Learning Objectives

Summer Soil Institute provides an integrated perspective of the interactions among living organisms in soils, and the soil abiotic environment which drive the cycling of carbon and nutrients.  A holistic understanding of soil systems is formalized through interactive lectures, vibrant discussions, and hands-on field, laboratory, and modeling activities.

FIELD SAMPLING

Field site visits to Colorado natural grassland and forest ecosystems and a research farm where participants study and collect diverse soils.

SOIL PEDOLOGY

Field characterization of soil profiles.

SOIL BIOGEOCHEMISTRY

Understanding the dynamics of biogeochemical processes. Explore methods in greenhouse gas fluxes, soil nutrients, soil organic matter physical fractionation, and stable isotopes.

SOIL FOOD WEBS

Discover Soil Biodiversity: Extraction and identification of micro- and macro- invertebrates.

SOIL MICROBIOLOGY

How do we quantify microbial structure and function? Explore techniques in microbial ecology such as DNA extraction, quantitative PCR, extracellular enzyme activity assays, microbial respiration.

MODELING

Theory and application of equation and agent–based models of soil food web dynamics, biogeochemical cycling, and soil and organic matter formation.