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Soil Sampling, Analyses and Data Interpretation
APBI 403
Section: 001
Instructor: Maja Krzic
Sandra Brown
Sue Grayston

Office Hours:
Class Schedule: lectures Fri 1-2

labs Tues 1-4

Classroom: MacMillan 154
Important Course Pages
Lecture Notes
Course Discussion

Course Description

Application of fundamental field and laboratory measurement procedures and techniques in soil science.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of APBI 403, students will be able to:

  • Develop a proper field sampling plan and calculate basic statistics that describe the variability and accuracy of the measurements.
  • Measure fundamental soil physical properties and states.
  • Measure fundamental soil chemical properties.
  • Measure fundamental soil biological properties.
  • Interpret, and summarize laboratory and field measurement data for selected soils in a final written report.

Course Format

The course learning outcomes will be met through various lab exercises and field visits. A study site will be chosen and sampled during the course, with the samples prepared and stored for later analysis. Each week, laboratory measurements will be made (or initiated) or additional field measurements will be done. The students will work either individually or in pairs, depending on the exercise. Each student will prepare lab reports for each laboratory session. Class meetings each week will consist of a 1-hour lecture and 2(to 3)-hour lab session.

NOTE: There will be no textbook for the course and background readings will be drawn from a variety of sources.

Course Marks

Activity Grade
Laboratory Reports 60%
Final Summary Reports for soil chemistry, biology, and physics sections† 40%
TOTAL: 100%

Three final interpretative summary reports will be prepared by individual students and will be assessed on the basis on content and quality of writing. Final reports should characterize the soil on a broad scale and in context of particular designated applications.


See Course:APBI403/Schedule

General References on Soil Lab Methods

  1. Brady, N.C. and R.R. Weil. 2002. The nature and properties of soils. 13th edition. Pearson Education Inc. (General reference on soil science)
  2. Carter, M.R. 1993. Soil sampling and methods of analysis. Canadian Society of Soil Science, Lewis Publ., Boca Raton, FL.
  3. Dane, J.H. and G.C. Topp. 2002. Methods of soil analysis. Part 4 - Physical methods. Soil Science Society of America, Book Series No. 5. SSSA. Madison. WI.
  4. Krzic M., T. Naugler, S. Dyanatkar, and C. Crowley. 2010. Virtual Soil Lab Modules. The University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
  5. McKeague, J.A. 1978. Manual of soil sampling and methods of analysis. 2nd edition. Canadian Society of Soil Science.
  6. Page, A.L. 1982. Methods of soil analysis: chemical and microbiological properties. Part 2, 2nd edition. ASA-SSSA, Madison, WI.
  7. Sparks, D.L. 1996. Methods of soil analysis. Part 3 - Chemical methods. Soil Science Society of America. Book Series No. 5. ASA-SSSA, Madison, WI.
  8. SoilWeb. 2014. On-line teaching tool for the APBI 200 course developed by Maja Krzic. (Quick overview of basic concepts of soil science)
  9. Westerman, R.L. 1990. Soil testing and plant analysis. 3rd edition. ASA-SSSA, Madison, WI.

Note on Academic Honesty

Academic honesty is a core value of scholarship. Cheating and plagiarism (including both presenting the work of others as your own and self-plagiarism), are serious academic offenses that are taken very seriously at the University of British Columbia. By registering for courses at the University of British Columbia, students have initiated a contract with the university that they will abide by the rules of the institution. It is the student's responsibility to inform themselves of the University regulations. Definitions of Academic Misconduct can be found on the following website:,54,111,959#10894

If you are unsure of whether you're properly citing references, please ask your instructor for clarification before the assignment is submitted. Improper citation will result in academic discipline.