DSC_8570.JPG

TEACHING

Our teaching philosophy is based upon the four major principles of QUALITY, DIVERSITY, PASSION, and ENGAGEMENT. We strive to live these values by increasing quality and rigor in classroom and field courses, increasing diversity in instructional narratives and diversity, equity, and inclusivity in the student body, expressing passion for our chosen field by wearing our hearts on our sleeves, and always working to improve student engagement – “Engage, engage, engage!” – through teaching, advising, research and artistic activities, program development, and student leadership development.

 

BASIC SOIL SCIENCE (SOIL 2125)

This course is an introductory soil science course which introduces students to all fundamental aspects of soil science in a lecture-discussion-laboratory format. In this class, we approach soil as a natural system worthy of study in its own right. Soil Science is a terrific Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) integrator. Because complex biological, chemical and physical processes affect the way soils form and the way that they are managed, we use first principles from biology, chemistry and physics to understand them.

DSC_9254.JPG
DSC_0127.JPG
IMG_3195.JPG

Syllabus

Many people have only had the chance to interact with the top six inches of soil and think all soil looks the same. In reality, soils are highly diverse and once you know a little bit about soils and their diversity, it is difficult to find a "boring" place on earth ever again. In this class, we approach soil as a natural system worthy of study in its own right. Because complex biological, chemical and physical processes affect the way soils form and the way that they are managed, we will use first principles from biology, chemistry and physics to understand them. In a very real sense, we are all made up of soil and our lives, communities, and cultures depend on our understanding of it.

Curricular Scholarship

We conducted a survey of introductory soil science or equivalent (ISSe) instructors and courses at 79 institutions differing in land- grant status (38 land-grant, 41 non-land-grant) and Carnegie category. Our data demonstrates little evidence for curricular differences between land-grant and non- land-grant institutions. A “depth” ranking of topical components of these courses showed that soil water concepts and soil classification were allotted the most time, on average. Pedagogical styles were diverse, with 44% of course hours dedicated to active learning, flipped classroom, or online learning formats.

Engaged Teaching and Learning

We incorporate art, diverse cultural perspectives, and local and international issues into everything we do in Basic Soils!

 

FIELD STUDY OF SOILS - MINNESOTA
SOILS & LAND USE (SOIL 4511)

ED0A31F4-8EC0-41D0-A62C-20568FA32172_1_1
5697586B-5B93-452F-A391-72AE11EB2310_1_1
84BBF343-EE60-4C0D-9453-C322B682D9F9_1_1

Syllabus

SOIL 4511 is a field-based course that teaches students how to describe soil profiles and associated landscape characteristics.  Class are taught in the field all day, every day and will culminate in a field exam where students will be expected to accurately describe soil profiles and make certain land-use interpretations.

Technical Skills

Field Study of Soils is an opportunity to learn technical skills in the field description of soils and landscapes, soil classification, and interpretations.

Minnesota Soils and Land Use: Growing Hearts and Minds

Interacting with practitioners and understanding multiple, contradictory, and complex perspectives is an important skill for effectively managing terrestrial resources in the 21st century. Following the completion of a week-long field study course in which students gain skills in soil description, classification, and interpretation, the expanded second module of the course includes a traveling component in which students experience soils, landscapes, and “lifescapes” (i.e., the lived experiences of practitioners).

 

SOIL JUDGING (SOIL 3521)

Soil Judging is a field course and inter-collegiate contest which allows students to learn and apply skills in soil morphological description, soil classification, and interpretation in field settings across the U.S. Each semester, the University of Minnesota soil judging team travels to a different state for a week to participate in an intercollegiate contest. Preparation for the contest continues throughout the year, with weekly team meetings. Since 2015, the UMN Soil Judging team has safely and successfully traveled to Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Florida, and California. Soil Judging is more than just soils. It is also about learning how to become better people and teammates, building technical skills, and building community with students across the country.

F018D450-B783-44DE-BC52-4F6135B1D1C4_1_1
Gabe Benitez.jpg
94047211-9FC3-415A-8B68-7FD828288A51_1_1

Teamwork

Soil judging is a team activity!

Technical Skills

Soil judging builds technical skills in the field description, classification, and interpretation of soils. Students learn fieldcraft and are exposed to a wide variety of soils and landscapes.

Community

Soil Judging is about community. We regularly connect with students and faculty from across the country!

 

PODCAST: SOIL STORIES WITH NIC AND LEANNA

Soil Stories with Nic and Leanna is a podcast developed for SOIL 2125 (Basic Soil Science) at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities starting on 18MAR2020 in response to the move to remote instruction for all classes due to COVID-19 policies recently enacted. These podcasts might have guests, or might be us just chatting about interesting applications of the material or key points. This will be a new adventure.

93A54180-987F-478D-9874-1031A0FF830D_1_1
 

GALLERY OF SOIL-LANDSCAPE DIAGRAMS

IMG_4932.JPG
IMG_5034.JPG
32D587F5-FCA2-4CB7-AC7A-9960179811E0_1_2
Brooks Range Fig2 24JUN13-01.tif
 

GALLERY OF TEACHING AND LEARNING

B2C0BC8C-7C7D-4795-890D-79687E1E0665_1_1
53F5E20E-410F-4C45-A949-06FC7EA47DBF_1_1
950DC6CB-A3D4-4C26-B54F-51C843F4463C_1_1
9D98AC0A-F9D8-4715-9C1F-770B5E36D858_1_1
3758DADC-05CE-4588-AF3D-AA8F29708F88_1_1
4BAB18D1-C245-4110-9926-A34A2DC98D8E_1_1
6EE0DFB4-4AD4-45DD-A5B3-D48F691527C2_1_1
486FAFCB-8123-4728-A6F5-3B59FF258CD7_1_1
76E4C182-0654-47CF-84B4-E4DBC6915B6F_1_1
9F27C694-74A2-48A8-8797-283DE4248289_1_1
9641678D-3402-4D7B-B675-5E7721F3555A_1_1
6B9C5909-9056-484C-AA7F-4D2978E36EC1_1_1
Lab 8 Soil Forming Factors S18.jpg
Lab 7 Rocks S19.JPG
Lab 6b Redox S19.JPG
Lab 6 Nitrogen Cycle S19.JPG
Lab 3 Bulk Density S19.JPG
Lab 3 Bulk Density F19.JPG
Lab 2 Clay Minerology F19.JPG
IMG_3195.JPG
Copy of IMG_5266.JPG
Slide2.jpeg
Slide1.jpeg
Slide3.jpeg
Slide4.jpeg