This course explores the fundamental principles of soil science and soils as a natural resource. Students will be introduced to the physics, chemistry, microbiology, morphology, fertility and management of soils, and to the processes driving soil formation. The major soil types of the world and their classification will be discussed, and the relation of major soil characteristics to soil productivity, conservation and sustainability will be addressed. Students will be introduced to the role of soils in food production.

An agricultural definition of soil is a dynamic natural body on the surface of the earth in which plants grow, composed of mineral, organic materials and living organisms form.