I am a soil science educator first and foremost. I create open textbooks so I can make soil science education more accessible and affordable for my students and the general public. I have produced two open textbooks in recent years, both published by New Prairie Press, K-State’s open digital press. The descriptions from the publisher are provided below.
The Soils Laboratory Manual, K-State Edition is designed for students in undergraduate, introductory soil science courses, and highlights the many aspects of soil science, including: soil genesis and classification, soil physical properties, soil-water interaction, soil biology, soil chemistry, and soil fertility. The lab manual includes 15 different laboratories, each one starting with an introduction and pre-lab assignment, followed by in-lab activities, and complimented by 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.
The Soils Laboratory Manual, K-State Edition is used in Kansas State University’s AGRON 305 class, and is based on the Soils Laboratory Manual, NC State Edition used in North Carolina State University’s SSC 201 class. The Soils Laboratory Manual, K-State Edition was originally published as a supplement to ‘An Open-Source Laboratory Manual for Introductory Undergraduate Soil Science Courses’ in Natural Sciences Education, Vol. 46:170013, and is also available for download at https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/nse/articles/46/1/170013. Moorberg and Crouse presented information about the manual at NACTA 2017, in West Lafayette, Indiana. Supporting materials, assignments, instructor versions, and DOCX and RTF files of the lab manual are available at open.soilscience.info. The lab manual is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Soil and Water Conservation: An Annotated Bibliography highlights freely-available online resources covering various aspects of soil and water conservation, and is designed to be a resource for conservation students and practitioners. The thirteen chapters in the annotated bibliography are grouped into four sections, including History and Fundamentals, Conservation Practices, Conservation Implementation, and Careers. Types of cited resources include extension bulletins, USDA NRCS conservation practice standards, and other government reports and resources. Cited resources are generally concise, easily read, and meant for general audiences. Annotations and images are used to provide context for each resource. Many contributors made Soil and Water Conservation: An Annotated Bibliography possible through their assistance with technical edits, outline development, identifying resources, or writing annotations. Chapter authors are experts and practitioners of soil and water conservation, or students of soil and water conservation who worked under the supervision of the editor, Colby Moorberg. The annotated bibliography is used as the primary text for Kansas State University’s AGRON 635 – Soil and Water Conservation, which is taught by Moorberg. The book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.