Completion of a bachelor's or master's degree program in forestry, agriculture or natural resource management may be required for prospective soil conservationists. Some programs include online soil conservation courses. A few schools offer soil conservation coursework through online master's programs and graduate certificates in soil science or soil management. Though not as common, standalone soil conservation classes may be available via distance learning.
In addition to needing a computer with Internet access, students may be required to take college chemistry and/or algebra before enrolling in soil science courses. Before enrolling students should check whether the course is fully online, requires field trips, or on-campus laboratory classes.
Online Soil Conservation Courses
Soil science courses that are available online include - but are not limited to - the following:
- Soil Science Introductory Course: Classes focus on the biological and chemical makeup of soil, different soil classifications and the properties of soil which can affect plant development. Also explored are the Earth's hydrological cycle on global and local levels, agricultural consumption, soil conservation and the effects of environmental and economic change on the Earth's crust.
- Soil Ecosystems and Sustainability Course: Understanding soil as a vehicle for plant development is usually a core requirement for undergraduate degree programs. Students examine soil nutrition, review soil ecosystem and organisms, and analyze the role of water in the food supply. Also discussed are the nutrient life cycle and the impact of human actions on soil sustainability.
- Global Soil Resources Course: This course focuses on global soil resources, including agricultural efficiency and ability to sustain crops in various regions. Learning centers on understanding the impacts of increased human activity and the possible causes of soil degradation.
- Soil Quality Course: This course presents scientific research based on the experiences of growers who have used organic and sustainable techniques in managing their farming operations. Topics include soil quality and plant growth.
- Soil for Sustainable Agriculture Course: This course examines the historical and continuing effects of human culture on soil quality. Students learn how the addition of organic matter affects microbial soil quality, as well as exploring the links between climate change and soil carbon cycles.
- Soils Science with Labs: In this course, students learn about the biological composition and chemical properties of soil, and they explore relationships between soils and higher plant life. Students also learn to evaluate real-world problems and solutions using basic soil principles.