Launching Canada’s First Open Education Soil Science Textbook

Sandra Brown, Maja Krzic, and Les Lavkulich

Launching Canada’s First Open Education Soil Science Textbook

How do you bring 36 authors to write a book? That’s the task at hand for Maja Krzic, Associate Professor in LFS, and Fran Walley, Professor in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Saskatchewan.

Their ambitious, two-year project will launch Canada’s first open, online soil science textbook providing a strong foundation for beginners to the topic. They have rounded up 36 contributors – current or recent teachers – to write chapters on soil genesis, organic matter, nutrient cycling, water/physics, chemical properties, biodiversity and classification. The textbook will be an open educational resource available to instructors or students without cost, and with an open license allowing for reuse, revision, and redistribution.

Funding for the project came from BCcampus and the Canadian Society of Soil Science, of which Krzic is a co-chair of the Soil Education Committee. This will be the first national collaboration for BCcampus as the contributors live right across Canada, bringing a broad knowledge of soils from B.C. to Newfoundland.

Currently, there is no Canadian-based textbook that provides an introduction to soil science.

Krzic and Walley are steering the project as lead editors. Among the contributors from 13 universities and three government bodies, two are from UBC’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems – Sandra Brown, Soil Science Instructor, and Les Lavkulich, Professor Emeritus, who serves as Program Director, Global Resource Systems, and Academic Director, Master of Land and Water Systems.