Advanced Soil Microbiology

TPSS 604


Nhu Nguyen

Skills and knowledge to be acquired:

Gain knowledge of the diversity of life underneath our feet, as well as their essential environmental functions that contribute to overall soil health and sustainability.


The soil environment is one of the most complicated on the planet. The micro- and meso- organisms that live there, although small, are arguably essential to life on earth. In this class, we will focus on soil organisms, in particular microbes, as living organisms and how they're involved in important chemical processes in both natural and human-influenced environments that can cause change on a global scale.

Computer skills to be acquired:

Reports of laboratory exercises and term projects will require that students use word processing, graphics, and statistical software. Detailed instructions will be provided as necessary for completion of the project.


TPSS 304 and MICR 351, or consent


David M. Sylvia, Jeffry J. Fuhrmann, Peter G. Hartel, David A. Zuberer (Eds.). 2004. Principles and Applications of Soil Microbiology (2nd Edition), Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

This text is out of date, but course instructor will provide up-to-date information as necessary.

Guest Speakers:


Field Trips:


Course organization:

The course is organized into four groups of activity, namely lectures, discussions, laboratory exercises, and independent term projects. Discussion are held weekly and they are based on key questions distributed at least a week prior to the discussion. Students are required to submit reports for each laboratory exercise. Results of independent term projects must be subjected to statistical analysis and students are required to submit the reports in a manuscript format. Instructor will provide ample guidance for students to completing their reports.


The final grades students receive are based on points earned on two one-hour examinations, a final examination, discussions, and independent term projects.

Components % of course Possible Points
Exams (3) 50% 500
Discussion 10% 100
Laboratory reports 25% 250
Independent project 20% 150
TOTAL 100% 1000

Letter Grade Assignment

900 -1000-----A

800 - 899------B

700 - 799 -----C

600 - 699------D

        <600– ----F