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Download Front Matter and Table of Contents (358 KB)

Download Preface, About the Authors, and Acknowledgements (272 KB)

Download 1. Safety Training and Orientation (22.0 MB)

Download 2. Chemistry and Math Review (22.1 MB)

Download 3. Soil Formation (22.6 MB)

Download 4. Soil Classification and Mapping (22.6 MB)

Download 5. Soil Web Field Trip (21.9 MB)

Download 6. Soil Pit Field Trips (22.0 MB)

Download 7. Soil Texture and Structure (22.8 MB)

Download 8. Soil Density (22.3 MB)

Download 9. Soil and Water Relationships (22.4 MB)

Download 10. Soil Water Measurement and Movement (22.0 MB)

Download 11. Compost Facility Field Trip (22.0 MB)

Download 12. Soil Carbon and Respiration (22.0 MB)

Download 13. Soil Colloids (22.5 MB)

Download 14. Soil Acidity and Adjusting Soil pH (22.3 MB)

Download 15. Soil Nutrient Management (21.9 MB)

Download 16. Soil Erosion and Conservation (22.0 MB)

Download References (281 KB)


The Soils Laboratory Manual, K-State Edition is designed for students in undergraduate, introductory soil science courses. The manual highlights the multidisciplinary aspects of soil science with laboratories focused on soil formation, classification, and mapping; soil physics, soil biology; soil chemistry; and soil fertility and management. The lab manual includes 16 different laboratories, each one starting with an introduction and pre-lab assignment, followed by in-lab activities, and complimented by a post-lab assignment. In-lab activities involve field trips, experiments, observation stations, or problem sets. Post-lab assignments include online quizzes, problem sets, or laboratory summary reports.

Version 2 of the lab manual exhibits a completely new design with improved functionality and accessibility. In addition to a PDF, Version 2 is available in MOBI and EPUB eBook formats and as a web book. A new laboratory, the SoilWeb Field Trip, was added to Version 2 along with significant revisions to the Compost Facility Field Trip and Soil Carbon and Respiration laboratories. The recommended readings in each laboratory now include links to free, online resources in place of conventional textbook reading assignments.

The Soils Laboratory Manual, K-State Edition is used in the AGRON 305 – Soils course at Kansas State University, and is based on the Soils Laboratory Manual, NC State Edition used in the SSC 201 – Soil Science Laboratory course at North Carolina State University. The Soils Laboratory Manual, K-State Edition was originally published by New Prairie Press in 2017, and was included as a supplement to ‘An Open-Source Laboratory Manual for Introductory Undergraduate Soil Science Courses’ in Natural Sciences Education, Vol. 46:170013, Supporting materials, assignments, and instructor versions of the lab manual are available at The lab manual is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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Edition Statement

K-State Edition Version 2.0


Soils Laboratory Manual: K-State Edition, Version 2.0 is also available in ebook form at: Soils Laboratory Manual: K-State Edition, Version 2.0 can be found in the New Prairie Press Pressbooks Catalog.

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New Prairie Press




soil, soil science, laboratory, laboratory manual, open-source


Agricultural Education | Agricultural Science | Agriculture | Environmental Education | Environmental Sciences | Geology | Soil Science

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Soils Laboratory Manual: K-State Edition, Version 2.0