Achieving and ensuring food and energy security while protecting natural systems and environmental quality in the face of climate change are some of the most important challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. Soils are the great integrator of the environment and society. They provide a foundation for productivity and sustainability in human agroecosystems and natural terrestrial ecosystems and sits firmly at the foundation of life by providing essential ecosystem services: they provide habitats for billions of organisms with immense biodiversity; they sustain our forests, grasslands and agroecosystems providing humanity with feed, fiber, food and fuel; they mediate gas exchange and regulate global temperature and climate; they store and filter our valuable water resources; they regulate and drive essential elemental cycles; they serve as a recycling system that treat solid and liquid waste; and they serve as the foundation for our cities, towns, and transportation grid. Indeed, without soils life would not exist.
At the current time, humanity is faced with a daunting array of pressing global challenges including climate change, food and energy security, land and water resources degradation, and overall decline in biodiversity and ecosystem function. Understanding the mechanisms underlying these challenges and developing viable solutions cannot be addressed effectively without the fundamental links provided by soil processes. There is a growing recognition that soil science, as a discipline, must transcend its narrow focus on production agriculture and assume a trans-disciplinary expansion where it assumes its central role as a vital tool for solving earth system questions. Through collaborative efforts across the broad range of scientific disciplines including the physical and biological sciences, engineering, ecology, human and animal health, and the social sciences.
We offer a broad array of exciting classes that can help fulfill your core and elective credits.