Our graduate program in soil and land resources offers rigorous physical and biological study of soil-related environmental issues. With their countless essential processes, their multitudes of harmful and beneficial microbes per cubic centimeter, and their foundational role in human survival, soils offer a wealth of opportunities for compelling, life-sustaining scientific inquiry. We focus on sustainability and natural resource balance. As a student in our program, you'll become prepared to tackle some of the world’s most controversial issues during your agricultural and environmental science career.
You may specialize in:
- Soil chemistry
- Soil physics
- Soil and water conservation
- Soil development
The program includes courses in:
- Soil and environmental physics
- Soil chemistry
- Soil biochemistry
- Microbial ecology
- Soil morphology
- Soil fertility
Several of our popular classes — such as soil mineralogy, soil genesis, and sustainable agriculture — are cross-listed with Washington State University, whose faculty and facilities will expand your educational resources.
You’ll immerse yourself in the study of soil and land resources through your assigned readings, lectures and labs. You can expect to learn even more through your own thesis and dissertation research. Some of our students conduct primarily lab-based research on topics like heavy metal contamination, selenium toxicity, or biopesticides for soilborne pests. Others head into the field to track water movement through soil, examine the very beginnings of soil development in Idaho’s 6,000-year-old lava flows, or develop nutrient management strategies that boost crop production while minimizing undesirable environmental impacts.
Our excellent 2:1 student-to-faculty ratio gives you unexpected opportunities to interact with faculty as you build scientific skills and expand your experience in the lab and field. An added bonus: we typically support our graduate students’ participation in professional meetings nationwide.
By the time you graduate, you’ll have joined a very small community of U.S. scientists with a rare, specialized training that will make you highly employable in selected professions.