Course ID: AGRO 2244, Introductory Soil Science. 

FALL 2008


Prerequisites: CHEM 1103, General Chemistry 1, 3 hrs credit lecture and CHEM 1121 General Chemistry 1 Laboratory; and  CHEM 1113 General Chemistry 2, 3 credits, 3 hours lecture and CHEM 1131 General Chemistry Laboratory 2, 1 credit, 3 hours laboratory. 


Text(s) and supplemental books and materials:

The Nature and Properties of Soils, 14th Ed. by Brady and Weil, Prentice Hall,

Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA.


Laboratory Experiences for AGRO 2244, Soils.  Rev. 2008 by Francis, UAM pub.


Professor’s name: Paul B. Francis, 460-1314,


Office hours: MWF 11-12, 4-5; TTh 10-12, 3-5 or by appointment.


Special policies statement:

1. Any student caught in an intentional, premeditated and blatant act of cheating on

    any exam will be given the option of withdrawing from the course or receiving an

   ‘F’.  This rule will be strictly enforced!

2. Attendance at all class functions is highly encouraged but not required. 

    Attendance records will be kept on file for the occasional request from student

    loan representatives and potential employers.  Please notify the instructor if you

    will miss a class meeting so that it can be recorded as an excused absence.

3. Test make ups can be procured for legitimate reasons such as illness, death in the

    family, official school functions, job interviews, or accidents.  Please notify the

    instructor within one week to arrange a time.  NOTE:  The make up test will

    equivalent in content, not exact, in content than the original.  ILLEGITAMATE

    excuses are sporting trips, tests in other courses, ‘stress’, or any other similar

    reason.  Remember, it is your responsibility to take exams on scheduled dates and

    do well on them.  The make up test may be harder than the original!


Special dates of concern:

Oct. 3, last day to apply for May graduation (Seniors, take note!).

Nov. 5, last day to drop with a ‘W’.


Goals and objectives:

1. Understand the factors of soil formation and the role of each in unique soil

    morphological, chemical and biological properties.

2. Know the definitions, influencing factors and measurement of basic soil physical

    properties associated with texture, color, water, water movement, density,

    aggregation, tilth, profile development, taxonomy, aeration and temperatures and

    their effects on plant and soil management for sustained production and

    environmental integrity.

3. Know the definitions, influencing factors and measurement of basic soil chemical

    and biochemical properties associated with pH, colloids, mineralology, micro- and

    macro-flora, organic matter and nutrients and their effects on plant and soil

    management for sustained production and environmental integrity.

4. Understand the role of soil management  with regard to best management

    practices, sustainability, remediation, and environmentally sound production

    of food, fuel, fiber and wildlife production.

5. Gain a greater appreciation for the role of soils in agriculture, society and human

    and wildlife sustainability and health.


NOTE: The course objectives and teaching content are based on the American Society of Agronomy Council of Soil Science Examiners Fundamental Soil Science Performance Objectives.  A complete listing of these learning objectives can be found at 


Content Outline:

Part I.  Introduction to soils and soil physical properties.

Part II. Soil chemistry including clay mineralology.

Part III. Soil fertility and plant nutrition.

Part IV. Soil taxonomy and management.


Tentative Itinerary:                                       estimated

Sub-Area                                Chapters        no. lectures     associated labs

1. Introduction to soils.               1                        1                     1

2. Soil physics.                        4,5,6,7                     5                   2,3

*** TEST I. ***  Early season tornado.


3. Soil chemistry.                   8,9,10                     5                   4,5,6,7,8

***TEST II. ***   Mid-term hurricane!


4. Soil fertility and plant       13,14,15,16            4                   7,8,9,10


5. Soil microbiology.                11,12                    2                          11

*** TEST III. ***  Late season earth quake!


6. Soil taxonomy.                      2,3                       2                       12,16

7. Soil management.                17,18,19,20          4                       12,13,14

*** FINAL EXAM: ***   TBA  End of season tsunami!



Special Projects, Assignments, Field Trips:

Each student should obtain about one quart of a properly collected soil sample from a field, pasture, garden, or home lawn by the second laboratory meeting. 




Provisions for tests and evaluations:

If you miss an exam for a legitimate reason, please inform the instructor within 5 days prior or after so that a makeup exam can be scheduled.  In some situations, the missed points or make up exam may be added to the final exam.  Examples of legitimate and illegitimate reasons are listed in course policy statement no. 3.


Grading policy:           Three 100 pt lecture exams:             300 pts

                                    One final exam:                                 100 pts

                                    Laboratory exams, reports:             150 pts

                                                            Total pts.:                   550 pts


Letter grade assignments:    A: 495 +          B: 440-494      C: 385-439      D: 330-384


NOTE:  There will be approximately 30 extra credit points given in the form of take-home problems or in-class projects.  Sorry, you must be present to win if it is an in-class project.  Laboratory points are added to course sum. 



“It is the policy of the University of Arkansas at Monticello to accommodate individuals with disabilities pursuant to federal law and the University’s commitment to equal educational opportunities.  It is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor of any necessary accommodations at the beginning of the course.  Any student requiring accommodations should contact the Office of Special Student Services located in Harris Hall Room 120; phone 870 460-1026; TDD 870 460-1626; Fax 870 460-1926.”  


“UAM will no longer mail grade reports to all students.  You may access your grades through Campus Connect on the UAM Homepage,  To have your grades mailed to you, complete the grade request form available in the Registrar’s Office in Monticello, or the Student Services Office in Crossett or McGehee.”


“The following action is prohibited under the Student Conduct Code: Disorderly Conduct: Any behavior which disrupts the regular or normal functions of the University community, including behavior which breaches the peace or violates the rights of others.”  NOTE.  The above is a campus-wide policy required in all classes at UAM.  A higher level of student behavior and professionalism will be required in AGRO 2244 laboratory experiences due to the presence of toxic and caustic compounds!