Spring 2020 - GEOG 417W D100

Advanced Soil Science (4)

Class Number: 3187

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    SECB 1011, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 24, 2020
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Margaret Schmidt
    1 778 782-3323
    Office: RCB 7133
  • Prerequisites:

    GEOG 317.



Advanced treatment of topics in soil science: soil physics, soil chemistry, soil biology, soil classification and/or forest soils. Students with credit for GEOG 417 may not take this course for further credit. Writing.


An advanced treatment of topics in soil science, including: soil physics, soil chemistry, soil biology, soil classification and/or forest soils.  Recent developments in selected areas of soil science will be emphasised.  

In 2020 the course will focus on forest soils: soil properties, processes, and fertility; forest soils in relation to resource management.  The term project allows the student to explore a particular area of interest in soil science.

One two-hour lecture and one two-hour laboratory session each week.  There will be no labs held in the first week of classes.  There will be at least two field trips, which will be discussed in the first lecture.  One field trip will be held on the day the lab is scheduled (Friday) and will run from 10:30 am to approximately 2:30 pm. The second field trip will likely be on a Saturday in March.  

Note:  Students are required to pay $15 in cash to the Department as an additional field trip cost. This fee should be submitted to the instructor during class at the beginning of the semester. Students with financial hardship should discuss the matter with the instructor and they will not be excluded from the field trips.  

Your mandatory supplementary course fee covers a part of the cost of attending the Pacific Regional Soil Science Society Workshop field trip in GEOG 417. Students should expect to pay up to $15 in addition to the supplementary course fee to the Department to cover the rest of the fee for the Workshop field trip.  Other field trips in the course are on Burnaby Mountain and possibly in Lynn Canyon Park in North Vancouver.  Be aware that during the outdoor field trips there may be periods of walking in challenging forest terrain, hiking close to cliffs and crossing roads with busy traffic. Appropriate clothing and footwear must be worn. Further details regarding field trips will be discussed prior to the field trips. Students must at all times remain compliant with all student responsibilities, regulations, and policies as outlined in the current Academic Calendar, as well as relevant regulations and policies as outlined in the SFU Policy Gazette. This includes, but is not limited to, expected student conduct and the maintenance of appropriate medical insurance coverage


  • Assignments 34%
  • Term project 26%
  • Final examination 35%
  • Participation 5%


The final examination will be held in the formally-scheduled university examination period.



D. Binkley and R.F. Fisher. 2013. Ecology and management of forest soils. Fourth edition. Wiley, New York.  Readings and supplemental material will be assigned throughout the course to accompany lecture material.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html