On the Cutting Edge - Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
Teaching Hydrogeology, Soils, and Low-T Geochemistry in the 21st Century
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Cutting Edge > Hydrogeology > Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013 > Teaching Activities > Soil Profile Homework

Soil Profile Homework

Daniel Hirmas, University of Kansas

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This page first made public: Jun 6, 2013


This is one of 4 homework assignments given to students throughout this introductory soils course. The main goal of these assignments are to give the students practice with the mechanics of problem solving, conversion, and soil profile descriptions.



This is a piggy back undergraduate/graduate introductory soil course taught in the department of Geography and the Environmental Studies program. The audience is usually a 50-50 undergrads and grad students.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students must have participated in a soil monolith description laboratory and field trip in order to complete the first problem in this homework assignment. Attendance in lecture where I provide examples of the kinds of problems represented by 2-4 is also crucial for completing those problems.

How the activity is situated in the course

The first in a sequence of homework exercises.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Use of horizon nomenclature to interpret and synthesize many soil properties in a description.
Application of Stoke's Law in determining particle-size of soils.
Crystallography of clay colloids and charge imbalance.
Analyses and determination of cation exchange capacity.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Synthesis and interpretation of soil properties
Analysis of data
Integration of mineralogical information with surface chemistry properties

Other skills goals for this activity

Mechanics of problem solving

Description and Teaching Materials

This assignment is self contained.

Homework 1 (Acrobat (PDF) 76kB Apr29 13)

Teaching Notes and Tips


Weighted average from the individual problems.

References and Resources

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