This Course and Program Catalogue is effective from May 2023 to April 2024.

Not all courses described in the Course and Program Catalogue are offered each year. For a list of course offerings in 2023-2024, please consult the class search website.

The following conventions are used for course numbering:

  • 010-099 represent non-degree level courses
  • 100-699 represent undergraduate degree level courses
  • 700-999 represent graduate degree level courses

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35 Results

SLSC 14.6: Soils for Horticulture

Introduces the fundamental principles of soil science with specific reference to the study of Horticulture. The components of soil, their physical and chemical properties, and soil-water relationships will be the theoretical basis on which soil management and fertility will be considered. Synthetic and natural fertilizers and amendments, to improve soil physical properties, will be discussed. Potting media for greenhouse production will be introduced; however, the course emphasis is on natural soils.

Note: It is recommended that students collect a sample of soil (the volume of an ice cream pail) from their garden or area for completion of course assignments. If soil cannot be collected, you may be able to purchase soil from a landscaping or greenhouse business.


SLSC 205.1: Introduction to Field Description of Soils

An accurate field description of soils and the sites they occur in is essential source of data for scientifically based decision-making in environmental and agricultural management. Students in this course will learn how different properties form in the field and how these properties can be used to assess and correctly assign horizon labels according to the Canadian System of Soil Classification. The focus throughout is on the soil properties themselves and not the classification or genesis of soils.

Prerequisite(s): AGRC 111.3 or GEOG 120.3 or ASKI 101.3
Note: Students with credit for RRM 215.3 will not receive credit for SLSC 205.1. Students in the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy Diploma in Aboriginal Resource Management program are strongly advised to take SLSC 205.1 before SLSC 232.3.


SLSC 232.3: Soil Genesis and Classification

Deals with soil systems and their environments from the perspective of soil development and soil classification. Attention is given to the biotic, geological and physical factors that influence soil formation, and the response of soils to altered environments. The primary emphasis is on Canadian soils and classification, with significant attention to global soils.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s): One of ENVE 212, EVSC 220, SLSC 240, ASKI 101, or RRM 215.
Note: Only available in web format.


SLSC 240.3: Agricultural Soil Science

Students are introduced to the major physical, chemical and biological properties of soil and the influence of those properties on soil productivity. The relationship of soil to its environment will be investigated as it relates to soil genesis, soil classification and cropping systems. The principles of soil fertility and fertilizer management will be explored with emphasis on cropping systems of Western Canada.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 2 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): AGRC 111
Note: Students with credit for SLSC 41 or EVSC 220 will not receive credit for this course.


SLSC 298.3: Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.


SLSC 312.3: Soil Fertility and Fertilizers

The forms, flows, and transformations of plant nutrients in soils are examined, with emphasis on Western Canadian agricultural systems. The fate of applied nutrients as commercial fertilizers and manure is stressed, especially as to how agronomic practices affect the utilization of soil and fertilizer nutrients by plants. Techniques for soil fertility evaluation and the development of suitable fertilizer recommendations and nutrient management plans are covered. There are additional non-refundable costs in addition to tuition fees.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 2 Practicum/Lab hours
Note: There are additional non-refundable costs in addition to tuition fees.
Prerequisite(s): EVSC 220 or SLSC 240.
Note: Students with credit for SLSC 52 will not receive credit for this course.


SLSC 313.3: Environmental Soil Chemistry

The lectures and reading assignments cover the structural and chemical properties of major soil components and the principles of soil solution and surface chemistry. An emphasis is placed on environmentally relevant chemical reactions.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Prerequisite(s): CHEM 112 and one of CHEM 115 or CHEM 250; and EVSC 220 or SLSC 240.


SLSC 322.3: Environmental Soil Physics

Combines theoretical and experimental elements aimed at providing understanding of the fundamental soil physical properties and processes, as well as the ability to solve practical problems related to agricultural and environmental problems. Topics include a discussion of the solid, liquid, and gaseous phases of the soil and the interactions between the phases, the movement of water, chemicals, air, and heat in soils, and the effects of these on plant growth and the environment. The laboratory involves the measurement of selected properties and their interpretation.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): EVSC 220 or SLSC 240.


SLSC 342.3: Agronomic Soil Microbiology

An introduction to the principles of soil microbiology in agroecosystems. The bacteria, archaea and fungi that live in soil have many critical roles in agroecosystems. They affect crop growth through their roles in nutrient cycling and acquisition, by regulating soil physical and chemical characteristics and by protecting plants from pathogens. They are responsible for the nutrient transformations that can lead to nutrient losses as runoff, leaching or gaseous emissions. Impacts of on-farm management practices that affect the abundance and activity of microbes in the soil will be discussed. Approaches for optimizing soil health and crop productivity will be explored.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Prerequisite(s): SLS240.3 or EVSC 220.3 or FABS 212.3 or BMSC 210.3.


