The course will provide the basic knowledge about soil formation and evolution. Moreover, students will learn to describe and analyze specific soil characteristics. We will discuss the spatial distribution of particular soil types and their representation in form of analogue and digital maps.

The course contains lectures, exercises and fieldwork. The course will focus on:
- Introduction to soil science
- the soil as interface between atmosphere, biosphere and lithosphere
- the soil and related soil formation concepts
- soil horizons and their differentiation
- typical diagnostic horizons and their characteristics
- pedogenesis and pedogenetic concepts
- the soil and its organic and inorganic components
- soil physics and soil chemics
- soil water dynamics
- soil landscape relations (pedon, polypedon)
- how to describe a soil in the field
- soil classifications (Soil taxonomy, WRB, FAO)