs.


This course will explore the nature and properties of soils and examine soil processes in natural and human-manipulated systems. Throughout the course, the soil will be considered as an integral component of the ecosystem. We will begin by developing an understanding of the physical, geological, biological and chemical processes that lead to soil formation and the development of specific soil properties. We will also examine the relationship between soils and underlying bedrock and overlying vegetation and the role of soils in ecosystems. Towards the end of the course, we will examine the situations in which soils impact human beings and in which human beings impact soils.

Problem sets and combined field trip/laboratory reports will be assigned. Students will collect samples during some of the field trips; these samples will be brought to the lab in 408 Steele and analyzed for a variety of physical and chemical properties. Results of these labs will be submitted as part of the field trip report.


One mid-term examination

100 pts

Three problem sets @ 25 points each

75 pts

Three field trip/lab reports @ 25 points each

75 pts

Take-home final

100 pts


350 pts

(Graduate students only) 5-10 page state-of-the-science summary paper on any topic in soil science) 75 points

The Academic Honor Principle applies to all Dartmouth students at all times. I recognize the importance of the Honor Principle and expect you to do so as well.

I encourage students with disabilities, including "invisible" disabilities like learning disabilities and psychiatric disabilities, to discuss with me after class or during my office hours appropriate accommodations that might be helpful to them.

Course Readings

Date Description Assignment

3/26 Introduction Ch. 1
3/28 No class

4/2 Soil Forming Factors Ch. 2; 3:57-67 only
4/4 Soil Physical Properties incl. Soil Water Ch. 4, 5, 6, 7 (highlights)

4/9 Lab I on Phyical Properties Ch. 4:98-124
4/10 x-hour Soil Chemical Properties I Ch. 8
4/11 Soil Chemical Properties II Ch. 9

4/16 Lab II on Soil Chemistry (CEC & %BS)
4/17 x-hour Organic matter Ch. 12
4/18 Soil organisms and biological processes Ch. 11
Guest lecture: Prof. Ross Virginia

4/23 Lab III on Soil Chemistry (N-mineralization)
4/24 x-hour Biogeochemistry: Major elements Ch. 13; 14
4/25 Biogeochemistry: Major & trace elements Ch. 15

4/30 Soils and Global Change Article to be given out
5/2 Mid-term examination

5/7 Field trip--Pine Park
5/8 Field Methods; Research Methods
5/9 Lab IV on Pine Park Soils

5/14 Field trip-Field/ forest elevational transect
5/15 x-hour State Factors and Processes *Jenny 8; 9; skim 10-12
5/16 Taxonomy and Classification Ch. 3

5/21 Field trip-Dartmouth Organic Farm
5/23 Lab V: Whole-site work-up

5/28 Human Impact & Conserving Soils Ch. 17; 18

Take-home exam due Monday, June 3 at 9 AM

*The Soil Resource by Hans Jenny (on reserve)
Some publications in soil science: no special focus, just selected interesting papers.

Arthur, MA and TJ Fahey. 1993. Controls on soil solution chemistry in a subalpine forest in north-central Colorado. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 57:1122-1130.

Castelle, AJ and JN Galloway. 1990. Carbon dioxide dynamics in acid forest soils in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 54:252-257.

Cronan, CS, WA Reiners, RC Reynolds, Jr., and GE Lang. 1978. Forest floor leaching: contributions from mineral, organic, and carbonic acids in New Hampshire subalpine forests. Science 200:309-311.

Fernandez, IJ, Y Son, CR Kraske, LE Rustad, and MB David. 1993. Soil carbon dioxide characteristics under different forest types and after harvest. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 57:1115-1121.

Foster, NW. 1989. Influences of seasonal temperature on nitrogen and sulfur mineralization/immobilization in a maple-birch forest floor in central Ontario. Can. J. Soil Sci. 69:501.

