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Ecosystem Science & Management

Soil Science Minor

Soil is a natural resource that is an important factor determining the types, quality, and quantity of plants and animals which can thrive on a site. Soil strongly influences the movement of water, nutrients, and chemicals through ecosystems and, therefore, has a central role in influencing the quality of our environment. The physical properties of soil are a fundamental consideration for mining, construction, agriculture, and natural resource management.

Soil scientists use their understanding of soil properties to guide a wide variety of land uses associated with agriculture, waste treatment and recycling, reclamation, and environmental assessment. Soil is the main storage site of the earth's carbon and is therefore an important component in understanding the nature of global climate change. Energy development often poses challenges for sustainable land use management such as how the soil interacts with the chemical constituents (e.g., salt) in product water yielded as a result of coal-bed methane development. Understanding soil microbiology can be the most important factor to reclamation of rangeland and forest sites after disturbance. Soil fertility issues are often complex and are germane to anyone who has a lawn or potted plant or tries to earn a living on a farm or ranch. These are the types of things we focus on in our soil science teaching, research, and extension programs.

This program is designed to enhance soil expertise for students majoring in agricultural natural resources, and environmental sciences degree programs. Undergraduate students minoring in Soil Science will enhance their job prospects with federal land management or conservation agencies (e.g., Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Natural Resources Conservation Society), state and federal regulatory agencies (e.g., Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality), mining and oil companies, environmental consulting companies, or scientific research organizations.


Qualifying as a federal government Soil Scientist (as of 2011)

OPM Qualifications for Soil Science Series

A.  Degree: soil science or a closely related discipline that included 30 semester hours or equivalent in biological, physical, or earth science, with a minimum of 15 semester hours in such subjects as soil genesis, pedology, soil chemistry, soil physics, and soil fertility.


B.  Combination of education and experience -- courses equivalent to a major in soil science or a related discipline that included at least 30 semester hours in the biological, physical, or earth sciences. At least 15 of these semester hours must have been in the areas specified in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Additional information can be found at

More Information

Soil Science Courses

Soil Science Minor Checklist

Contact Us

Ecosystem Science and Management

Agriculture Building 2013

Department #3354

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2263


Ecosystem Science and Management
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