2 June 2015 12:37

Lancaster University is offering an insight into one of the planet’s most undervalued natural resources with a free online course.

‘Soils: Introducing the World Beneath Our Feet’ is open to anyone and delivered by leading soil scientists from Lancaster University.

Course leader, Lancaster University’s Dr Carly Stevens, said: “Soils are a fantastically complex environment, teeming with life and supporting our most fundamental environmental processes.  But despite being a vital part of our planet’s functioning, all too often we take soil for granted. Our soil resource is finite and increasingly under threat.

“This course will take students on an underground journey to explore the basics of soil science and learn about life in the soil. Starting from what soil is and how soils form we will then look at why soil is so important and investigate the topic of soil security.

Finally we will learn about how and why soils are under threat both at a local and global scale.”

Students will also get the chance to get their hands dirty with a series of activities giving them practical experience of assessing soil properties and conditions, as well as meeting leading researchers in this field.

By the end of the course students will have a basic understanding of soil science from a physical, chemical and biological perspective.

‘Soils: Introducing the World Beneath Our Feet’ starts on July 6. It is open to anyone and is part of FutureLearn Choices - a collection of courses to bridge the gap between school and higher education, and help young adults choose the right degree or career.

Anyone with an interest in soils, biology, geography and environmental science is welcome on the course. No prior knowledge is required.