Undergraduate Soil Science Education

Members of our committee have been involved in several recent initiatives:
  • In 2019, development of an open access Canadian Introductory Soil Science Textbook started. An editorial board (Fran Walley, Maja Krzic, Amanda Diochon, Maxime Pare and Rich Farrell) has received funding through the BCcampus and CSSS. The open textbook will cover the main areas of study within the discipline of soil science, including soil genesis and classification, soil chemistry, soil physics, soil biology and soil provisioning services. The material will be relevant and appropriate for courses teaching soils from multiple perspectives. Soils of Canada will be highlighted, with recognition of regional differences in soils and soil management and production potential. Presenting this information in an open textbook format, will allow individual instructors to tailor the textbook to their specific region and/or perspective.
  • In 2018, we carried out a survey of professionals and managers who recruit, supervise, or work directly with soil science professionals, with a goal to gather feedback regarding the application of soil science knowledge and field skills in the areas of agriculture, environment, forestry, and/or resource management. The findings of this study are published in:
    • Jacynthe M., T. Yates, M. Krzic, A. Unc, Z. Chi Chen, S. Quideau, K. Hodgson, C.J. Warren. 2019. Identifying learning outcomes for a Canadian pedology field school: addressing the gap between new graduates skills and the needs of the current job market. Canadian Journal of Soil Science. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjss-2019-0040
  • In 2017, we completed a study of Canadian post-secondary units that offer introductory soil science courses, documenting attributes of instructors, students, and teaching approaches in these courses. The findings of this study are published in:
    • Krzic, M., T. Yates, A. Diochon, M. Swalow, N. Basiliko, and M. Pare. 2018. Introductory soils courses: a frontier of soil science education in Canada. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 98(2): 343-356. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjss-2018-0006
      You can find the survey questions here.
  • In 2015-2016, we carried out an inventory of soil science course offerings at Canadian universities and colleges; the findings of this inventory are published in:
    • Diochon, A., N. Basiliko, M. Krzic, T.T. Yates, E. Olson, J. Masse, B. Amiro, and D. Kumaragamage. 2017. Profiling undergraduate soil science education in Canada: Status and projected trends. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 97(2): 122-132. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjss-2016-0058