Soil science is the study of soil as a natural resource on the surface of the Earth including soil formation, classification and mapping; physical, chemical, biological, and fertility properties of soils; and these properties in relation to the use and management of soils.
AN OVERVIEW OF SOIL STUDIES
Soil science has become an integral part of many different fields of study, ranging beyond agronomy to include archaeology, physical and landscape geography, resource sustainability, and even climatology in terms of potential and long-term carbon sequestration.
Soils are critical components in research outside of agronomy and engineering. Modern soil science evolved out of the study of and concern for plants, and not from a concern for the nature of soils themselves involving field and laboratory data acquisition including remotely acquired data.
There was a trend towards less field work in soil science at the end of the 20th century, with more reliance on remote and proximal sensing techniques. Remote and proximal sensing provides a great abundance of very valuable data at less expense than traditional field work, but field work is still essential to calibrate remote and proximal sensing data producing soil maps which have been used to assist in making a number of management decisions, including agricultural, forestry, urban, and environmental decisions, often made by nonscientists. Accurate soil maps and models are critical to sustainable management of Earth’s resources as we move into the future.
WHY STUDY SOIL SCIENCE?
Many people treat soil like dirt, yet it is a vital natural resource. After all, our food system depends on a healthy terrestrial ecosystem. Our work in the interdisciplinary field of soil science can be divided into the following areas:
*Soil Geology (Pedology)
*Soil Fertility & Nutrient Cycling
Studying soil science prepares you for many different cutting edge careers in modern science.
Hydrology, the studying of how water moves and where it comes from, encompasses principles of soil physics and soil chemistry. If you are interested in solving water quality issues and studying the effects of climate change on the ecosystem, soil science helps you build a strong foundation for future research efforts.
If you're passionate about creating sustainable agriculture production methods, you can study soil fertility, nutrient cycling and pedology to truly understand soil for crop production and the soil's needs.
PROSPECTS IN SOIL SCIENCE
Here are some careers taken up by our graduates:
Agriculture Business Sales Manager
Agriculture Extension Worker
Agriculture Finance Advisor (banking)
Commodities Market Consultant
Consulting Soil Scientist
Crop Management Consultant
Data Analyst (State Department of Agriculture)
Integrated Pest Management Specialist
Land Management Contractor
Land Use Planner
Legislative Consultant (on environmental issues)
Peace Corps Volunteer
Research Laboratory Technician
Soil and Water Conservationist
Oil Spill Clean up and Soil Remediation Specialist
To be ready for graduation from college, you will want to get as much work experience as possible. For positions that involve working with farmers, some on-farm experience is invaluable, and increasing numbers of employers are insisting upon it. The Head of Department, Project Supervisors and Career Advisers in the Department and the college's Career Development Office are glad to help our students search for relevant internship opportunities. FECOLART is a specially rich environment for gaining experience in research. Students are routinely exposed to practicalwork in our laboratories and on-farmresearch projects.
Although classes cannot substitute for learning experiences in the work place, our beginning courses include laboratories and field trips to increase hands-on appreciation of the subject matter. A Young Soil Scientist Club also fosters professional interactions among our students on a national scale.
Soil Sampling for Fertility Studies using Soil Auger by Students of the Department
It is our interest in Soil Science Technology to train and launch into the society well motivated students who desire to makechanges in the of field of Soil Science, Agronomy, Environmental Management and overall Land Resources Management. We latch on our well trained, experienced and motivated teaching staff, instructors and laboratory technicians to achieve this.
It is our sincere desire that young fellows show interest in the study of Soils to effectively manage them as well as other natural resources for sustainable ecosystem services.
Now that Soil Science has an Institute (Nigeria Institute of Soil Science, NISS), we call on the public to avail themselves of this opportunity to obtain a career in Soil Science.
Our doors are open for enquiries and assistance.
Enyioko, Chimezie O.
Head of Department, Soil Science Technology, FECOLART, Owerri