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Soil Science Essays and Research Papers

Instructions for Soil Science College Essay Examples

Title: erosion

Total Pages: 4 Words: 1374 Bibliography: 6 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Essay

Essay Instructions: My report will be over an appropriate soil science topic. It will be soil erosion. It will be really specific in one case study or investigation and have to contain 4 to 5 pages of text properly cited at least 6 technical references. Have to include two tables or figures and be written in proper technical format (which includes neatness and grammar)

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: Soil

Total Pages: 4 Words: 1302 Sources: 0 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Research Paper

Essay Instructions: There are 5 questions. Answer each question separately about a page or less.

1. You have been invited by the United Nations's Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) to deliver a speech on the global status of soil resources, climate change, and the fate of human cultures. Using your vast new knowledge of soils and using the resources available to you, write a speech for the UNFAO that is not only informative, but also a call for action. Be sure to cite all facts used, and be specific about the actions want the UNFAO to take.

2. Discuss the role of organic matter in soil. Why is so much attention given to soil organic matter? How is soil organic matter linked to the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and climate change? How do human actions impact soil organic matter? What can be done to mitigate the effects of human action on soil organic matter?

3. You have been hired by the Raj Mehta, president of a local freedom fighter environmental organization, located in the remote grasslands region of Udaipur, India to conduct an assessment of soil conditions in the Kumbaya creek watershed. The local villagers, who have a spiritual connection with the Kumbaya grasslands, have inhabited the watershed for centuries. In recent years, repeated monsoon flooding in the coastal regions has increased the local population by more than double. During your initial site visit you observed intense grazing, denuded topsoil, slash and burn farming, severe erosion, and a creek with sharply sloped banks void of all vegetation. Given your vast new knowledge of soils and global soil concerns, outline for Raj a strategy to restore the grasslands to ecological sustainability. Be specific about the techniques that you would employ to restore soil quality. Be sure to address the “human dimensions” of the problem in your answer.

4. You have been retained by the East Bay Regional Park District to develop interpretative signage describing the soils found in the district parks and to raise awareness of the importance of soils. Develop 1 to 3 interpretative panels that 1) highlight the major characteristics of soils in the East Bay, 2) address the role that soils play in the landscape and the factors that affect soils, and 3) the need for soil conservation and what individuals can do to improve soil health. A generalized map of East Bay soils should also be included with your interpretative panels. Be sure to include an explanation of how and why you selected the information presented on your panel(s). Be mindful that you are preparing signs for a general audience. Spelling and grammar count. Label all illustrations, drawings, sketches, photos, and maps.
5. George Perkins Marsh founded American Ecology with his 1864 Man and Nature, a study of the Earth as modified by human action. Below is his vision of the nineteenth-century destruction of a landscape:

“With the disappearance of the forest, all is changed…. The face of the earth is no longer a sponge, but a dust heap, and the floods which the waters of the sky pour over it hurry swiftly along the slopes, carrying in suspension vast quantities of earthly particles which increase the abrading power and mechanical force of the current, and augmented by the sand and gravel of falling banks, fill the beds of streams, divert them into new channels and obstruct their outlets…. From these causes, there is constant degradation of the uplands, and a consequent elevation of the beds of watercourses and of lakes by the deposition of the mineral and vegetable matter carried down by the waters….
The washing of soil from the mountains leaves bare ridges of sterile rock, and the rich organic mould [mold] which covered them, now swept down into the dank low grounds, promotes the luxuriance of aquatic vegetation that breeds fever and more insidious forms of mortal disease, by its decay and thus the earth is rendered no longer fit for the habitation of man.”

In a well-reasoned short essay, reflect upon Marsh’s vision of a landscape lost to the human induced landscape changes of the twentieth century. What, if anything, has changed about our understanding of the landscape and its transformation by human action? Use your new knowledge of soil science as the foundation for your response. Use the class readings, activities, and lectures to support your answer.
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Excerpt From Essay:

Title: Internal phosphorus loading in shallow lakes

Total Pages: 21 Words: 6811 References: 20 Citation Style: None Document Type: Essay


Dear Sir,

My topic is pertains to internal nutrient (phosphorus) loading in shallow water lake systems. The subject matter is primarily related to soil chemistry, aquatic chemistry, or limnology.

Here are the specifications for the research paper:

The paper should include the following:

Specific topics outlined in the introduction
Discussion of the topic synthesis
What are the key research findings?
What are the unknowns?

The paper should follow the style modeled in the Soil Science Society of America Journal. One of the issues will give instructions to authors. Also all journal articles should be no older than 10 years (and no text book citations). I will be sending the reference materials via email (about 19 or 20 pdf files). I also have another 3 articles that I may prove useful, but unable to find and download as pdfs. I will fax these articles. I would like to have at least 15-20 citations in the paper. The number of articles sent should be sufficient, but should you feel that some other articles would be useful additions or substitutions - that would be fine with me also. But please follow the general instructions closely.

The following is the general research paper outline:

Research Paper Outline

Recent advances in exchange of phosphrous between soil/sediment and overlying water column (internal nutrient loading.

I. Introduction
Definition of internal loading
Internal vs. external loading of phosphorus in shallow water bodies and wetlands
Importance for determining and assessing - TMDLs
Introduce P fractionation
Introduce mechanisms of phosphorus release
Introduce phosphorus management implications and restoration strategies

II. Phosphorus forms in sediment
Fractionation forms
Loosely sorbed P
Reductant soluble P
Ca-P complexes
Apatite P
Challenges in assessing or relating fractionated phosphorus to internal nutrient loads

II. Phosphorus Release mechanisms
Chemical - redox, pH, and Fe/P ratio
Physical -sediment resuspension, diffusion, and concentration gradients
Biological - fish, microbial, algae, and macrophytes
Challenges relating release mechanisms to P loading

IV. Management and Restoration techniques
Implementation of TMDLs – changing source/sink status of site
Use of wetlands/water systems as P assimilators – is it sustainable?
Flushing, sediment removal, alum and/or gypsum additions
Limitations and challenges

V. Summary

The paper entitled "Role of sediment and internal loading of phosphorus in shallow lakes" by Sondergaard et al., would be a useful paper to model as it was the inspiration for this outline. This article is the first pdf listed that I will send you. It is denoted as just full text, with no numeric identifier.

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