Soil as a natural resource essential for food production, clean water and as a carbon sink.

Faculty: Land and Food Systems
Subject: Applied Biology
Year / Level: 1
Theme(s): Climate Science



Soil comprises the base of the ecosystem pyramid, which sustains terrestrial life on the planet and provides the essential media for the production of food, fibre, and biofuel. The survival of past and future civilizations is linked to sustaining the soil resource, yet global soil resources are under threat from many factors including climate change, pollution, erosion, desertification, urbanization, etc. This course examines the links between soil and the environmental challenges of our times. We discover the Earth’s living skin, where rock meets life and is transformed into soil. We examine the complex interaction between soil and the carbon cycle, processes of soil erosion and conservation strategies, and the interdependence of soil and water resources. Additionally, we discuss questions regarding appropriate land use and plant production that might affect food security and safety.

This course has no pre-requisite and emphasizes active learning and critical thinking. In this class we will gather information from a wide range of media including websites. Students will learn to assess source credibility and accuracy, and develop informed opinions. By focusing on current issues and success stories from around the world this course helps prepare global citizens to engage with policy debate on environmental issues. The more we understand the world we live in, the better equipped we are to change it.


Check SSC to see if the course is currently offered and if you meet pre-requisites etc.



Read a copy of the course syllabus to see reading lists, assignments, grading, and more.



Marie Fortin

Marie Fortin

"I'm passionate about teaching land management, agriculture and food security as components of a system with many interconnections."