Soil Microbiome Online Course

From: $50.00 Inc GST / week for 16 weeks




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Soil Microbiome Online Course – Learn What Underpins Soil Health

This course is essential learning for anyone who works in plant production, farming or horticulture, such as (but not limited to):

  • Wetland specialist
  • Watershed or drainage basin technician
  • Hydrologist
  • Environmental technician
  • Soil and water quality specialist
  • Conservationist
  • Agricultural or Crop Consultant
  • Landscaper
  • Farmer
  • On-site land evaluation
  • Soil scientist
  • Research technician
  • Town planner
  • Crop production specialist
  • Research scientist

Why Is Learning About Soil Microbiomes Essential?

  • For achieving high productivity in all farming
  • For production of healthy plant stock
  • For Sustainable Production
  • For Pasture Management

Detailed Course Outline

This course is made up a number of lessons or units. Each of these has self assessment questions, a set task (practical homework) and an assignment which you can upload online.

There are 9 lessons in this course:

1. Nature and Scope of the Soil Microbiome

    • Nature of soil
    • Soil Structure & Texture
    • Soil Structure and Porosity
    • Soil Structure Research
    • Topsoil Thickness
    • Nutrient Components
    • Carbon and Nutrient Content
    • Carbon Retention
    • Nitrogen
    • Phosphorus
    • Sulphur
    • Other Important Indicators of Soil Health
    • Acidity (pH)
    • Salinity
    • Environmental Factors Affecting Soil Health
    • Drought
    • Frost
    • Erosion
    • Water Retention
    • Nature of soil Microbes
    • Bacteria
    • Archaea
    • Viruses
    • Fungi
    • Protozoa
    • Scope of the Soil Microbiome
    • Plant-Microbe Relationships
    • Microbe Interrelationships
    • Changes to the Soil Microbiome
    • Key Definitions and Concepts for Understanding Soil

2. Analyzing the Soil Microbiome Status

    • Measurement vs. Monitoring in Soil Biology
    • Things the Soil Microbiome can Help Measure or Monitor
    • Types of Soil Biological Testing and Analysis
    • Deciding on the Right Type of Test
    • Overview of Different Testing Types
    • Cotton Strip Assay
    • Microbial Activity Using Basal Carbon Dioxide Respiration
    • Microbial Biomass
    • Identification Through Culturing
    • Potentially Mineralizable Nitrogen
    • Biologic Plates
    • Microarrays
    • Community Profiling
    • More Advanced Approaches to the Microbiome: Omics
    • Transcriptomics
    • 16S rRNA
    • PCR
    • Bioinformatics

3. Human Impact on Microbiomes

    • Land Development and Urbanization
    • Changes in Land Use and Microbial Communities
    • Problems with land development on soils
    • Climate Change
    • Pollution
    • Air Pollution
    • Deposition
    • Precipitation
    • Erosion
    • Microplastics
    • Anti-microbials
    • Antibiotic Resistance
    • Monocultures

4. Soil Substrates and Additives

    • Soil Substrates
    • Inorganic Substrate Materials
    • Perlite
    • Vermiculite
    • Sand
    • Rockwool
    • Organic Substrate Materials
    • Peat
    • Coir
    • Bark
    • Soilless Substrates and Microbes
    • Substrate Technology
    • Substrate Engineering
    • Substrate Evaluation
    • Novel Technologies used in Substrate Management
    • Tomography
    • Rhizometrics
    • Mini-Horhizotron
    • Rhizometer
    • Inorganic Additives
    • Organic Additives
    • Manures
    • Compost
    • Fungal Additives

5. Conventional vs Organic Soil Management

    • Conventional Practices
    • Soil Carbon Modelling
    • Organic Practices
    • Composting
    • Crop Rotations
    • Cover Crops
    • No Tillage Farming
    • Organic Pest & Disease Control
    • Weed Control
    • Rotational Grazing
    • Livestock Management
    • Biodynamics
    • Biodynamic preparations/sprays

6. Soil Fertility Management

    • Soil Management Strategies
    • Soil Organic Matter
    • Cover Crops
    • Cocktail Cover Crop
    • Legume Crops
    • Longer Crop Rotations
    • Reduced Tillage
    • Planting Trees
    • ORGANIC Additives
    • Soil Humus
    • Building Soil Humus
    • Humates
    • Composting
    • Animal Manures
    • Microbial Inoculants & Microorganisms
    • Use of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) Inoculants
    • Specific Inoculums
    • Protozoa Tea
    • Earthworms
    • Gypsum
    • Lime

7. Plant Interactions with a Microbiome

    • Soil Organisms
    • Function of Plant Microbiome
    • Effect of Non-native Species
    • Soil Microbiome and Plants
    • Plant-Soil Feedback
    • Plant-Microbe Associations
    • Examples of Plant-Microbe Associations with Plant Families & Species
    • Effects of Different Microbes
    • Other Associations
    • Cover Crops & Grapevines
    • Crop Rotations & Microbiomes
    • Types of Cover Crops & Microbiomes

8. Pest and Disease Interactions with a Microbiome Biopesticides

    • Advantages of Biopesticides
    • Biological Control Agents
    • Microbial Pesticides
    • Advantages of Microbial Insecticides
    • Entomopathogenic Fungi
    • Protozoa
    • Bacteria
    • Engineering Microbial Inoculants to Suppress Disease

9. Soil Regeneration Practices

    • Restoring the soil microbiome
    • Practical Methods Which Benefit the Soil Microbiome
    • Reducing soil disturbance
    • No tillage (Zero Tillage)
    • Advantages of no till farming
    • Controlled Traffic Farming
    • Advantages of Controlled Traffic Farming
    • Increasing crop diversity & ORGANIC matter
    • Alley Farming
    • Cover Crops
    • Mulching & Composting
    • Biochar
    • Increasing soil microbes
    • Microbial Inoculation
    • Plant Breeding and Microbiome Engineering

When you have completed the lessons of your Certificate course, you will be given the option of taking the optional exam. It’s okay if you don’t want the exam, we still issue your Careerline Certificate. For Advanced Certificates however, the exam is compulsory (per module) and are included in the course fee.


Your Tutor

Barbara Tremain BSc. (Hons) Horticulture, RHS Adv. Cert,. RHS General, City & Guilds Garden Design, Permaculture Level 3 (UK)
Barbara Tremain

Barbara brings to Careerline a wide range of horticultural experience and knowledge Barbara has a keen interest in herbalism, edible wild plants and has lead into studies of many plant based complementary medicinal systems, qualification as a Bach Flower remedy practitioner and studying Ethnobotany. Barbara has practiced and studied horticulture as well as combining it with her love of travel in many countries including the UK, US and Australia and has also studied Permaculture and runs her own horticulture business. Within the past two years she have also worked for Groundwork SW with 18-24 year old unemployed people, this work and the mentoring scheme has allowed me to teach informally. It has been a delight to nurture the interests of keen learners in horticulture and garden design.