Field Soil Description & Classification Course By CMI of Applied Ecology

June 15, 2022 - 9:00am to June 17, 2022 - 5:00pm(PDT/PST)
Revelstoke, BC

Field Soil Description & Classification Course

Columbia Mountain Institute of Applied Ecology

City: Revelstoke BC

Venue: Various field sites and classroom space TBD


Member: $480

Non-member: $525

Bagged lunches $14/day, optional. Refreshments will be provided on the morning of your first classroom session and are included in your registration fee. All food is provided by La Baguette.

Limited class size of 15 people, register immediately to secure your spot.

Lead Instructor: Deepa Filatow, P.Geo, PAg 

Assistant Instructors: Mr. Wayne A. Blashill, PAg, Chuck Bulmer, Ph.D., PAg., Veronika Lukesova

Course Description

This course will cover procedures for observing, measuring, and describing soils in the field. The goal is to produce consistent data for soil inventory, mapping, and classification using techniques that improve the consistency of determining soil properties in the field. Students will gain experience with describing and classifying forest and wetland soils in the Revelstoke area using soil horizons and properties measured in the field. Students will discuss how soils data collected in the field can inform soil management practices relating to conservation, agriculture, forestry, mining, and oil & gas activities.

The course starts in the classroom where students will have the opportunity to meet with one another and the instructor team. The morning will be spent reviewing soil attribute data recording requirements, soil taxonomy, and field techniques. That afternoon in the field we will practice the procedures for observing landscape context, site selection, and soil pit excavation. Participants will describe and record soil horizon designations, depths for organic and mineral layers, soil texture, soil color, % coarse fragments, structure, pH, roots, pores, carbonates, effervescence, clay skins, mottles, rooting depth, drainage, seepage water depth and root restricting layers. Horizon designation and other criteria will be used to classify the soil. We will conclude each site with a reporting out and discussion of management implications. In the next two field days students will continue to practice these skills and visit a variety of different landforms and soil types.

A detailed course outline is available upon request.

Who should take this course?

This course is designed for people working in agriculture, forestry, mining, oil & gas, resource management, or government agencies (Forest Service, Regional District) who may require initial or additional basic soils knowledge. Staff doing soil reclamation & remediation or reviewing soils data collected by consultants would benefit. TEM and PEM practitioners will have interest in this course. All are welcome.

Preparation and what to bring

1. Publications

It is recommended that students come having reviewed the following publications, and to have the publications/resources either printed or on their phone. All are available online:

Field Manual for Describing Terrestrial Ecosystems. 2010. LMH#25.Pre-read section 2 Soils Description. Used to describe all soil attributes. **Highly recommended that each student have their own copy, although the instructor will have two copies to share. See here

The Soil Landscapes of BC. 1986. Please pre-read section three, and read section 3.5 as it addresses the Columbia Mountain and Southern Rockies soils. It’s old but still relevant! See here

The Canadian System of Soil Classification. 1998. Used to classify soils, the instructor can share his copy with students, but students may want their own copy for future use. See here

2. Field equipment

Each participant must have:

  • Sturdy hiking shoes (for uneven terrain and shoveling)
  • Waterproof boots (for wetland site)
  • Rain gear (jacket and pants)
  • Warm layers
  • Pack or field vest to carry gear
  • Reflective safety vest
  • Water bottle (at least 1L)
  • Trowel (garden trowel)
  • Soil knife (can use an old cutlery knife)
  • Tape measure
  • Golf tees (for horizon markers could use large nails)
  • Field Manual for Describing Terrestrial Ecosystem LMH 25 (loaded onto field mobile device)
  • Canadian System of Soil Classification (loaded onto field mobile device)
  • Field notebook
  • Mechanical pencils
  • Mobile device (communication, soil classification app, photos, resources, GPS, etc.)
  • Packed lunch  

See here for more items

What is included with the course?

There is no workbook or manual for this course. The 3 publications listed above provide all the background & technical procedures. The field sheets contain all the soil description data and are the only hardcopy deliverables. Lunches are available for pre-order with registration.

*Memberships may be purchased and renewed while you register. More about membership here.


NOTE: The waitlist for the course will be open once registration closes.  Please email to be placed on the waitlist.

Where to stay?

We have set up a discounted group rate at the Stoke Hotel of $94 + tax /night, or $109+tax /night for a double queen room. Hot breakfast included an outdoor hot tub on site. When booking your room ask for the rate arranged by the “Columbia Mountains Institute.”

 See here for further information