IESR 200

Soil Science

Course details

The course provides an introduction to soils and plant identification. It introduces the natural history of soils and soil formation, the Canadian System of Soil Classification, soil nomenclature and identification, soil formation processes, and soils across Canada and specifically Alberta. Focus is on the physical, biological and chemical properties of soils and include: horizon descriptions, Munsell colour, hand texturing, hydrometer analysis, sieve analysis, field sampling, bulk density analysis, pore space, water- holding capacity, von Post scale of decomposition, humus forms, and carbon content (loss of ignition). There are two mandatory field trips: 1. Monolith collection at the University of Alberta; 2. Exposed soil horizon in the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Further, the course provides an introduction to the identification of non-vascular and vascular plants of Alberta and the use of botanical dichotomous keys (Flora of Alberta - vascular plants). Concepts and use of botanical nomenclature, species epithet, and author are taught. Further, the course introduces concepts of eco-site manuals, indicator species, habitat, invasive species, native species, rare species, species range, biodiversity, and how to collect and create permanent herbarium records. There is one mandatory field trip to the North Saskatchewan River Valley. 

3 Credits

Course prerequisites

MATH 90, CHEM 90

This course is featured in the following Yellowhead Tribal College programs: