SOIL DISCIPLINES

Soils are fascinating and diverse.  The Soil Basics overview can get you hooked on the different properties that soils have to offer, and why educators benefit from using soils. Soil on one hill can completely differ from soil on the next hill. Because of this diversity, learning about soil is well suited to multidiciplinary studies and teawork with many different fields. There are thousands of researchers studying soil and how it impacts society, food production, environmental health, and more (for more, visit the Land and People page).

As a scientist, it would be really complicated to study EVERYTHING that a soil can do, because it does so much. So, like most diciplines, soil science is broken down into major topic categories. There is a little bit of something for every scientific interest. 

Including:

Soil Formation - Where does soil come from? Why is it different in different locations? What type of scientists study location?

Soil Biology - How do bacteria, creepy crawlies, insects, and all things alive impact the soil? What type of things to soil biologists study?

Soil Chemistry - Soil is filled with water, air, and solids, All of these properties interact together in one large chemistry experiment, which is what soil chemists study. 

Soil Fertility - How do the plants that we grow get their food? How much fertilzer should be applied so the plants can grow, but the environment can stay clean? These are some of the questions that people who study soil fertility try and answer.

Soil Mineralogy - If you zoom in on the soil, you can see all of the old rock minerals. These minerals are the microscopic building blocks of soil.

Soil Physics - Where does water go when it enters the soil? How does gas move through soils?  

Soil Forensics and Archeology - How do scientists use soils to solve crimes? Soil is also where a majority of artifacts can be found. 

So explore, and be enchanted by the opportunities that soil gives you to have a wonderful, diverse career. Any interest can fit!