Virtual Lecture M W 9:30-10:25 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) the final exam.


The logistical details supporting course objectives are provided below.

All lab exercises (Field as well as Bench) for 2020 will be virtual (much to my disappointment). Labs will be presented synchronously during the scheduled lab periods.
Laboratory Instructors will work with you during your scheduled lab period. Instead of being together physically in Walters Hall for bench labs or at a field site, we will meet virtually, using a combination of Zoom™ and Blackboard™. As is the case for face-to-face labs, attendance at the virtual lab is required.
If you forsee a scheduling problem or you are incapacitated and cannot attend your scheduled lab section, you must arrange with your lab instructor an alternative lab time.

All labs require a report.
Bench lab reports are done individually.
Field lab reports are done for each group (3 students).
Group membership will be assigned by the lab instructors to insure that each team includes individuals from different majors.

Fall 2020 Lab Due Dates, Exam Schedule

Week Of: Lecture Topics & Reading Assignments Lab Topics
Aug. 24 - 28
Week 1
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
Lab 1 Navigating FOR345/545 Cyberspace

This virtual tour of the course web page maps out the entire semester for you.
Aug. 31 - Sep. 4
Week 2

We have virtual class Saturday 5 Sept, 9:30 am due to shortened semester.
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.
Note that this is a reference tool and provides much more detail for most topics than we will discuss in class. Nevertheless, it is a very
good resource.
Lab 2 Virtual Field Lab - Geologic foundation of soil - parent material

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

Older - individual component fact sheets below (partial titles listed) are also helpful
History of Landslides
Landslide Hazards
Remediation of Mudboils
Tree Rings Record

Bill Kappel recorded on video mudboil changes from 2011 to 2015

Sep. 7 - 11
Week 3

Parent Material
(It's in the jeans!)
Text 2.1
Site Classification Field Guide
by R.D. Briggs (1994)
Lab 3 - Virtual Field Lab - Lacustrine parent material: soil morphology

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. 14 - 18
Week 4
Soil Formation
Weathering Spectacular Features (Morton 2020)

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 4a - Virtual Field Lab - Glacial till parent material I: Soil morphology
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. 21 - 25
Week 5
Soil Physical Properties I
Text Chapter 4
Soil Health and Structure Video
Virtual Lab 4b Field Lab - Glacial till parent material II: Landscape
Sep. 28 - Oct. 2
Week 6
Soil Physical Properties II
Field Indicator for Hydric Soil Indicators
- NOT REQUIRED but you can click here
Virtual Lab 5 Soil physical properties
Oct. 5 - 9
Week 7
Soil Water Concepts
Text 5.1 - 5.4

Lab 4 (cont.) Group work to complete soil morphology and landscape distribution report.

NYS Erosion & Sediment Blue Book Click Here

Minnesota DNR BMP Treasure Chest Click here
Oct. 12 - 16
Week 8
Soil Water Movement
Text 5.5 - 5.11
Virtual Field Lab 6 Soil erosion and BMPs

NYS BMP Manual 2018 Version
Oct. 19 - 23
Week 9
Soil Water Completed Virtual Field Lab 7 Organic soils
FAO Organic Soil Website
Oct. 26 - 30
Week 10
Soil Aeration, Soil Temperature

Text Chapter 7

Wetlands via US EPA
Virtual Lab 8 Soil Water
Nov. 2 - 6
Week 11
Soil Colloids and CEC
Text Chapter 8
Virtual Lab 9 - Colloids and CEC
Nov. 9 - 13
Week 12

Soil Colloids Completion, Soil Acidity
Text Chapter 9
Virtual Lab 10 Soil acidity
Nov. 16 - 20
Week 13
Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition Virtual Lab 11 Soil Fertility

Christmas Tree Fertilization Worksheet

P extraction and application ISSUES
Nov. 23 - 24
Week 14
Last 2 days on campus followed by

Reset and prepare for the final push.
Nov 30 - Dec 4
Reading daze and exams
Space for rent Space for rent
Dec. XX FINAL EXAM Schedule
email: rdbriggs@esf.edu
Updated on Oct. 15, 2020
SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry