ENR Classes

ENR 5261: Environmental Soil Physics

Course Objectives

The course is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the relationships in basic soil physics and its applications to environment quality and sustainable use of natural resources. The syllabus meets the curriculum needs of students in Soil Science, Environmental Sciences, Natural Resources, Agricultural Engineering, Horticulture and Crop Sciences, Forestry, Geology, Climatology and Civil Engineering

Learning Outcomes

Gain a working understanding of soil’s physical, mechanical, hydrological and rheological properties in relation to environment quality and sustainable management of terrestrial ecosystems.

Learn applications of soil physical properties and processes which will be discussed with regards to the following special topics:

  1. Greenhouse effect, global C cycle, gaseous emissions and C sequestration,
  2. The hydrologic cycle, wetland management, drainage, irrigation and salinity,
  3. Soil erosion, land degradation and food security,
  4. Biofuels and residue management, among others,
  5. Soil functionality and ecosystem services.


ENR 5268: Soils and Climate Change

This course will be jointly taught by Dr. Rattan Lal, School of Environment and Natural Resources and Dr. Berry Lyons, School of Earth Sciences. The following will be covered:

  • Atmospheric chemistry, major and trace gases and their radiative properties
  • Fate and transport of carbon in aquatic ecosystems
  • Radiative forcing and global warming potential 
  • Permafrost and the global carbon cycle and the feedback due to global warming
  • The global carbon cycle over geologic time
  • Carbon sequestration strategies
  • Biogeochemical processes control the geologic carbon cycle 
  • Processes and practices affecting soil carbon sequestration
  • Sources and sinks of greenhouse gases in today’s world 
  • The bio fuel conundrum
  • The current global carbon cycle 
  • The bio char carbon
  • Anthropogenic perturbation of the global carbon cycle, and fossil fuel emissions
  • Soil carbon and soil quality
  • Coupled cycling of C, H2O, N and other elements
  • Trading carbon credits: practice and policy
  • Soil erosion and the carbon cycle
  • Terrestrial , geologic and oceanic  sequestration: potential and challenges
  • Past climate changes, abrupt climate change 


This course in designed for undergraduate and graduate students