Soil Scientists Job Description video

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It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it -- and soil scientists do. They study the properties of soil -- all types of soil -- to help agriculture and other industries use it effectively. Soil scientists split their time between farms and agricultural research stations where they survey and collect soil samples…and laboratories where they use specialized equipment to analyze those samples. They study every part of the soil -- the chemicals, the debris, the minerals. They determine the best way to water and manage the soil, and how fertilizers affect the plants and organisms that grow in it. Their goal is to make farming more productive. Soil scientists advise agribusiness on the best use of land and how to avoid or correct problems, such as erosion…. and how to maintain environmental quality to ensure abundant harvests in the future. Soil scientists also may survey soil to classify and map it for the government. Their expertise on the subject makes them valuable to engineers trying to solve soil problems at construction sites. A master's degree or doctorate is generally required to teach or conduct basic research in the private sector, and competition is keen for these positions. The Federal Government often hires bachelor's degree holders to work as soil scientists. Soil is a natural resource that in some way supports every life form on earth. It's a natural biological filter, purifying water and degrading hazardous materials. Soil scientists help us to use this living system, while keeping it healthy.

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