SLSC 350.3: Terrestrial Restoration

This course will provide students with a foundation in ecological theories relating to the restoration and remediation of terrestrial systems. Application and on-going development of restoration and remediation technologies in a range of impacted landscapes, including mine sites, rights-of-way, forests, grasslands and wetlands are examined.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Prerequisite(s): SLSC 232 or RRM 215 and BIOL 228 or PLSC 213
Note: Students with credit for SLSC 398 “Terrestrial Restoration” may not take this course for credit.


SLSC 398.3: Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.


SLSC 444.3: Soil Ecology

The course describes the role of soil organisms (bacteria, protists, fungi, nematodes, mites, other invertebrates) in the decomposition of organic matter for plant nutrition, and their response to field management. The above ground management effects on below-ground soil ecology are key to sustainable management. Community structure and ecological functional role of the biology affect ecosystem function and respond to environmental changes.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Prerequisite(s): Successful completion of 60 credit units of university courses, including FABS 212.3, BMSC 210.3, or SLSC 342.3.
Note:Must be enrolled at the undergraduate level. Students with credit for SLSC 344 will not receive credit for course.


SLSC 460.3: Forest Soils

Forest soils and forestry practices are discussed, with emphasis on boreal soils. Attention will be given to forest soil development, forest land capability and the effects of management practices (harvesting, fertilization, and site preparation) on soil properties. Interrelationships among natural occurrences (fire), nutrient and carbon cycling and environmental concerns will be examined. A required three-day field trip takes place early in the term. There are additional non-refundable costs in addition to tuition fees.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Note: There are additional non-refundable costs in addition to tuition fees.
Prerequisite(s): SLSC 232 or permission of the instructor.


SLSC 480.3: Soils and Boreal Landscapes

A four day field course to study boreal soils and landscapes. Focus will be on the examination, description and classification of northern soils within various landscapes. This course also provides an introduction to ecological classification and forest measurements, as well as an artistic interpretation of landscapes. There are additional non-refundable costs in addition to tuition fees.

Note: There are additional non-refundable costs in addition to tuition fees.
Prerequisite(s): SLSC 232 or permission of the instructor


SLSC 492.3: Research and Term Paper

A technical writing and communications course in which the student investigates a problem relevant to Soil Science. The focus will be on literature research using electronic and library resources, but original data may be included. A term paper will be written under the guidance of a faculty advisor and results presented in a seminar or as a poster. Communication skills will be addressed in a series of lectures early in the course.

Prerequisite(s): Successful completion of 75 credit units of university level courses.


SLSC 494.6: Research and Thesis

Students will investigate a problem in Soil Science using modern laboratory or field methods. An extensive literature review will be prepared utilizing electronic and library resources and a research question will be taken from the literature. The student will then develop a hypothesis, design experiments to test the hypotheses, and analyze and interpret their experimental results. Finally, a comprehensive thesis will be written and findings will be presented in a formal seminar or as a poster. Communication skills will be addressed in a series of lectures at the beginning of the course.

Prerequisite(s): Successful completion of 75 credit units towards the B.S.A. Soil Science degree.


SLSC 498.3: Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.


SLSC 802.N/A: Experimental Topics in Soil Science

Allows tutorial, reading and research in a specific area of Soil Science other than the thesis project. The student working under faculty guidance may perform specific experiments and write their data in the format of a published paper. Enrolment permitted with the approval of the Chair and the instructor concerned.


SLSC 805.1: Telling Soil Science Stories

Scientists are professional writers. The stories we tell are based on hypotheses, facts and conjectures, but are stories nonetheless. The structure and style can differ depending on the purpose of the story, be it a proposal, a manuscript or a review paper, but they all involve weaving together evidence to present a coherent narrative. The purpose of this course is to introduce aspects of structure and style that contribute to effective story-telling and to practice scientific writing.

Prerequisite(s): Completion of at least one year of a graduate program in soil science.


SLSC 813.3: Soil Chemistry

A general graduate course that discusses chemical reactions in the soil solution and at the soil/water interface. Fundamentals of surface charge, solution speciation, absorption, precipitation, and redox chemistry are covered. Case studies and current research projects are used to reinforce fundamental concepts and show their relevance to environmental issues.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Prerequisite(s): One of the following: an undergraduate degree in chemistry, an undergraduate course in soil chemistry, an undergraduate course in aqueous geochemistry, or permission of the instructor.


SLSC 816.3: Soil Organic Matters

An advanced study of soil organic matter and the factors influencing organic matter development and stabilization. Current research topics, including the impact of a changing environment on soil organic matter (both organic carbon and nitrogen) and the role of soil organic matter in soil quality development, will be emphasized.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours


SLSC 819.3: Remediation and Reclamation of Contaminated Sites

This course explains how one characterizes a contaminated terrestrial site, the risks associated with that site and identify remediation technologies that will mitigate the risks associated with the contaminated site. It will discuss how contamination interacts with industrial processes to created degraded landscapes and natural processes that help ameliorate this degradation of the ecosystem. Discussion of remediation will focus on the use of in situ and ex situ technologies for contaminated soil ecosystems and how these technologies reduce risk to not only soil, but also human and aquatic receptors.

