NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ791188
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 4
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-1059-9053
A Laboratory Exercise Relating Soil Energy Budgets to Soil Temperature
Koenig, Richard T.; Cerny-Koenig, Teresa; Kotuby-Amacher, Janice; Grossl, Paul R.
Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, v37 p59-62 2008
Enrollment by students in degree programs other than traditional horticulture, agronomy, and soil science has increased in basic plant and soil science courses. In order to broaden the appeal of these courses to students from majors other than agriculture, we developed a hands-on laboratory exercise relating the basic concepts of a soil energy budget to soil temperatures measured on college campuses. Concepts related to soil energy and temperature were presented in lecture and discussed at the beginning of the laboratory session. Students were then given inexpensive stem and dial gauge thermometers and instructed to take measurements at two locations on campus where they predicted soil temperature would be high, and two where they predicted soil temperature would be low. Soil temperature differences between the high and low measurements commonly ranged from 8 to 10 degrees C. Following in-field data collection, an open discussion of results helped to further emphasize the relative ease with which basic soil energy budget concepts could be used to predict environments where soil temperature would be high or low. Students were also encouraged to describe how they could use more generalized knowledge of energy relations and budgets to predict relative temperatures in their field of study. The exercise requires little preparation time and, once thermometers are purchased, is low cost. We believe the exercise applied and reinforced concepts presented in lecture and in introductory plant and soil science textbooks, and emphasized the application of these concepts in disciplines other than traditional agriculture. (Contains 1 figure and 1 table.)
American Society of Agronomy. 677 South Segoe Road, Madison, WI 53711. Tel: 608-273-8080; Fax: 608-273-2021; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A