FAll 2020 draft SYLLABUS

Lecture M W 9:30-10:35 am
The course objectives for Introduction to Soils FOR345/545 are here.

Required text resources are provided here.

Course grade is computed as shown here.

Graduate (FOR545) requirements are shown here.

Attendance and engagement in class and lab (MANDATORY) serve as the on-ramp for the soils highway.

The exit ramp (earned course grade) after final exams.


The logistical details supporting course objectives are provided below.

Field labs will be done in teams. Each team will submit one lab report. Each member must fully engage in the entire process - from field work to writing, editing and timely submission of the final report.

FIELD LABS: Bus DEPARTS from bottom of Lawrinson stairs (Physical Plant).
Mon, Wed and Fri 12:45 pm;
Tu and Th 12:30pm

If you are not on the bus, you cannot depart (i.e., you miss lab).
If you miss lab, you cannot contribute fully the the final report (major loss of credit).
If you forsee a scheduling problem, it may be possible to attend another section during the same week. This requires permission from Briggs and must be arranged in advance. In case of extraordinary circumstances (medical, other disaster) contact Briggs ASAP.

Labs are conducted in 102 Walters. Bench labs will be carried out in a 'teaIm' of 2-3. Unlike field labs, each person submits their own individual lab report.
Note that for bench labs, there is in fact an I in 'teaIm'

Fall 2019 Lab Due Dates, Exam Schedule

Week Of: Lecture Topics & Reading Assignments Lab Topics
Aug. 26 - 30 Course Introduction
Soil at two scales: local and global
The Critical Zone
Geology as a precursor

Text 1.1-1.8; 20.5 - 20.8
What is soil ? -- A modern look

Extensions of Tragedy of the Commons
Field Lab - Tully Valley Geology
Fact Sheets Linked Below (partial titles)

New From Bill Kappel Sept 1 2015- comparison of 2011 vs 2015 image here

Required Reading: The hydrogeology of the Tully Valley, Onondaga County, New York-An overview of research, 1992-2012:

Older - individual component fact sheets also available (not required)
History of Landslides
Landslide Hazards
Remediation of Mudboils
Tree Rings Record
Sep. 2 - 6
No Class Monday- Labor Day
Soil Profile Description
Influence of land use on soil morphology
Text 1.9 - 1.20
Soil Drainage Class Key
Field Book for Describing and Sampling Soils, version 3.0
Lab 2 Navigating 345 Cyberspace Room Location -
Mon. Your choice (dorm room, Cafe Kabul, etc.)
Tue. 12:30-1:30 437 Baker Lab
Wed. 12:45-1:45 434 Baker Lab
Thu. 12:30-1:30 434 Baker Lab
Fri. 12:45-1:45 310 Baker Lab

View glacial meltwater flow
Sep. 9 - 13
Hardhat Needed for Lab This Week
Parent Material
(It's in the jeans!)
Text 2.1
Site Classification Field Guide
by R.D. Briggs (1994)
Lab 3 - Field Trip: 3-Rivers Game Management Area - Morphology of a Lacustrine Catena. Download OSDs for Croghan, Lamson, Niagara, and Otisville series.

3-Rivers WMA Brochure

Get your own soil map from Web Soil Survey

Guide to Describing Soils. Prose used by the pros. This has a LOT of information. It is for reference.

Video -identifying soil horizons.
Sep. 16 - 20 Soil Formation
Text 2.2-2.10

Redoxymorphic features - vary by temperature, parent material, and saturation conditions
State of the art from 2019 Soil Science Society of America annual meeting check it out
Lab 4 - Field Trip (part 1) Heiberg Forest - Morphology of a Glacial Till Catena. Download OSDs for Mongaup, Willdin, Ontusia, Norchip series.
Get Site Classification Field Guide
Hagerstown series Picture
Hagerstown series Description
Sep. 23 - 27 Soil Physical Properties I
Text Chapter 4
Lab 4 Heiberg Field Trip (part 2) - Soil Mapping

Competent with ARC and looking for tools to build your soils map? Use links below for NRCS soil data:

Geospatial Data Gateway. Instructions are linked from this page.

Download page for Soil Viewer 6 Tool for ARCGIS 10 and installation instructions

Sept. 30 - Oct. 4 Soil Physical Properties II
Field Indicator for Hydric Soil Indicators
- NOT REQUIRED but you can click here
Lab 5 Soil Texture, Structure, BD and Pore Space
102 Walters
Oct. 7 - 11
Hardhat Needed for Lab This Week
Soil Water Concepts
Text 5.1 - 5.4
Lab 6 Erosion and BMPs
Heiberg Forest

NYS BMP Manual 2018 Version
NYS BMP Manual 2011 Version

NYS Erosion & Sediment Blue Book Click Here

Minnesota DNR BMP Treasure Chest Click here
Oct. 14 - 18
Soil Water Movement
Text 5.5 - 5.11
Lab 7 Soil Water
Mon. 12:45 - 2:45 110 Moon
Tue. 12:30 - 2:30 437 Baker
Wed. 12:45 - 2:45 309 Baker
Thu. 12:30 - 2:30 110 Moon
Fri. 12:45 - 2:45 110 Moon
Oct. 21- 25 Soil Water Completed Lab 8 - Organic Soils at Palermo - our last field lab :(
FAO Organic Soil Website
Oct. 28 - Nov. 1
Soil Aeration, Soil Temperature

Text Chapter 7

Wetlands via US EPA
Lab BREAK Yeah Briggs rules!
Nov. 4 - 8 Soil Colloids and CEC
Text Chapter 8
No Labs This Week - Break 2 to catch up with lecture
Nov. 11 - 15
Exam 2
Soil Colloids Completion
Lab 9 CEC
102 Walters
Nov. 18 - 22 Soil Acidity
Text Chapter 9
Lab 10 Soil Acidity
102 Walters
Dec. 2 - 6
The last week
Soil Erosion

Text Chapter 17
Lab 11 Soil Fertility

Christmas Tree Fertilization Worksheet

Issues - P extraction and application ISSUES

Lab this week in locations below:

Mon. - 110 Moon
Tues. - 437 Baker
Wed. - 110 Moon
Thurs. - 434 Baker
Fri. - 110 Moon
Dec. XX FINAL EXAM Schedule
email: rdbriggs@esf.edu
Updated on Feb 27, 2020
SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry