APBI 200 (3 cr): Introduction to Soil Science

APBI 200

Course Description

Physical, chemical and biological properties of soils; soil formation, classification, use and conservation.

Intended Students

  • Mature, part-time students from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds who are seeking professional qualification (PAG or RPF status), or pursuing professional development.  Lifelong learners who are interested and concerned about our soil resource and related environmental issues.
  • Students desiring credit for UBC APBI 200 (formerly SOIL 200) with a view to entering a program leading to a B.Sc. (Agr.) or B.S.F. or B.Sc. (Forestry);
  • Students requiring UBC APBI 200 (fomerly SOIL 200) as a component of the requirements for professional registration in the Association of B.C. Professional Foresters;
  • Students with an interest in agriculture, land use and forestry who are seeking to deepen their knowledge of soil as a resource.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you will have an understanding of: soil as a product of physical, chemical and biological processes acting over time on various rock and organic parent materials, the wide variety of soils resulting from soil-forming processes, the major criteria used for classifying these soils into the Canadian System of Soil Classification and the importance of appropriate management and land use practices to ensure conservation of this vital resource for forestry and agriculture.

Course Content

The course content is divided into the following eight topics:

  1. The Soil in Perspective
  2. Soil Physics
  3. Soil Chemistry and Biology
  4. Soil Nutrients, Fertility and Fertilizers
  5. Factors of Soil Formation
  6. Weathering
  7. Soil Classification
  8. Soil Mapping and Soil Quality


The grade for the course work will be broken down into the following percentages:

Assignment 1 15%
Assignment 2 15%
Assignment 3 10%
Lab Assignment 20%
Final Exam 40%
Total: 100%
  • In order to pass the course, students must complete and submit all assignments before writing the final examination;
  • obtain a passing mark (>50%) on the exam;
  • obtain an overall passing mark in the course.


Brady, N.C. & Weil, R.R. (2007) The Nature and Properties of Soils. 14th ed. New York: Macmillan.

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