The Publications Warehouse does not have links to digital versions of this publication at this time
Despite historical linkages, the fields of geology and soil science have developed along largely divergent paths in the United States during much of the mid- to late- twentieth century. The shift in recent decades within both disciplines to greater emphasis on environmental quality issues and a systems approach has created new opportunities for collaboration and cross-training. Because of the importance of the soil as a dynamic interface between the hydrosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, and lithosphere, introductory and advanced soil science classes are now being taught in a number of earth and environmental science departments. The National Research Council's recent report, Basic Research Opportunities in Earth Science, highlights the soil zone as part of the land surface-to-groundwater "critical zone" requiring additional investigation. To better prepare geology undergraduates to deal with complex environmental problems, their training should include a fundamental understanding of the nature and properties of soils. Those undergraduate geology students with an interest in this area should be encouraged to view soil science as a viable earth science specialty area for graduate study. Summer internships such as those offered by the National Science Foundation-funded Integrative Graduate Education, Research, and Training (IGERT) programs offer geology undergraduates the opportunity to explore research and career opportunities in soil science.
Additional Publication Details
Soil science and geology: Connects, disconnects and new opportunities in geoscience education