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					Course:            03.411    Natural Resources Conservation
Unit 3:            Soil Conservation

Lesson 4: Appraising Environmental Impact
GPS: ..........................................................................................................AG-NR-6

                            1. Define soil degradation and assess the impact it has on the
                            2. Categorize different types of soil erosion.
                            3. Explain the effect agricultural pesticides and other
                               chemicals have on soil properties and characteristics.
                            4. Interpret the effect waste disposal has on soil properties
                               and characteristics.
                            5. Consider ways soil degradation could be limited.

Teaching Time:
                                 5 hours
Applied Environmental Science. The National Council for Agricultural Education.
       Alexandria, VA 1996.
Hassett, J.J. & Banwart, W.L. (1992). Soil and their environment. Englewood
       Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Inc.
Plaster, E.J. (1992). Soil science and management. Albany, NY: Delmar
       Publishers Inc.
Wild, A. (1993). Soils and the environment: An introduction. New York:
       Cambridge University Press.

Materials and Equipment:
See above references for materials

                                      Course: 03.411 Natural Resources Conservation            Unit 3, Lesson 4
                                                Revised May 2007                                                    1
                     Georgia Agriculture Education Curriculum


    Introduction and Mental Set
    Fill two bowls of soil with topsoil. Mix engine oil in one of the bowls of soil,
    and shredded paper in the other bowl. Then, plant soybeans in both bowls
    and water them frequently. Observe the bowls for plant growth for two
    weeks, and have students make predictions about how the plants will
    respond to each mixture. Explain that many people dispose of oil improperly
    by throwing or dumping it on the soil. There are serious implications of
    dumping oil and other chemicals on soil such as, no plant growth, pollution
    of groundwater, and sickness and death of animals that ingest some of
    these chemicals. Discuss the effect of soil degradation on the environment
    and how soil is affected by waste disposal.


    1.     Class lecture on soil degradation effect on the environment.
           Discuss the following points:
           A.    Erosion
           B.    Salinization
           C.    Alkalization
           D.    Waterlogging
           E.    Depletion of nutrients

    2.     Identify classification of soil erosion. Lead class discussion on
           types of erosion.
           A.     Splash erosion
           B.     Sheet erosion
           C.     Rill erosion
           D.     Gullies
           E.     Wind erosion
           Define each type

    3.     Class lecture and discussion on effect of pesticides on soil.
           Cover topics:
           A.      Adsorption
           B.      Decomposition
           C.      Volatilization
           Use student activity sheet 2 from Applied Environmental Science.
    4.     Effect of soil by waste disposal. Teacher lead class discussion to
           identify the following factors:

                         Course: 03.411 Natural Resources Conservation   Unit 3, Lesson 4
                                   Revised May 2007                                         2
                    Georgia Agriculture Education Curriculum

          A.     Sewage sludge
          B.     Domestic solid waste
          C.     Industrial waste
          D.     Animal waste
          Use transparency masters 1, 2, and 3 from Applied Environmental

   5.     Class discussion of soil degradation. Cover the following topics:
          A.    Irrigation
          B.    Replacement of nutrients and organic matter
          C.    Proper handling of chemicals


          Soil is a valuable natural resource that can be degraded. Individuals
          can protect and conserve soil through appropriate practices.


          Written test

                         Course: 03.411 Natural Resources Conservation   Unit 3, Lesson 4
                                   Revised May 2007                                         3