Spring 2019 HC 441H: Soils, Environmental Quality and Global Challenges

Spring Term, 2018-2019

Professor: Matthew Polizzotto

4.00 credits

  • CRN 32541: Monday & Wednesday, 14:00 - 15:50 @ CHA 301

As the world population grows toward 10 billion people by 2050, we will be pressed to increase food security, respond to the consequences of a changing climate, and improve human health – all while protecting the environment and maintaining natural resources. Soils play a critical role in many of these challenges, particularly in regulating environmental quality. The primary goal of this course is to teach you how soils mediate environmental impacts through a host of chemical, physical, and biological processes. We will examine a series of global challenges, assess their main related environmental issues and policies, and analyze the roles of soils in each issue. Examples of the Global Challenges covered in the course include food security, drinking water and sanitation access, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. Key themes throughout the course will include the range of spatial scales over which processes occur, data sources and limitations for understanding soil processes and global challenges, the interconnections between (and among) various environmental issues and societal needs, and the roles of science in policy analyses.