About this course
Soils represent one of our most important natural resources and is the foundation for our terrestrial based life on Earth. Yet ironically, it is one of the most neglected of our resources. We eat from it, we build on it, we drive on it, we dig it up ... but, as a society, we play precious little attention to caring for and understanding more about this critically important resource. Soil degradation might be induced by water and wind erosion, salinization, local contamination and diffuse pollution, loss of organic matter, soil fertility decline, soil compaction, acidification, soil sealing, ultimately leading to a loss of soil related ecosystem services, impacting our lives in both rural and urban areas. This course explores the core issues, soil degradation processes, management and decision-making processes that makes explicit our concern for soils real, and the need for action paramount, in ensuring the long-term sustainability of global food supply and other important soil-related ecosystem services.
More course information and instructions on how to register can be found on: https://www.wur.nl/Virtual-Exchange.htm or click on the top-right link on this page.
After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain why soils and sustainable soil management are so important;
- explain how soils form, their functions and basics of soil degradation;
- understand the basic soil water relations, soil fertility and soil biodiversity;
- understand effects of and solutions for: Soil erosion, soil compaction, soil pollution and soil salinization;
- understand the basic socio-economic and policy aspects of sustainable soil management.