Note: Students cannot obtain credit for EVSC 421.3 and SLSC 821.3.


SLSC 820.1: Agricultural Soil Management Practices in Saskatchewan

Current and emerging soil management practices in the prairies are covered, including crop rotation, fertilization, tillage and pest control strategies. Scientific principles and research approaches required for the development of beneficial management practices are examined and discussed, using relevant examples from Saskatchewan agriculture.

B>Prerequisite(s): Enrolment in a graduate program.
Note: Costs in addition to tuition apply to this course and are non-refundable.


SLSC 824.1: Tree Ring Systems Sampling and Measurement

This course will look into the field of dendrochronology at an introductory level. It examines the realms of collecting increment cores in the field, to processing the same cores in the laboratory to better understand the environmental history of the tree as it grew in the forest.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours


SLSC 825.3: Field Studies and Research Design of Saskatchewan Soil Landscapes

Provides students with in-depth training in practical aspects of soil formation, classification, landform recognition, soil management impacts on profile development and research design in soil science. Upon completion, students will have a practical understanding of Saskatchewan soils as they occur in the field and relevant field research design in soil science.

Note: Credit cannot be given for this course and SLSC 850.1 Experimental Design in Soil Science or SLSC 833.2 Field Studies of Saskatchewan Soils. Costs in addition to tuition apply to this course.


SLSC 826.3: Physical Chemical and Biological Characterization of Soils

This course is intended to provide students with training in laboratory analysis of selected physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils, with emphasis on those analyses used in basic site characterization and soil health assessments. Topics to be covered include sample handling and preparation, good laboratory practices, appropriate QA/QC for the methods used, and interpretation of the data resulting from the various analyses. Laboratory techniques will be covered through a series of modules. The samples to be analyzed include soils collected in SLSC 825.3 – Field Studies and Research Design of Saskatchewan Soil Landscapes. The course will culminate in a final report that synthesizes all of the results and interprets them in the context of the physical environment from which they were collected.

Prerequisite(s): Students must complete SLSC 825.3 – Field Studies and Research Design of Saskatchewan Soil Landscapes prior to registering in SLSC 826.3.
Note: Students with credit for 835.2 cannot receive credit for SLSC 826.3.


SLSC 842.3: Soil Microbiology

Lectures and reading on recent advances in soil microbiology. Discussions of transformations of plant nutrients and soil humic compounds by microorganisms in soil, microbial growth, and plant-microbe interactions.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours


SLSC 845.1: Soil Ecology

The interactions of soil organisms (bacteria, protists, fungi, nematodes, mites, other invertebrates) are responsible for decomposition of organic matter for plant nutrition. The course explores these food web interactions and their response to above-ground land-use. Changes to soil community structure affect ecosystem function and how ecosystems respond to environmental changes.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Permission of instructor is required.


SLSC 850.1: Experimental Design in Soil Sciences

This course is designed to give students training in practical aspects of research design and statistical analysis commonly used in soil science. Upon completion, students will be able to evaluate various research and sampling designs, and justify their choice of sampling designs and statistical approaches to address specific research topics.

Permission of the instructor or department is required.


SLSC 852.1: Multivariate Statistics in Soil Science

This course provides training in multivariate approaches used in microbial and soil science experiments. Topics include metric and non-metric ordination analysis, techniques used to assess environmental gradients or treatment effects, and non-ordination approaches. Upon completion, students will be able to perform and interpret a range of multivariate analyses using R.

B>Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s):SLSC 850.1 or permission of the instructor


SLSC 898.3: Special Topics

Provides for a program of reading and discussion under faculty guidance. Students will prepare a series of essays in an area of concentration different from that of their thesis. Enrolment permitted with the approval of the Chair of the department and the instructor concerned.

Weekly hours: 3 Seminar/Discussion hours


SLSC 899.6: Special Topics

Offered occasionally in special situations. Students interested in these courses should contact the department for more information.


SLSC 990.0: Seminar

Soil Science graduate students must register and attend annually for the duration of their program. Postgraduate Diplomas and M.Agr. students are required to present one seminar on their SLSC 992 project. M.Sc. and Ph.D. students are required to present two and three seminars, respectively, during their program, with the student's final seminar given directly prior to their thesis defense.


SLSC 994.0: Research – Thesis

Students writing a M.Sc. thesis must register for this course.


SLSC 996.0: Research – Dissertation

Students writing a Ph.D. thesis must register for this course.