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Adult Opportunities

ACCA Soil Science

Get to know the world underground and learn about the underlying properties of soil crucial for assessing soil function.

Content Detail

Soil is one of the earth’s most important resources. It mediates plant productivity, the composition of plant communities, and ecosystem functions. Soils evolve from inert rock to biologically active material over millennia and play a vital role in our food security. We can use soil and its underlying geology to understand how glaciers shaped our region and, in part, how that history has provided the Midwest with some of the most productive agricultural soils in the world.  

Learn how the relationships among the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil are crucial for assessing soil functions and predicting soil responses to global environmental changes in natural, urban, and agricultural systems. 

This course will include both online and in-person components. The interactions between organisms, environments, and soil will be discussed during in-person lectures and laboratory sessions will be discussed online via Zoom web conferencing and in person in the field and lab. Course materials and assignments will be made available through the Arboretum’s Tree Learning site. 

Health and Safety: Program participants must abide by the Arboretum’s health and safety guidelines. Guidelines are subject to change, so please check back frequently. 

Prerequisites: General Biology AND General Chemistry are recommended OR permission of the instructor.

Credit: 4 semester hours (or equivalent), upper-division undergraduate


Registration: Please contact the Registrar’s Office at The Morton Arboretum (Registrar-ed@mortonarb.org or 630-719-2468, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday) and your academic advisor at the school from which you wish to receive credit.

Note: Students are expected to provide their own transportation and are responsible for their own expenses on field trips


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