Degree Type: 

Master of Philosophy

Department: 

Department of Soil Science

Programme Duration: 

2 years (Standard Entry)

Modes of Study: 

Regular

About Programme: 

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Entry Requirements: 

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Goal / Objectives: 

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Career Opportunities: 

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Programme Structure

Level 800

First Semester

ASS 810: Soil and Land Use Evaluation   
3 Credit(s)

Content: The course exposes students to definition of land evaluation terminologies, types of land evaluation and review of soil properties of importance to agriculture. The course introduces students to soil survey for agricultural and non-agricultural uses, soil maps and land improvement, methodology of land evaluation for agriculture, the role of land evaluation in development planning, evaluation at the local, regional and national scales, soil suitability classification, land capability classification and land productivity rating.

Objective: 
At the end of the course, students will be able to:
1.    Understand the concepts and procedures of land evaluation
2.    Employ data to substantiate suitability of soil and land for specific purposes.

 Reading materials
1.    Dent, D. and Young, A. 1981. Soil Survey and Land Evaluation. Allen and Unwin, London.
2.    FAO. 1988. FAO-UNESCO Soil Map of the World. Revised Legend. World Soil Resources Report 60. FAO, Rome.
3.    Webster, R. and Oliver, M.A. 1990. Statistical Methods in Soil and Land Resource Survey. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford, UK
4.    Young, A. 1976. Tropical Soil Survey. Cambridge Univ. Press

ASS 817:  Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition     
3 Credit(s)

Content: The course exposes students to concepts of soil fertility, mechanisms of plant nutrient absorption, nutrient uptake models, soil fertility evaluation, fertilizer technology and use, and fertilizer interactions in soils. It also provides the students with the fundamental concepts in soil fertility evaluation, diagnostic techniques, measurement of specific soil fertility parameters.

Objective:
To introduce the students to the fundamental concepts of soil fertility and the fertilizer interactions in soils

Reading material
1.    Meuser, H. 2012. Soil Remediation and Rehabilitation. Treatment of Contaminated and Disturbed Land Series: Environmental Pollution, Vol.23. Springer. ISBN: 978-94-007-5750
2.    White, R.E. 2006. Principles and Practices of Soil Science. Blackwell Science Ltd. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, UK
3.    Replenishing Soil Fertility in Africa. SSSA Special publication No. 51. Roland Buresh et al. (Eds). 1997.
4.    Gugino, B. K., et al. Soil Health Training Manual. Ithaca: Cornell University, 2007.
Magdoff, F., and H. M. van Es. Building Soils for Better Crops. Beltsville, Md.: Sustainable 

ASS 820: Soil Management 
3 Credit(s)

Content:  The course introduces students to the need to maintain the fertility and structure of the soil for high crop yield, It also exposes the students to methods of managing and conserving the soil for sustained crop production through ways of reducing soil erosion to control the loss of nutrients, methods of decreasing rates of sedimentation of water bodies, tillage and its effect on soil properties, tillage and soil structure management, traditional and modern tillage practices, physical aspects and machine-soil interaction, management of problem soils and management of soils under different cropping systems.

Objective: To expose students to sustained level of production from the land whilst maintaining soil loss below threshold level which permits the natural rate of soil formation to keep pace with the rate of soil erosion.

Reading materials

  1. Morgan, R.P.C. (ed.) 1995. Soil Erosion and Conservation 2nd Edn. John Wiley & Sons, England.
  2. Plaster, E.J. 2009. Soil Science and Management. 5th Edn. Clifton Park, NY
  3. Schwab, G.O. Frevert, R.K., Edminster, T.W. and Barnes, K.K. 1981. Soil and Water Conservation Engineering. 3rd Edn. John Wiley & Sons Inc. New York

ASS 822: Soil Microbiology
3 Credit(s)

Content: The course provides the students with soil microbes, their role in soil-plant environment and mineral transformation. The course also exposes the students to the effects of soil microflora on soil fertility and plant nutrition, role of microbes in soil formation and nitrogen fixation, and mineralization-immobilization turnover.

Objective: To introduce students to soil microbes and their role in soil-plant environment

Reading materials

  1. Alexander, M. 1976. Introduction to Soil Microbiology. 2nd Edn. John Wiley & Sons
  2. Domsch, K.H and Gams, W. 1973. Fungi in Agricultural Soils. Academic press, New York.
  3. Killham, K. 1994. Soil Ecology. Cambridge Univ. Press.
  4. Paul, E. A. (2014). Soil microbiology, Ecology and Biochemistry. Academic press.

