Pedology Field School

  • 39 hour course, no prerequisites

This field-study based course focus­es on field diag­nos­tics of soil prop­er­ties and process­es; soil descrip­tions, clas­si­fi­ca­tion, and map­ping; soil sur­vey pro­ce­dures; descrip­tion of soil pits and land­scapes; and hands-on field expe­ri­ence with appli­ca­tion to indus­try stan­dards. Manda­to­ry field­work is required to col­lect sam­ples and data for fur­ther review in class. Pri­or knowl­edge of soil for­ma­tion and clas­si­fi­ca­tion is expected.

Course at a glance
What you will learn

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Describe and classify landscapes, including landform, slope, drainage class, and surficial geology.
  • Identify hazards associated with ground disturbance and describe mitigations according to the industry standards, including Alberta One-Call procedures.
  • Select locations for soil inspection sites and prepare soil pits.
  • Describe soil profiles, including all parameters required by the Canadian System of Soil Classification.
  • Classify soils to the Soil Series level according to the Canadian System of Soil Classification.
  • Classify anthroposolic soils and anthropogenic parent materials.
  • Understand and apply soil survey procedures, including imagery interpretation, creating map legend, and detailed soil mapping.
Take note:

  • Prior to the first day of class, students must review a series of videos and complete a pre-course assignment provided on eClass. Pre-course materials are available on eClass one week prior to the course start date; advanced registration is advised.
  • Post-course work is required and facilitated through eClass. Assessment also includes an in-class final exam and activities to be completed outside of class times.
  • Mandatory fieldwork: students are required to bring their own Personal Protective Equipment. Long pants and good grip boots with good ankle support are essential; rubber boots are useful but not necessary. Wear weather-appropriate clothing, sun block, work gloves, and high-visibility clothing (safety vest, reflective stripes, or blaze orange/yellow outer layer). Students are responsible for their transportation to the fieldwork sites; carpooling options may be available.
  • Print presentation handouts in advance or bring a tablet to access presentations in the field.
This course has no prerequisites

Students from all educational backgrounds welcome. You can register for this course without applying and enrolling in a program.

Currently counts towards

* If you are already enroled in this program, please refer to your specific program requirements as outlined at the time of your admission: Bear Tracks > Academic Advisement.

You can register for and take a course without applying and enrolling into the program.

We recommend that you apply to the program as soon as possible to lock in your course requirements as they are subject to change.

Looking for different course dates?

New course schedules are released each June and November.

Course Not Offered This Term

This course is not currently scheduled, but may be offered in an upcoming term.

New course schedules are announced each June and November.


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Interested in future offerings of this course? We can let you know when this course becomes available.