Soils and Biogeochemistry

Track Leader: Randy Dahlgren, radahlgren@ucdavis.edu

Soil science and biogeochemistry are concerned with the chemical, physical, geological and biological processes and reactions that govern the composition of the natural environment, and the cycles of matter and energy that transport the Earth's chemical components in time and space. This track teaches students scientific principles, ranging from the molecular to global scales, for managing soil, water and plant resources. The track includes land use, GIS, remote sensing, soil and ecosystem management and restoration, nutrient management, soil and water pollution remediation, and global change. The track emphasizes practical work experience through student internships with state and federal agencies, soil, water and plant labs, and growers. Graduates are qualified for managerial and technical positions with environmental and agricultural businesses. They are prepared for positions in advising, planning, land appraisal, research, and teaching with private, government, and international organizations involved with soil and water development, use, and conservation and global change issues. Some graduates continue in master's and doctoral programs in soil science, environmental toxicology, hydrology, ecology, and plant sciences.

Link to Soils and Biogeochemistry requirements

Faculty perspective:

“Soils are the foundation of society. In order to use them properly and conserve them, we must understand them. Norman Borlaug, 1970 Nobel Peace Prize recipient said in his Nobel lecture ‘...the first essential component of social justice is adequate food for all mankind.’ If we are to provide that component, along with a quality environmental, we must understand soils.” - Michael J. Singer

Potential Graduate Programs:
Students from the former Soil and Water Science major that has now become a track in ESM have gone on to graduate school at the best schools in the country including Cornell, North Carolina State, University of Minnesota and University of Wisconsin to name just a few.