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Introduction to Field Soil Classification and Assessment XENV 1520

Field Skills for Environmental Professionals Course

International Fees

International fees are typically three times the amount of domestic fees. Exact cost will be calculated upon completion of registration.

Course details

This field-based course introduces the basics in soil classification and field descriptions and assessments using the Canadian System of Soil Classification (CSSC) and other common techniques used in natural resource management, including forestry, arboriculture, natural areas management and ecological restoration. Students will gain hands-on experience digging soil pits, interpreting soil horizons, hand texturing, differentiating soil humous forms and analyzing the implications of their findings for various resource management applications. This 12-hour course includes 10 hours of field training with hands-on exercises at two different field sites in the Lower Mainland. The course begins with 2 hours of introduction online prior to the field days. Students are required to arrange their own transportation to the field sites. This course is applicable for anyone working or studying in natural sciences, ecological restoration, forestry, resource management, arboriculture, planners, stewardship outreach and education.


  • No prerequisites are required for this course.



Not offered this term
This course is not offered this term. Please check back next term or subscribe to receive notifications of future course offerings and other opportunities to learn more about this course and related programs.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Carry out field description of soils for various applications and in a variety of ecosystems using standard practices.
  • Describe dominant factors and processes involved in soil formation and development of soil horizons.
  • Describe and identify dominant soil parent materials
  • Demonstrate soil sampling, handling methods and basic soil analyses, including hand texturing soil color assessment using Munsell Soil Color Charts.
  • Identify 3 dominant soil humus forms in the field.
  • Describe the basic structure of the Canadian System of Soil Classification (CSSC).

Effective as of Spring/Summer 2022

Related Programs

Introduction to Field Soil Classification and Assessment (XENV 1520) is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Construction and the Environment

  1. Essential Field Skills for Environmental Professionals
    Microcredential Part-time


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