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Soil Education Committee

The Soil Education Committee of the Canadian Society of Soil Science (CSSS) was established in 2014 with the goal of enhancing soil science education in Canada at both the post-secondary and K-12 levels.

The Committee has three main objective:

  1. Compilation and dissemination of information about the soil science courses and programs at Canadian postsecondary institutions.
  2. Enhancement of soil science education at the K-12 level.
  3. Establishment and maintenance of contacts with the international soil science community regrading new developments in soil science education.

CSSS Field Trip

GET INVOLVED

Membership in the Soil Education Committee is open to any soil scientist, including undergraduate and graduate students. Our success depends on your initiatives and enthusiasm!
If you have interest in joining the Committee, please contact:

  • Dr. Maja Krzic (Co-Chair), maja.krzic@ubc.ca
  • Dr. Amanda Diochon (Co-Chair), adiochon@lakeheadu.ca
  • Dr. Tom Yates (Co-Chair), tom.yates@usask.ca

MEETING NOTES

The major activities of the Soil Education Committee are:

Organization of Sessions at CSSS Annual Meetings

2017, Peterborough, ON. Promoting soil: Communicating the importance and value of what lies beneath. Session keynote speaker Dr. Andrea Buchholz (University of Guelph)
2016, Kamloops, BC Experiential Learning in Soil and Environmental Sciences.
Session keynote speaker Dr. Sean Maw (Univ. of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon)
2015, Montreal, QC Soil Science Education and Outreach.
Session keynote speaker Dr. Doug Hayhoe (Tyndale University College, Toronto)
2014, Banff, AB Introduction to Soil Science: A True Frontier of Soil Science
2013, Winnipeg, MB Teaching and Training in Soil Science: Part 1 & 2
2011, San Antonio, TX Innovations in Soil Science Education
2010, Saskatoon, SK Soil Science Education and Raising Awareness
2008, Prince George, BC Innovations in Teaching Soil Science

Soil 4 Youth Program (soil4youth.soilweb.ca)

This program was initiated in 2010 to promote learning among Canadian high school students about the importance of soil and to provide teachers with the resources to incorporate soil science into their classroom teaching. This Soil 4 Youth website showcases: (1) Research projects related to soil land-uses across a variety of ecosystems found in Canada; (2) Career paths of soil scientists and professionals; (3) Resources for teachers; and (4) Examples of how to be soil savvy by getting involved with initiatives that protect or improve soil in your own neighborhood.

CSSS Field Trip

More information about the Soil 4 Youth program can be found in a manuscript published in the Natural Sciences Education journal [https://www.agronomy.org/publications/nse/pdfs/43/1/73]

Profiling Undergraduate Soil Science Education in Canada: Status and Projected Trends

This initiative, carried out in 2015-2016, was focused on creating an inventory of soil science courses offered at Canadian universities and colleges. We are also exploring the possibility and feasibility of developing cooperative agreements among Universities to accept credit for soil science courses among cooperating institutions.

CSSS Field Trip

CSSS and the 2016 North American Envirothon, Peterborough, ON

(July 24-29, 2016) – http://www.forestsontario.ca/education/programs/north-american-envirothon-2016/

Envirothon (https://www.envirothon.org/ ) is a team-based competition for high school students who are passionate about the outdoors. It challenges students across North America to learn more about (1) soils and land-use, (2) forestry, (3) aquatic ecology, (4) wildlife, and (5) a topical environmental issue. About 500,000 students from 45 US states and 9 Canadian provinces/territories participate in the competition each year.

During the Fall of 2015, a group of 15 CSSS members developed a supplementary educational resource that includes the following four components: (1) Soils, Land-Use and Invasive Species lesson plan, (2) Soils, Land-Use and Climate Change lesson plan, (3) Pedology activity sheet, and (4) Soil fact sheet. The CSSS members involved with initiative were: Lindsey Andronak, Carolyn Wilson, Jessica Arteaga, David Kroetsch, Paul Hazlett, Daryl Dagesse, Richard Heck, Alison Murata, Mathew Swallow, Edith Olson, Eryne Croquet, Emma Holmes, Maja Krzic, Katie Neufeld, and Lesley Dampier.

To view the Envirothon Supplementary Resource entitled “What Lies Beneath … Your Feet!” click here.

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