 

ASS 823: Biometeorology   
3 Credit(s)

Content: The course introduces students to radiation, heat transfer in soils, view factors, turbulent transfers and wind relations, hydrologic cycle, energy balance and atmospheric diffusion. The course will focus on the micrometeorological and physiological processes controlling the exchange of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (CH4, N2O), water vapor, and energy between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. The course will also expose students to the impacts of human activities, such as land use change and land management, on energy, water, carbon, and nitrogen exchange between the land and atmosphere.

Objective:To equip students with the relationship between atmospheric conditions, such as temperature and humidity, and living organisms

Reading materials

  1. Brewer, R. 1988. The Science of Ecology. Sanders, New York.
  2. Enger, E.D. and Smith, B.F. 1991. Environmental Science: A Study of Interrelationships. 4th Edn. W.C. Brown Publishers
  3. Hillel, D. 1980. Applications of Soil Physics. Academic Press Inc. New York.
  4. Napier, T.L. et al., 1983. Water Resources Research: Problems and Potentials for Agriculture and Rural Communities

ASSASS 809: Statistical Methods and Experimental Design   
3 Credit(s)

Content: The course is designed to cover elements of experimentation, principles of experimental designs, sample experimental design, some problems in experimentation and possible remedies, one sample and two-sample hypothesis, linear and non-linear models, complex relationships, analysis of covariance, probability and distribution estimation and hypothesis testing and practicals multivariate analysis.

Objectives:

  1. To expose the students to statistical concepts and methods.
  2. To equip students to be able to use appropriate computer programmes to design experiments and analyse data.

Reading materials

  1. Lindeman, H.R. 1974. Analysis of variance in Complex Experimental Designs. W.H. Freeman, San Francisco.
  2. Mead, R., Curnow, N and Hasted, A. M. 1994. Statistical Methods in Agriculture and Experimental Biology, 2nd Edn. Chapman and Hall.
  3. Snedecor and Cochran, W.G. 1989. Statistical Methods. 8th Edn. Iowa State Univ. Press. Iowa, USA.
  4. Steel, R.G.D and Torrie, J.H. 1980. Principles and Procedures of Statistics. A Biometrical Approach. 2nd Edn. McGraw Hill International Edns.
  5. Webster, R. and Oliver, M.A. 1990. Statistical Methods in Soil and Land Resource Survey. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford, UK

 

Second Semester

ASS 813: Soil, Plant and Water Analysis      
3 Credit(s)

Content:  The course introduces students to soil/plant sampling procedure, sample preparation, soil concentration units and their conversions. It also exposes students to laboratory instruments for soil, water and plant analysis, their accuracy and sources of error. The course equips students with laboratory analysis of:
1.    Soil physical properties – Soil moisture content, field capacity and available water, wilting points, particle size distribution, bulk and particle densities, and aggregate stability.
2.    Soil chemical properties- Soil pH, organic carbon, nitrogen (total, organic & inorganic), available nitrogen forms (NH4+ & NO3-), total and available P, total and available K, CEC and exchangeable cations, exchange acidity, soil micronutrients (total and available forms) and redox potential
3.    Plant sample- Moisture content, total phosphorous, potassium, calcium and magnesium in plant ash, total nitrogen and other nutrients in wet digest, and micronutrients.
4.    Water sample – soluble salts, Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, CO32- and electrical conductivity

Objectives:
1.    The course seeks to give students understanding of principles in soil, water and plant analysis, interpretation and application of analytical results for soil and water management practices.
2.    It also aims at giving students understanding of the use of common laboratory analytical      
instruments.

Reading materials
1.    Anderson, J.M. and Ingram, S.I. 1993 Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility. A Handbook of Methods. CAB.
2.    Klute, A. (Ed.) 1986. Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 1, Physical and Mineralogical Methods. 2nd Edn. Agronomy.
3.    Page, A.L., Miller, R.H. and Keeney, D.R. (Eds.) 1982. Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 2. Chemical and Microbiological Properties. 2nd Edn. Agronomy
4.    Tandon, H.L.S. 1995. Methods of Analysis of Soils, Plants, Water and Fertilizer. Fertilizer Dev. and Consultation Organization. New Delhi, India.
 

ASS 815: Soil Genesis, Morphology and Classification
3 Credit(s)

Content:  The course exposes students to advance treatments of factors of soil formation, influence of parent materials on weathering and soil formation with time, topography-soil relationship. The course also introduces students to soil stratigraphy, characteristics of tropical soils, soil micromorphology, principles and systems of taxonomic soil classification. It further emphasizes soil as a natural body of the landscape: its properties, distribution, behavior, and interpretations for diverse land uses.

