Techniques used for survey and characterization of soil and their suitability for various uses are discussed. The students will be able to interpret the soil maps and delineate mapping units in the field and be able to use the concept of soil suitability and land use capability classes. This course provides an introduction to land evaluation methods for land suitability assessment. Methods for supporting decision making on sustainable land use and management at a regional level are discussed. Laboratory exercise and field trips designed to develop student competency in soil description, analysis, and assessment. Ability to interact and integrate with specialists in different disciplines. Ability to highlight and support the importance of both studies on soil quality and land evaluation tools in any situation.
It is an introductory course after this, students should have an understanding of terminology and concepts in land evaluation, use of soil survey information for the assessment of land quality, the various methods available for land suitability assessment, use of land quality assessment as an input to decision making on optimization of sustainable land use and management. Acquisition of high level knowhow for mapping soils and correctly interpreting soil maps and soil databases. Acquisition of specific and technical understanding in soil mapping and land evaluation. Understanding soil biological status for land evaluation and soil conservation. The students will plan work directly with soils, make land use and management decisions, or to be involved in projects requiring practical application of soil science principles. 1. Soil and landform, 2. Kinds and levels of soil survey, 3. Aerial photographs and their interpretation, 4. Stereoscopic vision theory, 5. Field traverse selection, 6. Purposes, characteristics and identification of mapping units, 7. Mapping legends, mapping and taxonomic units, 8. Interpretation and use of soil survey reports, 9. Land capability and suitability classification, 10. Application of GIS, GPS and remote sensing in soil survey, 11. Reading of topographic maps and calculation of slope percentage, 12. Stereoscope: Types and uses, 13. Interpretation of aerial photographs, 14. Demonstration of GIS, GPS and remote sensing techniques, 15. Field visits. BOOKS RECOMMENDED: 1. Burt, R. (Ed.). (2004). Soil Survey Laboratory Methods Manual Soil Survey Investigations Report No. 42, Version 4.0. USDA, Washington, DC, USA, 2. Lagacherie, P., A. McBratney and M. Voltz. (2007). Digital Soil Mapping - An Introductory Perspective. Elsevier Publishers, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 3. Soil Survey Division Staff. (2002). Soil Survey Manual. USDA, University Press of Pacific, Washington, DC, USA, 4. White, R.E. (1997). Principles and Practice of Soil Science: The Soil as a Natural Resource. 3rd Edition. Blackwell Science Ltd., Oxford, UK.