The case study on “Effects of variable retention harvesting on soil microbial communities in coastal BC forests” was designed to allow students to evaluate the effects of several types of timber harvesting on soil microbial communities and their functions (i.e., enzyme activities).

This multimedia educational resource has been developed to enhance material covered in the APBI 402 / SOIL 502 – Sustainable Soil Management course, offered at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. The overall goal of this course is to apply fundamental, unifying soil science principles to forest, grassland, agricultural, and urban ecosystems. In this course, we use a modified Problem-Based Learning (PBL) approach to provide scenarios for assessing and managing soil quality within different land use systems. During the course, each student works on three, 4-week-long case studies. Each case is focused one of three areas: soil chemistry, soil physics, or soil biology. For four weeks, students work in groups in a face-to-face classroom setting to address the learning outcomes of the case study. Weekly handouts lead students through the case study via learning outcomes, tasks, and guiding questions.

All of the provided text and photo images may be downloaded and printed as study aids. Students are encouraged to print the video outlines and take notes as they watch the video clips.

Photo by Dr. Sue Grayston

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