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Free Online Course on Sustainable Soil Management

Wageningen University & Research is offering free online course on Sustainable Soil Management: Soil for life. This introductory environmental studies course will explore the importance of soil to life on earth, the issues, processes and societal challenges underlying soil degradation and what can be done to ensure sustainable soil management for the future.

In this twelve-week course, applicants will learn why soil is so important, how it‡s being threatened and what we can do to protect this natural resource so vital to our lives. The course will start on August 28, 2018

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Course At A Glance 

Length: 12 weeks
Effort: 7-9 hours pw
Subject: Environmental Studies
Institution: Wageningen University & Research and edx
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes, Add a Verified Certificate for $49
Session: Course Starts on August 28, 2018

Providers‡ Details

Wageningen University and Research center are dedicated to exploring the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. Learn more about WUR. WageningenX courses train (future) professionals in sustainable food systems and help consumers making informed choices about what they eat, how it is produced and the impact of their choices on the environment and society.

About This Course

The soil is the earth‡s fragile skin that anchors all life. We depend on soil to build our homes and cities, to grow crops for food and raise livestock, to support transportation and enable recreation. Yet we disregard this crucial and precious resource that lies right under our feet.

Why Take This Course?

The threats to our soil span deforestation, erosion, overgrazing, use of agrochemicals, pollution and climate change. Learn what you can do to make a difference in protecting this vital natural resource.

Learning Outcomes

  • Why soils and sustainable soil management are so important to life on earth.
  • How soils form, their functions and basics of soil degradation.
  • Threats to and caring for: Soil water relations, soil fertility, and soil biodiversity.
  • Effects of and solutions for Soil erosion, soil pollution, and soil Stalinization.
  • Socio-economic and policy aspects of sustainable soil management.
  • How you can help protect this critical natural resource.


Dr. Coen J. Ritsema

Coen Ritsema is Professor at Wageningen University & Research and Chair of the Soil Physics and Land Management group.

Dr. ir. Michel Riksen

Michel Riksen is an assistant professor in the Soil Physics and Land Management group (SLM) of Wageningen University & Research.

Dr. Jerry Maroulis

Jerry Maroulis is, since 2012, a lecturer at Wageningen University & Research in the Soil Physics and Land Management (SLM) Group.


Basic: secondary school completed

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  • EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  • Once applicant signs up for a course and activates their account, click on the Log In button on the edx.org homepage and type in their email address and edX password. This will take them to the dashboard, with access to each of their active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on their dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)

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