Spring 2006                                                                                                       Dr. Mark Lord

Geology 305-01                                                                                                 Rm.  Natural Science 119C

Lecture:  Tu & Th 8-9:15, Rm. 242                                                                     Ph. 227-2271

Lab:  T 1-2:50  or 3:00-4:50, Rm. 247                                                                  Email: mlord@wcu.edu

www3.wcu.edu/~mlord/SHhome.html                                                                Office Hrs: MTR  9:30-11

Geosciences & NRM Dept. Office: ST349


Soils and Hydrology

Tentative Schedule







Jan 10, 12

Earth Materials

Introduction; Overview of Soils & Hydrology;

13th is last day to drop

Brady, Ch. 1


Jan 17, 19

Soil genesis & Soil Properties

Brady, Ch. 1, 2 & 4


Jan 24, 26

Earth Materials & Landforms

Brady, Ch. 2


Jan 31, Feb 2

Soil Processes & the Environment

Weathering Processes and Products; clays

Brady, Ch. 2 & 8


Feb 7, 9

Nutrient Cycling (mostly N)

Exam I, Thursday, February 9th

Brady, Ch. 12


Feb 14, 16

Soil Classifications; Soil Strength, Land use

Brady, Ch. 3 & 4.9


Feb 21, 23

Soils and climate; Site investigations

Brady, Ch. 2


Feb 28, Mar 2

Hydrologic Processes

Soil water; soil erosion

March 2nd  is  last day to Withdrawal

Brady, Ch. 5 & 15


Mar 7, 9

Spring Break



Mar 14, 16

Water Cycle, Evapotranspiration, Precipitation, and Runoff

Brady, Ch. 6


Mar 21, 23

Subsurface water flow; soil hydrology

Exam I, Thursday, March 23rd  (SE GSA meeting)

Brady, Ch. 6 +


Mar 28, 30

Groundwater basics

Winter, p.VI-VII & 1-8


Apr 4, 6

Groundwater – Surface Water Interaction; applied hydrology

Winter, p. 9-32


Apr 11, 13

Environmental Systems

Regional Flow Systems

Easter Holiday 13th

Winter, p. 9-32


Apr 18, 20

Mountain and Riverine Systems;

Site investigations

Winter, p. 33-45


Apr 25, 27

Reading Day-No Classes, April 25th

Environmental Issues; Review & Synthesis

Winter, p. 54-78


May 2nd

   Tuesday, 12–2:30   *** FINAL EXAM–CUMULATIVE *** 


      About the course:    The goal of this course is to provide an overview of soils and hydrology.  Specific topics we will investigate include soil properties and classification, soil strength properties and site characterization, soil biogeochemical properties and processes, water cycle, and the hydrology of soils, runoff, and groundwater.  In each of these topics, environmental and land use considerations will be addressed.  As much as possible, we will take a systems (i.e. integrated) approach to the study of soils and hydrology.  This approach necessitates a high level of understanding of the topics we investigate.

     Class and laboratory assignments will play an integral role in your success in this course.  The assignments will offer you the opportunity to become an active investigator in our field of study as well as let you master basic skills. All work submitted for this course must meet minimum college-level requirements with respect to writing, clarity, and completeness.   Work submitted that does not meet minimum expectations will not be accepted for evaluation; work that is not accepted may be corrected and resubmitted with a "late" penalty of 20 % per day.  All late work, without an approved excuse, will receive a "late" penalty of 20 % per day. Unless specified otherwise, all out-of-class written assignments must be word-processed (i.e. typed), 12 point font, double-spaced, and have one inch margins.  All references used must be cited in a standard reference format.



15 %     Exam I

20 %     Exam II

25 %     Final Exam (cumulative)

40 %     Laboratory assignments, class assignments, quizzes, class participation and preparedness


Course grades are based on a 10 point scale (i.e. 70-79=C, 80-89=B, etc.); plusses and minuses will be used in assigning final course grades.



     Elements of the Nature and Properties of Soils, 2nd edition, by Brady and Weil.  (from Bookstore)

     Ground Water and Surface Water: A Single Resource by Winter, Harvey, Franke, & Alley. (from me)


Attendance and Classroom/Lab Policy

     I expect you to attend all classes unless you have an excused absence, although I will not directly count attendance in your grade.  This course is being taught for you—not for me.  Your presence, your preparedness, and your participation in all classes are critical to your success in the course as well as the success of the class. Furthermore, there will be some in-class exercises and quizzes—there will be no make-up for these types of assignments.


Cell Phones:  I realize that for many the people the cell phone is a spiritual and physical extension of their body.  Unfortunately, this link must be painfully severed during our class and lab time (even when outside).  Cell phones are to be stowed and off when in this course.


Lab is a critical part of this course and will include a wide variety of types of experiences.  More about our lab will be discussed in the first lab meeting.  A tentative lab schedule is listed on the next page.


Expectations and Study Suggestions

        I have high expectations for each of you.  I expect you to attend all classes and I expect your active participation in class--by listening, thinking, asking questions, and relating ideas and topics we discuss to other courses and your past experiences.  The primary purpose of lecture is not to provide you with a "good set of notes" ready for publication.  Contribute and engage yourself in the course--the quality of your experience in the course and the quality of the class depend on it.

        I expect you to dedicate at least 6-12 hours per week to our class outside of scheduled class meetings—whether or not there is an exam or assignment pending.  I do not expect you to do well in this course without this work effort.

        With respect to studying for this course. . . First the obvious--do all assignments, come to all classes and labs, read your text before coming to class, and study regularly rather than just prior to exams.  Reread (or better--rewrite) your class notes and add your own notes from the text.  Consider setting up study times with others to review and quiz each other.  Important--see me when you have difficulty.  It is best to try to see me during my office hours, but you are welcome to try to catch me anytime—I am around a lot.  Also, email is a great resource for certain types of questions.  I am anxious to get to know each of you past our time in class and work with you to improve your understanding and experience in the course.