Jenkins, MB, RA Virginia, and WM Jarrell. 1989. Ecology of fast-growing and slow-growing mesquite-nodulating rhizobia in Chihuahuan and Sonoran Desert ecosystems. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 53:543.

Zarin, D.J. and A.H. Johnson. 1995. Nutrient accumulation during primary succession in a montane tropical forest, Puerto Rico. Soil Science Soc. Am. J. 59:1444-1452

Johnson, CE, AH Johnson, and TG Huntington. 1990. Sample size requirements for the determination of changes in soil nutrient pools. Soil Science 150:637-644.

Klinka, K, Q Wang, and RE Carter. 1990. Relationships among humus forms, forest floor nutrient properties, and understory vegetation. Forest Science 36:564-581.

Knoepp, JD and WT Swank. 1993. Site preparation burning to improve southern Appalachian pine-hardwood stands: nitrogen responses in soil, soil water, and streams. Can. J. For. Res. 23:2263.

Lal, R. 1995. Erosion-crop productivity relationships for soils of Africa. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 59:661-668.

McFee, WW and EL Stone. 1965. Quantity, distribution, and variability of organic matter and nutrients in a forest podozol in New York. Soil Sci. Soc. of Am. Proc. 29:432-436.

Richter, DD and D Markewitz. 1995. How deep is soil? Bioscience 45:600-609.

Schlesinger, WH. 1990. Evidence from chronosequence studies for low carbon-storage potential of soils. Nature 348:232-234.

Shephard, JP, MJ Mitchell, and TJ Scott. 1990. Soil solution chemistry of an Adirondack Spodosol: lysimetry and N dynamics. Can. J. For. Res. 20:818-824.

Ugolini, FC, R Munden, H Dawson, and J Zachara. 1977. Direct evidence of particle migration in the soil solution of a podozol. Science 198:603-605.

Van Miegroet, H and DW Cole. 1984. The impact of nitrification on soil acidification and cation leaching in a Red Alder ecosystem. J. Environ. Qual. 13:586-590.

Vogt, KA, CC Grier, CE Meier, and RL Edmonds. 1982. Mycorrhizal role in net promary production and nutrient cycling in Abies amabilis ecosystems in Western Washington. Ecology 63:370-380.

Wilson, DM and DF Grigal. 1995. Effects of pine plantations and adjacent deciduous forests on soil calcium. Soil Science Soc. Am. J. 59:1755-1761.

Books on Reserve at Kresge Library (2-hr loan)
Location indicates where they will reside after this term:

Author: Armson, K A , 1927-
Title: Forest soils : properties and processes / K. A. Armson.
Imprint: Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 1977.
Location: Dana SD/390/A74
Bus-Engr SD/390/A74/cop.2

Author: Buol, S. W.
Title: Soil genesis and classification / S.W. Buol, F.D. Hole, R.J.
McCracken. 3rd ed.
Imprint: Ames : Iowa State University Press, 1989.
Location: Phys-Sci S/591/B887/1989

Author: Birkeland, Peter W.
Title: Soils and geomorphology / Peter W. Birkeland.
Imprint: New York : Oxford University Press, 1984.
Location: Phys-Sci S/592.2/B57/1984

Author: Jenny, Hans, 1899-
Title: The soil resource : origin and behavior / by Hans Jenny.
Imprint: New York : Springer-Verlag, c1980.
Series: Ecological studies ; v.37.
Location: Phys-Sci S/592.2/J46

Author: Sposito, Garrison, 1939-
Title: The chemistry of soils / Garrison Sposito.
Imprint: New York : Oxford University Press, 1989.
Location: Phys-Sci S/592.5/S656/1989

Title: Fundamentals of soil physics / Daniel Hillel.
Imprint: New York : Academic Press, 1980.
Series: Physiological ecology.
Location: Phys-Sci S/592.3/H54

Author: Hillel, Daniel.
Title: Applications of soil physics / Daniel Hillel.
Imprint: New York : Academic Press, 1980.
Location: Phys-Sci S/592.3/H53