Objective:
1.    To equip students with the recognition and description of soils; chemical, biological and physical processes of soil formation.  
2.    To expose student s to factors of soil formation. Interactions of soils with diverse ecosystems

Reading materials:
1. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Soil Survey Center. US
Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. (pdf copy available online
http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/soils/ref/?cid=nrcs142p2_054184) 
2.    Soil Survey Staff. 2014. Keys to Soil Taxonomy, 12th edn. USDA Natural Resources
Conservation Service, Washington, D.C. (pdf copy of full versions and simplified guide
are available online for at
http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/soils/survey/class/taxonomy/?cid=nrcs1
42p2_053580)
3.    Buol, S.W., R.J. Southard, Graham, R.C., and P.A. McDaniel. 2011. Soil Genesis and
Classification, 6th edn. Wiley Blackwell, Hoboken, N.J, USA. (Available as an ebook
via USU Libraries Online Catalog:
http://site.ebrary.com/lib/usulibraries/docDetail.action?docID=10577589)
4.    Schoeneberger, P.J., et al. 2012. Field Book for Describing and Sampling Soils, version 3.0

ASS 816:  Soil Chemistry   
3 Credit(s)

Content: The course introduces students to the overview of soil chemistry, composition of soil minerals and organic matter, charge and characteristics of clays, electric double layer theory, common solubility equilibria, interaction of solid, liquid and gas phases, redox reaction and soil solution. The course also equips students with the kinetics of soil chemical processes, the chemistry of soil acidity, and the chemistry of saline and sodic soils.

Objective:
To introduce the students to the fundamental concepts of soil chemistry and reactions in soils.

Reading materials
1.    Brown, H.J.M. 1979. Environmental Chemistry of the Elements. Academy Press, London.
2.    Manahan, S.E. 1991. Environmental Chemistry. Lewis Publishers, Chelsea, Michigan, USA.
3.    Sparks, D.L. 1995. Environmental Soil Chemistry. Academic Press Inc.
4.    Sposito, G. 1989. The Chemistry of Soils. Oxford Univ. Press
 

ASS 818: Advanced Soil Hydrology   
3 Credit(s)

Content: The course is designed to expose students to soil water flow equation, infiltration- vertical and horizontal infiltration and infiltrability equations, internal drainage and redistribution, surface and subsurface drainage, soil evaporation, soil-plant-atmosphere continuum, water balance, and groundwater flow and groundwater flow equations.

 Objective: To introduce students to the physical interpretation of phenomena which govern hydrological events related to soil

Reading materials

  1. Gupta, B.L. and Gupta, A. 1992. Engineering Hydrology. 2nd Edn. Standard Publishers, New Delhi.
  2. Kutilek, M. and Nielsen, D.R. 1994. Soil Hydrology. Catena Verlag, 38162 Germany.
  3. Ritzema, H.P. (ed.) 1994. Drainage Principles & Application. 2nd Edn., ILRI Publication 16, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

ASS 821: Physical Processes of Soil and Water Conservation   
3 Credit(s)

Content: The course seeks to expose students to the concepts of soil and water conservation, physics of soil erosion, assessment of soil erosion, soil erosion control, soil erosion models, moisture conservation and water resources development.

Objective:

To provide students with the understanding of the utilization of soil and water without waste so as to make possible a high level of production that can be continued indefinitely

Reading materials

  1. Schwab, G.O. Frevert, R.K., Edminster, T.W. and Barnes, K.K. 1981. Soil and Water Conservation Engineering. 3rd Edn. John Wiley & Sons Inc. New York
  2. Ritzema, H.P. (ed.) 1994. Drainage Principles & Application. 2nd Edn., ILRI Publication 16, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
  3. Plaster, E.J. 2009. Soil Science and Management. 5th Edn. Clifton Park, NY

ASS 824: Design and Analysis of Experiments 
3 Credit(s)

Content: The course seeks to introduce students to (i) the fundamentals of experiments and its uses, (ii) basic statistics including ANOVA, curvilinear regression and multiple regression, (iii) experimental designs such as RCBD, BIBD, Latin Square, factorial and fractional factorial designs, (iv) application of statistical models in analyzing experimental data, (v) RSM to optimize response of interest from an experiment, and (vi) the use of software such as GenStat and SPSS.

Objective:To expose students to how to design experiment, analyze and interpret experimental data.

Reading materials

  1. Mead, R., Curnow, N and Hasted, A. M. 1994. Statistical Methods in Agriculture and Experimental Biology, 2nd Edn. Chapman and Hall.
  2. Snedecor and Cochran, W.G. 1989. Statistical Methods. 8th Edn. Iowa State Univ. Press. Iowa, USA.
  3. Steel, R.G.D and Torrie, J.H. 1980. Principles and Procedures of Statistics. A Biometrical Approach. 2nd Edn. McGraw Hill International Edns.