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Dr. Davenport truly believes that the world is a classroom. Her current teaching program consists of two courses, Soil Sci 201: Soil: A Living System and Soil Sci 547: Soil Fertility Management. These are 100% on-line courses, allowing students not just in Washington State, but all over the world to learn about soils.


Soil Sci 201, Soil: A Living System

SoilSci201 activity 2014
Soil Sci 201 at home activity – soil texture by feel.

The goal of this class, is to develop a general understanding of the science of soils and to give students an appreciation of what is underneath almost every footstep that a person takes. By the end of the semester students have been introduced to the concept of soil formation, morphology and classification as well as soil biological, chemical, and physical processes. We also learn that soil is a supplier of water and nutrients to plants, the role of soil as a host to an array of living organisms, how we manage these aspects of soil, as well as how natural and imposed events can degrade soils. This is done through a combination of on-line lectures, individual and group activities, threaded discussions, and chats. In this class you will not only get to learn, you will get your hands dirty!


Soil Sci 547, Soil Fertility Management

The goal of this class is to develop an in depth understanding of the role fertilizers play in agricultural production systems. Starting from the ground up, we will explore fertilizer mining and manufacturing procedures. To develop an in depth understanding of current issues related to fertilizer availability and energy relationships, we will conducted on-line discussions of pertinent current issues related to the fertilizer manufacturing industry.  We will then explore the concept of soil and plant tissue analysis and their role in developing fertilizer management plans.  In this we will explore the history of soil and plant tissue testing and the advantages and limitations of this technique.  To round out our understanding of soil fertility management we will cover concepts related to alternative nutrient sources, aspects of fertilizer placement, and the interaction between water and nutrients as it pertains to nutrient availability to plants. In addition to on-line discussions, students will be asked to identify a soil testing lab near them to visit in person to supplement the virtual lab tour that this course has available.