For Instructors

Textbook Adoption and The Soils Laboratory Manual Library

Thank you for your interest in using the Soils Laboratory Manual for your soil science course. If you are interested in ancillary materials developed for use with the Soils Laboratory Manual, then please apply for access to the Soils Laboratory Manual Library. The library includes many resources for instructors that have been shared by those who have adopted the laboratory manual for their courses. It includes institution-specific editions of the lab manual, instructor copies, assignments, and other ancillary and supporting materials. Instructors are granted read-only access to all files in the library, which allows them to view and download files, and to subsequently edit copies of those files for their own use. The read-only access also prevents unauthorized editing of other instructor’s versions of the manual saved to the library. Instructors who develop their own editions of the manual are encouraged to share their editions and supporting materials to the community. We administer the library through Google Drive. Because of the sensitive nature of some course materials, access is limited to only instructors with proven credentials. To request access, please complete the following form: request instructor access to the Soils Laboratory Manual Library using this Google Form. Once you have been approved, we will contact you and provide access to the Google Drive folder for the Soils Laboratory Manual Library. If you do not have a Google-associated login, please contact Colby Moorberg.. He can make other arrangements to get you the materials you need.

New to Version 2

The original Soils Laboratory Manual was created in Microsoft Word. Version 2 was formatted in Pressbooks, an online book publishing platform. The manual is available through New Prairie Press as a PDF, EPUB and MOBI ebook formats, and as a web book. The web book version is adaptive to screen sizes, making it ideal for reading from small tablets or smart phones. Digital versions of the manual are also optimized for screen readers.

In addition to the format, the recommended readings from textbooks were replaced with free, online resources including extension publications, YouTube videos, and government reports and documents. This makes it possible for instructors that have adopted the Soils Laboratory Manual to make courses textbook-free.

The Soil Carbon and Respiration laboratory was completely re-imagined to focus more on the soil health aspects of soil respiration. In addition, the laboratory was made more financially accessible for institutions by eliminating the need to an expensive Infrared Gas Analyzer (IRGA) and instead measuring respiration using relatively inexpensive soil respiration kits from Solvita®. A similar activity was added to the Compost Facility Field Trip laboratory in which compost windrows are tested for maturity using compost kits from Solvita®. A virtual tour of the Kansas State Compost Facility was also added in the form of a YouTube video, facilitating use of this laboratory as a virtual laboratory for institutions that do not have easy access to industrial scale composting facilities. Lastly, the SoilWeb Field Trip laboratory was added, which is a self-led field trip that engages students with technology and soil mapping. This laboratory was created out of a need for social distanced activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Instructor Copy

This instructor copy, currently available through the shared Google drive (see above), is designed to make teaching with the Soils Laboratory Manual easier. All answers that are blank in the student copy are completed in the instructor copy. These answers are italicized and in blue text. The instructor copy of Laboratory 12 – Soil Carbon and Respiration is in draft form at the moment. However, the instructor copy of that laboratory is expected to be finalized by summer of 2022. If you notice anything that needs a correction in the instructor copy, please notify Colby Moorberg.

Feedback and Questions

If you have corrections, comments, or questions about the Soils Laboratory Manual, please contact Colby Moorberg.


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Soils Laboratory Manual Copyright © 2017, 2019, 2021 by Colby J. Moorberg & David A. Crouse is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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