MOOC Soil4Life: Sustainable Soil Management

Soil is the earth’s fragile skin that anchors all life. We depend on soil to build our homes and cities, to grow crops for food and raise livestock, to support transportation and enable recreation. Yet we disregard this crucial and precious resource that lies right under our feet. Learn why soil is so important, how it's being threatened and what we can do to protect this natural resource so vital to our lives.

Organised by Wageningen University & Research
Duration 7 weeks, 8-10 hours per week

Why follow this course?

This introductory environmental studies course will explore the importance of soil to life on earth, the issues, processes and societal challenges underlying soil degradation – and what can be done to ensure sustainable soil management for the future. The threats to our soil span deforestation, erosion, overgrazing, use of agrochemicals, compaction, pollution and climate change. Learn what you can do to make a
difference in protecting this vital natural resource.

What you will learn

After successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand that soils and sustainable soil management are critically important to life on earth.
  • Appreciate how soils form, their functions and basics of soil degradation.
  • Recognize the threats to and how to care for soil water relations, soil fertility and soil biodiversity.
  • Investigate the effects of and solutions for soil erosion, soil compaction, soil pollution and soil salinisation.
  • Comprehend the socio-economic and policy aspects of sustainable soil management.
  • Contribute to discussions and guided-activities about how we all can help protect soil for life.

Practical information

The level of the course is Introductory. The prerequisites are secondary school or a first/second year BSc.

The total effort for this course is estimated at 80 hours for an average learner. So, if you have 8 to 10 hours per week to spend, it will take you about 7 weeks. However, since the course is run in a self-paced mode, you can progress through the modules at your own speed.