Graduate Classes

SSC 532 Soil Microbiology
Spring semester of every year

To understand basic concepts and theories of microbial distribution, abundance, diversity, and activity in soils; to develop comprehensive knowledge on microbially-mediated transformations of agronomically, ecologically, and environmentally important elements; and to be able to explain real-world issues using soil microbial information.

A senior level course in microbiology and soil science or equivalent

two one-hour exams, final exam, four take-home exercises, and one group-project

Primary Topics:

  • Microbial distribution and soil habitat
  • Microbial metabolisms and interactions with biotic and abiotic soil environments
  • Soil carbon and nitrogen cycling
  • Transformations of sulfur, phosphorus, and metals
  • Soil microbes and soil contamination
  • Soil microbes and managed ecosystems
  • Soil microbes and global environment
  • General approaches of studying soil microorganisms
  • Discussion of microbial observation techniques
  • Methodological discussion of microbial biomass and community structure determinations
  • Introduction of isotopic and non-isotopic techniques of studying elemental transformations