Soil science is the science dealing with soils as a natural resource on the surface of the Earth including soil formation, classification, and mapping; physical, chemical, biological, and fertility properties of soils; and these properties in relation to the use and management of the soils. Soil Science plays an important role in the life of a human being. It is not only the resource for food production, but it also helps us on waste disposal, to maintain playgrounds, to distribute and store water and nutrients, and support our environment.
Soil science is the study of soil as a natural resource on the surface of the Earth including soil formation, classification and mapping; physical, chemical, biological, and fertility properties of soils; and these properties in relation to the use and management of soils.
Scope of Soil Science
Soil Science has well defined and developed discipline. The science dealing with soil as a natural resource on the surface of the earth, including pedology and the physical, chemical and biological and fertility properties of soil. Students of soil science learn to identify, interpret, and manage soils for agriculture, forestry, rangeland, ecosystems, urban uses, and mining and reclamation in an environmentally responsible way.
Soil Science has six well defined and developed disciplines. Scope of soil Science is reflected through these disciplines.
Soil Science : The science dealing with soil as a natural resource on the surface of the earth, including Pedology (soil genesis, classification and mapping) and the physical, chemical and biological and fertility properties of soil and these properties in relation to their management for crop production.
Soil fertility: Nutrient supplying properties of soil
Soil chemistry: Chemical constituents, chemical properties and the chemical reactions
Soil physics: Involves the study of physical properties
Soil microbiology: deals with micro organisms, its population, classification, its role in transformations
Soil conservation: Dealing with protection of soil against physical loss by erosion or against chemical deterioration i.e. excessive loss of nutrients either natural or artificial means.
Pedology: Dealing with the genesis, survey and classification
Skills and Competencies needed by Soil Science
- the ability to plan and conduct research and carry out experimental practical work
- logical thinking
- competence in data collection and analysis
- communication skills, oral and written
- the ability to identify and solve problems
- presentation and report-writing skills
- time-management skills
- the ability to work independently as well as in a team
- IT skills
- an understanding of health and safety in the workplace
- Scientific knowledge
Career Opportunities and Job Prospects for Soil Science Graduates in Nigeria
- Soil Scientist
- Soil Pedologist
- Environmental Scientist
- Scientific Laboratory Technician
- Soil Conservation Technician
- Wetland specialist
- Watershed technician
- Hydrologist with Board of Health
- Environmental technician
- State soil and water quality specialist
- Soil Conservationist
- County Agricultural Agent
- Landscaping business
- On-site evaluation
- Crop consultant
- Soil scientist, mapping and interpretation, U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Research technician
- Conservation planner
- District marketing manager for an agricultural firm
- County conservationist
- Crop production specialist
- Research scientist
Admission Requirements for the study of Soil Science in Nigeria
In UTME, please note that English Language is Compulsory for this course. Therefore, the three (3) other JAMB UTME subject combination needed to study Soil Science under the Faculty of Agriculture in the above Universities include;
Chemistry, Biology or Agricultural Science plus Mathematics or Physics.
The O'level subject combination and requirements needed to study Soil Science;
Five SSCE credit passes in English Language Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology/Agricultural Science and any other Science subject.
SOME INSTITUTIONS WHERE YOU CAN STUDY SOIL SCIENCE
- • Abia State University • Akwa Ibom State University • Ambrose Alli University • Anambra State University • Delta State University • Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi • Federal University of Technology Minna • Imo State University • Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike • Modibbo Adama University of Technology • Obafemi Awolowo University • Rivers State University of Science and Technology • Salem University • University of Benin • University of Calabar • University of Nigeria • University of Uyo