Soil and Water Science Department

    August 14-15, 2008   

    University of Florida

    Gainesville, FL

l Course Overview l Course Information l Hotel Accommodations
l Who Should Attend? l Daily Agenda l Area Information
l Ten Ways to Benefit l Registration Information l Further Information

Course Overview

This exclusive training program focuses on the functions of soils in the environment. These functions include soil as a medium for plant productivity, a regular for water supply, recycler of waste material, a habitat for organisms including humans, and as an engineering medium. Presentations will be on general occurrence, distribution and morphology, along with their physical, chemical, mineralogical and biological characteristics.

Morning lectures address background information and examples of the role of soil in our everyday
life. Afternoon field trip is designed to provide field examples of material covered during morning lectures. Emphasis will be on the morphology and land use interpretations. The course is offered August 14 and 15 and provides 12.5 hours of training and instruction. A Certificate of Completion will be provided upon conclusion of the course, and enrollment is limited to the first 20 registrants.

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Who Should Attend?

Participants should be interested in or actively involved in soil identification, use, development, and interpretation of properties and data. Those employed in the following occupations would greatly benefit by participating in this course:

  • Biologists

  • City and County Government Officials and Decision–Makers

  • Consultants

  • Developers

  • Ecologists

  • Environmental Consultants

  • Environmental Engineers

  • Environmental Health Officials

  • Environmental Regulators

  • Environmental Scientists

  • Extension Agents

  • Foresters

  • Geotechnical Engineers

  • Land Use Planners

  • Plant Scientists

  • Science and FFA Teachers

  • Wetland Delineators

  • Wetland Mediators

  • Others Seeking Training in Basic Soils

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Ten Ways to Benefit

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

   1. Be capable to evaluate a soil for on-site waste water

   2. Understand and evaluate a soil for shrink-swell conditions

   3. Be proficient to determine seasonal high soil water table

   4. Be adept at determining a soil’s texture

   5. Be able to interpret a soil for potential development

   6. Explain why certain soils exist in Florida

   7. Understand how soils are mapped

   8. Be competent to utilize a county soil survey

   9. Be able to know what soil tests to ask for when sampling soils

  10. Be confident to take additional Soil and Water Science short courses

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Course Information


Mary E. Collins is a Professor in the Soil and Water Science Department at the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS). Her expertise includes environmental pedology, ground-penetrating radar, forensic soil science, and subaqueous soils. Dr. Collins’ primary teaching responsibility is “Introduction to Soils in the Environment”.

James Bonczek is a lecturer in the Soil and Water Science Department. His principal research interests include reactions of ionizable organic compounds at clay surfaces, and the modification of soil colloid properties using cationic surfactants.


Training Site

This course will be held on the campus of the University of Florida and at the Plant Science Research and Education Center at Citra, Florida. Lecture and in-door labs will be at the Soils Teaching Lab on campus. The field lab will be at Citra. Field clothes are recommended. Water and refreshments will be provided. A map with detailed directions to teaching lab on campus and to the field site will be mailed to you upon receipt of your registration.

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Daily Agenda

Thursday, August 14, 2008

8:30am – 12:00pm Morning Lectures
12:00pm – 1:00pm Lunch on Own
1:00pm – 5:00pm Afternoon Field Trip to the Plant Science Research and Education Center – Citra, FL

Friday, August 15, 2008

8:30am – 12:00pm Morning Lectures
12:00pm – 1:00pm Lunch on Own
1:00pm – 3:00pm Review and Evaluation

Course Topics:

  • What Is Soil? – It Is Not Dirt!

  • Why Are There So Many Soils? – Fundamentals of Soil Properties

  • The ABC’s of Soil Science

  • How Wet Is My Yard? – Soil-Water Table Dynamics

  • What Information about Soil Is Available? – How Do I Use That Information?

  • What Do I See When I Dig a Hole? – Field Applications of Acquired Knowledge

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Registration Information  

Enrollment in this course is limited to the first 20 participants and registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that a copy of the course manual is included and has already been added to the registration below.

The registration fee includes: a copy of the course manual and morning refreshments each day. It would be advisable for attendees to bring field clothes for the field trip, a field knife and tape measure. Participants are on their own for all meals.

All figures are presented in US dollars ($).

Registration Fee $350


Registration will close on July 30, 2008 or when class size limit it reached.


Registration for this course has concluded

A receipt and confirmation of registration will be emailed immediately upon receiving your completed registration and proper payment.

Refund Policy: Requests for registration refunds will be honored if written notification of cancellation is received by the Office of Conferences & Institutes on or before July 30, 2008. A $50.00 processing fee will be deducted from all refunds. Sorry, no refunds will be honored for cancellations after July 30, 2008.

Special Needs: Participants with special needs can be reasonably accommodated by contacting the Office of Conferences & Institutes at least 10 working days prior to the conference. We can be reached by phone at 1-352-392-5930, by FAX at 1-352-392-4044, or by calling 1-800-955-8771 (TDD). The TDD number can only be accessed from within the State of Florida.

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Hotel Accommodations

Several hotel and motel establishments are available in the Gainesville area to provide guest room accommodations throughout the course. Participants are responsible for making their own hotel guest room reservations, and a list of properties and applicable guest room rates will be sent to you upon request.

Gainesville Area
Lodging Options
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Area Information

Visit Gainesville

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For Further Information
Training Information:
Dr. Mary E. Collins – Course Organizer
University of Florida/IFAS
Soil and Water Science Department
PO Box 110290
Gainesville, FL 32611-0290
PHONE: (352) 392-1951, ext 244
FAX: (352) 392-3092
Registration Information:
Margot P. Farbstein
    – Basic Service Coordinator
University of Florida/IFAS
Office of Conferences & Institutes (OCI)
Building 639 Mowry Road
PO Box 110750
Gainesville, FL 32611-0750
PHONE: (352) 392-5930
FAX: (352) 392-9734

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