Soil Study Guide

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Soils and Current Issue DDN with Andy and Matti

March 9, 2017

2017 Updates to Current Study Guide:  

(Please email Kim Smeenk to have any of the noted resources emailed to you…I have attached them, but sometimes things just don’t work like you think!  Thank you!)

I.             Objective #1: Determine soil horizons, soil properties, and other soil and site characteristics to determine basic land use, management, and limitations.  This includes identifying and naming Master Horizons and Horizon Suffix (if applicable) and the soil forming factors and processes that created them, determining soil texture, determining soil structure, and determining soil color (with Munsell Color Book).

A.              REFERENCES FOR SOIL HORIZONS

1.               http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/nrcs142p2_053238.pdf

2.               http://passel.unl.edu/pages/informationmodule.php?idinformationmodule=1130447025&topicorder=4

3.               Soil HorizonsSoil Horizons

4.               Soil Characterization Protocolt http://www.globe.gov/documents/352961/e5d46e27-2ac0-4a34-8fbf-7a871c66a4be

5.               https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlyDyQT6_WE

6.               Soil Forming Factors

7.               Enclosed/Attached PowerPoint titled soil-formation-processes (“How Do Soils Form”)

8.               Estimating Slope with a Clinometer

9.               https://www.bcps.org/offices/science/outdoor_ed/programs/envirothon/Soil/Additional%20Resources/How%20To%20Use%20a%20Clinometer.pdf

B.              REFERENCES FOR SOIL TEXTURE

1.               Soil Characterization Protocol http://www.globe.gov/documents/352961/e5d46e27-2ac0-4a34-8fbf-7a871c66a4be

2.               5 Using the Soil Textural Triangle and USDA Soil Texture Triangle

3.               Texture by Feel or Texture_Feel_Decision_Tree or access online at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/soils/edu/?cid=nrcs142p2_054311

4.                 Soil Texture or Soil Texture

5.                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWZwbVJCNec

6.                 Hellige Indicator Solution InstructionsLaMotte Soil N_P_K_Kit_InstructionsSoil Fertility ProtocolSoil pHSoil pHSoil pH_What it Meanssoilph protocolEnvirothon Related SD Land Judging Book

7.                  Texture Kit available for purchase at http://www.pssasd.org/

C.                 REFERENCES FOR SOIL STRUCTURE

1.                 Soil Structure or PowerPoint Soil Horizons

2.                  http://passel.unl.edu/pages/informationmodule.php?idinformationmodule=1130447039&topicorder=4&maxto=10

3.                 Water_through_soils

4.                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKT9RBIkeKc

5.                 Envirothon Related SD Land Judging Book

6.                  Structure Kit available for purchase at http://www.pssasd.org/

D.                 REFERENCES FOR SOIL COLOR

1.                 Soil Color or Soil Color PowerPoint

2.                  Soil Characterization Protocol http://www.globe.gov/documents/352961/e5d46e27-2ac0-4a34-8fbf-7a871c66a4be

3.                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cmJa8dQ5_I

II.           Objective #2:  Understand soil biology, soil food webs, and soil health and how they are related to each other.  Understand how conservation practices or management techniques can affect soil biology and soil health, and how nutrient cycling (carbon and nitrogen cycles) is related to all of these factors and overall soil management.

A.                 REFERENCES FOR SOIL BIOLOGY, SOIL FOOD WEBS, AND SOIL HEALTH

1.                 Farming_for_Soil_Health_in_the_21st_Century[1]

2.                 Soil_Biology_Land_Management

3.                  Science of Soil Health Videos http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/soils/health/?cid=stelprdb1245890

4.                  http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/soils/health/biology/?cid=nrcs142p2_053868

5.                  http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/a0100e/a0100e05.htm

B.                 REFERENCES FOR NUTRIENT CYCLING

1.                  The references listed above in addition to the following references.

2.                  Nitrogen Cycle:  http://sciencelearn.org.nz/Contexts/Soil-Farming-and-Science/Science-Ideas-and-Concepts/The-nitrogen-cycle

3.                  Carbon and Nitrogen Cycle:  http://serc.carleton.edu/eslabs/carbon/5a.html

4.                 Biological Factors of Soil Carbon and Nitrogen

III.         Objective #3:  Understand how to measure soil pH and soil fertility and how they relate to each other.  Know the macronutrients and micronutrients.  Understand how to interpret and use the results from the soil pH and soil fertility tests.

A.              REFERENCES FOR pH

1.               Soil pH_What it Means “Soil pH: What it Means”

2.               Soil pH PowerPoint or Soil pH Document

3.               soilph protocol

4.               Hellige Indicator Solution Instructions

B.              REFERENCES FOR SOIL FERTILITY

1.               Soil Fertility Protocol

2.               LaMotte Soil N_P_K_Kit_Instructions

3.               http://www.soils4teachers.org/fertility

4.               http://www.soilhealth.com/soil-health/fertility/

IV.         Objective #4:  Understand how conservation practices and other land use management techniques impact soils, erosion, water quality, and soil health.

A.              REFERENCES

1.               NRCS_Conservation_Practices

2.               soil_management_practices_reduce_erosion_improve_soil_quality

3.               Some of the resources under Objective #1 could also be used here.

V.           Objective #5:  Understand what a soil survey is and how to interpret maps and tables in published and on-line soil surveys (Web Soil Survey).  Understand the eight Land Capability Classes and how to use a soil profile and other site characteristics to determine the land capability class.

A.              REFERENCES FOR SOIL SURVEYS

1.               Create your own Web Soil Survey at:  http://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/HomePage.htm

2.               Soil Survey and Soil_Survey_and_Web_Soil_Survey, which explains what a soil survey is and how to use Web Soil Survey.

3.               Custom Soil Resource Report for Custer and Pennington Counties Area, Black Hills Part and Custom Soil Resource Report for Stanley County.  These are examples of custom soil surveys created in Web Soil Survey.  This is the kind of soil survey that will be used at the Envirothon competition.

4.               On-line links to the old published SD Soil Surveys.  These are considered out-dated but there is still good information in there and it is possible you will see these at the National Competition.  http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/surveylist/soils/survey/state/?stateId=SD

B.              REFERENCES FOR LAND CAPABILITY CLASSES

1.               Envirothon Related SD Land Judging Book

2.               land_capability_classification

3.               Soil Surveys and Land Use Planning

VI.         Other Resources

A.              NRCS Soil Scientists and Soil Conservationists to Contact for Questions or to Set Up a Skills Review Session with your Students:

1.               Andy Oxford-Soil Scientist-Pierre, SD: Andrew.oxford@sd.usda.gov or 605-224-2476 x142

2.               Nathan Jones-Soil Scientist-Huron, SD: Nathan.jones@sd.usda.gov or 605-352-1253

3.               Others will be added as I contact them and get their permission.

Study Suggestions:

Suggestions for preparing for the Soils portion of the Envirothon Competition

  1. Make contact with your local conservation district and Natural Resource Conservation Service
  2. Do the Following Learning Activities and Protocols
  3. Be able to use a Soil Survey.  Web Soil Survey Introductory Activity
  4. Be able to identify soil horizons.
  5. Know soil forming factors

Soil Key Points

The Envirothon has put together an online study guide for Soil. Assign 2 students to become the Subject Matter Experts for Soils-Land Use.

The Subject Matter Experts know and understand the Key Points. They also do the suggested activities and present information to their teammates. They are familiar with the suggested resources.

Additional Resources

Review these powerpoints for more useful information. (Large file downloads).

Links