Overview and Key Facts
Jobs in 2031
What Do They Do?A soil scientist could...
Overview Listen to this sectionNot all dirt is created equal. In fact, different types of soil can make a big difference in some very important areas of our society. A building constructed on sandy soil might collapse during an earthquake, and crops planted in soil that doesn't drain properly might become waterlogged and rot after a rainstorm. It is the job of a soil scientist to evaluate soil conditions and help farmers, builders, and environmentalists decide how best to take advantage of local soils.
Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of a Soil Scientist?
Core TasksThink about if you'd like the typical tasks a Soil Scientist might do:
- Communicate research or project results to other professionals or the public or teach related courses, seminars, or workshops.
- Conduct experiments to develop new or improved varieties of field crops, focusing on characteristics such as yield, quality, disease resistance, nutritional value, or adaptation to specific soils or climates.
- Develop new or improved methods or products for controlling or eliminating weeds, crop diseases, or insect pests.
- Provide information or recommendations to farmers or other landowners regarding ways in which they can best use land, promote plant growth, or avoid or correct problems such as erosion.
- Develop environmentally safe methods or products for controlling or eliminating weeds, crop diseases, or pests.
- Investigate soil problems or poor water quality to determine sources and effects.
- Conduct experiments investigating how soil forms, changes, or interacts with land-based ecosystems or living organisms.
- Conduct research to determine best methods of planting, spraying, cultivating, harvesting, storing, processing, or transporting horticultural products.
- Investigate responses of soils to specific management practices to determine the effects of alternative practices on the environment.
- Develop methods of conserving or managing soil that can be applied by farmers or forestry companies.
- Study ways to improve agricultural sustainability, such as the use of new methods of composting.
- Investigate responses of soils to specific management practices to determine the use capabilities of soils and the effects of alternative practices on soil productivity.
- Identify degraded or contaminated soils and develop plans to improve their chemical, biological, or physical characteristics.
- Develop ways of altering soils to suit different types of plants.
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