Skagit Valley College

Catalog Course Search Details

 Course Title:   Soil Ecology

 Title Abbreviation:   SOIL ECOLOGY

 Department:    ENVC

 Course #:    310

 Credits:    5

 Variable:     No

 IUs:    5.5

 CIP:    030101

 EPC:    16B

 REV:    2018

 Course Description  

Fundamental principles of soil ecology in relation to physical, nutrient cycling dynamics, biogeochemical cycling, belowground biomass, biodiversity of soil organisms, and soil food webs and ecological processes.


Prerequisite: Admission to BASEC or Department Chair permission.

Additional Course Details

Contact Hours (based on 11 week quarter)

Lecture: 44

Lab: 22

Other: 0

Systems: 0

Clinical: 0

Intent: Distribution Requirement(s) Status:  

Vocational Preparatory Required for ATA degree  

Equivalencies At Other Institutions

Other Institution Equivalencies Table
Institution Course # Remarks

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Quantify the physical aspects of soils.
  2. Measure and describe soil profiles and their utility for soil conservation.
  3. Measure soil primary production of higher plants.
  4. Investigate how microbes influence soil processes and structure.
  5. Develop community ecology flow charts to illustrate how soil fauna influences soil processes and structure.
  6. Measure nutrient cycling in soils by measuring nutrient flows between trophic layers.
  7. Measure soil biodiversity parameters.
  8. Manage soil biodiversity.
  9. Understand and measure soil chemistry.
  10. Assess anthropogenic landuse influences on soils ability to perform ecological processes.

General Education Learning Values & Outcomes

Revised August 2008 and affects outlines for 2008 year 1 and later.

Course Contents

  1. Physical and abiotic aspects of soils.
  2. Soil habitat.
  3. Primary production processes in soils: roots and rhizospheres.
  4. Secondary production: Activities of hetrotroph organisms - microbes.
  5. Secondary production: Activities of hetrotroph organisms - soil fauna.
  6. Decomposition and nutrient cycling dynamics.
  7. Soil food webs: detrivory and microbivory in soils.
  8. Soil biodiversity and linkages to soil processes.
  9. Soil biochemistry and biogeochemistry.
  10. Anthropogenic landuse influences on soils ability to perform ecological processes.