Bringing Soil Science to the Field
|Convener: David L. Lindbo | Co-Conveners: Eric C. Brevik , Cristine Carole Muggler|
Like many geosciences, soil science education is enhanced by field activities, including instruction, training and survey. Field activities, including instruction, training and survey begins with pre-university instruction and continues to post-university, professional development education. Field activities can be used as a method of recruiting new students as well as keeping students interested in the subject. Having contact with soils in the field should be an inspiring experience for children, university students and adults alike. The maintenance of the field connection throughout the university curriculum helps retain students and enhances the learning experience. Technology is being used to enhance the field experience both in situ and virtually. With the advent of distance education ways to offer students a virtual field experience are being explored. Once students have graduated they still need to periodically refresh and expand their field skills through continuing education. This session will highlight ways instructors incorporate field work - both real and virtual - into their curriculum in traditional and novel ways. Presentations will include case studies, results of student surveys of activities, examples of use of technology both in the field and virtually, and how to do this in a distance education course. Additionally presentations on the use of field studies to inspire and recruit new soil science students and in continuing education for soil science professionals will be given.