Soil Science has long been related to the body of knowledge of the soil environment, which includes its formation and the dynamic processes associated with it, and its application to agronomic practices and environmental conservation. Soil processes are integral in forming and regulating the natural environment, dictating how land is developed, thus influencing the distribution of people world wide and governing where plants grow. In recent years, there has been an increased awareness of the multiple roles soils play in the quality of life.
Although soil is far more complex than air or water, it is sometimes the forgotten part of the environmental picture. This is a dangerous oversight not because soils affect our future food supply but they also offer very important ecosystem services. High-quality soils not only promote the growth of plants and microbial activity but also act as an effective carbon sink and prevent water and air pollution by resisting erosion and by degrading and immobilizing agricultural chemicals, organic wastes, and other potential pollutants thus preventing pollution that would occur if the waste products were left to accumulate. Moreover soil supports buildings and provides materials for construction of earthen structures such as dams and roadbeds.
The major threat to soil is degradation which results from unsustainable land uses or from processes arising from human activities such as accelerated erosion, deterioration of physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil or long-term loss of natural vegetation. In recent years, there has been an increased need for information on how to maintain soil resources for sustainable land use and environmental conservation. Such information will be generated by well trained personnel in the area of soil environment and land use management.
Types of soils have influenced population settlements across the globe for centuries. The inherent fertility of the soil resource as well as the prevailing environmental conditions has sustained humanity for a long time. However, upsurge in human population has led to overexploitation and subsequent degradation of the soil resource and environment. In order to forestall and reverse the degradation, there is need for capacity building and hence a curriculum that combines both soil resource and environmental issues.
This curriculum combines the necessity to produce food by utilizing the soil resource while at the same time conserving the environment, both of which are becoming increasingly important. The subjects covered are interdisciplinary and will provide students with skills, knowledge and attitudes essential to manage the continually changing pedosphere, where the lithosphere, atmosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere interact. Graduates in Soil Environment and Land Use Management (SELUM) will have many career opportunities in fields related to environmental protection, sustainable management of natural resources, agriculture and forestry.
The main objective of the BSc in Soil Environemt and Land use Management programme at Egerton University is to develop human resource capacity with practical and conceptual skills in soil environment and land use management so as to address the current issues of food insecurity, environmental protection, urban waste management, land development (planning) strategies and terrestrial ecosystems role in climate change.
At the end of the program, SELUM graduates should be able to:
To be eligible for admission in to the BSc( Soil Environment and Land Use Management) degree programme , applicants must satisfy the minimum entry requirements stipulated in the EgertonUniversity statutes.
In addition, applicants must have passed the KCSE or any other equivalent qualification recognized by Egerton University Senate with at least grades C+ in Biology; C+ in Chemistry; C+ in Mathematics or Physics or Geography and C+ in English or Kiswahili or Agriculture.
Admission will be granted to Diploma holders in agriculture or related fields who have passed with at least a CREDIT or its equivalent from Universities or Colleges recognized by Egerton University Senate.
Diploma holders may qualify for credit transfer from their Diploma programmes as specified in Egerton University Statutes.
Mininum Entry Requirements for Bachelor's Degree at Egerton University
The entry requirements set out below are only minimum, and they in no way entitle an applicant to a place in the University. Applicants must:
Meet additional entry requirements as may be specified by the respective Department, Faculty, School or Institute.
To be admitted for a PRE-SERVICE DEGREE PROGRAM, a prospective candidate must have all the requirements set up by the joint Admission Board (JAB), with a prospective IN-SERVICE student must have completed a diplomaprogram in the relevant field and graduated with at least a CREDIT.
The Bachelor of Science degree in SELUM shall be four academic years each with two semesters of 15 teaching and 2 examination weeks.To graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in SELUM, a student should have studied and passed all scheduled courses, which includes the University common core courses approved by Egerton University Senate.