Connecting Soils and Glacial Geology

Holly Dolliver
University of Wisconsin - River Falls
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This lab activity allows students to connect soil information to geologic processes/history.

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This activity was designed for an upper division undergraduate course in geomorphology. This activity could also be used for a soil pedology course.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

This activity assumes that students are familiar with glacial landforms and associated sediment types, as well as a basic understanding of soil profile descriptions. No prior knowledge of Soil Survey's is needed, although I generally begin with some background information.

How the activity is situated in the course

This activity is a stand-alone excercise completed in lab.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Demonstrate the ability to find soils information using a soil survey, identification of landforms from soils and topographic maps

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Analyze and interpret soil profile descriptions and soil maps, connect soils information to geologic processes

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

The goal of this activity is to provide students an opportunity to connect soil science to surficial geology by using a Soil Surveys. By the end of the activity, students should be able to use a Soil Survey to identify and interpret landforms and surficial features. This activity can be adapted to variety of process (ex. eolian deposits, glacial deposits, bedrock weathering, etc.). County-level soil surveys are available in both paper and online formats for the majority of the United States.
Designed for a geomorphology course
Has minimal/no quantitative component

Determining whether students have met the goals

Assessment is based on their hand-in sheet.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

Teaching materials and tips

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