STOCKSCH 117 – Agricultural Chemistry Online


Summer Online – May 19 – June 27, 2014


Course Description: Agricultural Chemistry is an introductory chemistry course designed for students studying Sustainable Food and Farming and related subjects. Students will receive an in-depth look at chemical and biochemical properties and processes which are integral to soils, agriculture and the environment. Topics include introductory chemistry topics such as matter and energy, chemical bonding and reactions, moles, gaseous and aqueous chemistry and more.  Topics will be engaged with agricultural effects and practices in mind.


Instructor:  Emily Cole, M.Ed.
Office: 42 Stockbridge Hall; UMass
Meeting Pattern: Online (May 19 – June 27, 2014)
Text: Readings will be provided on‐line

General Outline of Topics

Week 1: Introduction to Agricultural Chemistry

  • Review of Matter, Atoms, Elements
  • Physical vs Chemical Properties

Week 2: Molecules, Ions and Bonding

  • CEC and Plant Nutrients
  • Fertilizers and Fertilizer Requirement calculations

Week 3: pH, Chemical Reactions, Types and Balancing

  • Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling
  • Haber-Bosch Process
  • Liming reactions and requirement calculations

Week 4: Solubility

  • Aerobic/anaerobic soil chemistry

Week 5:  Organic and Biochemical chemistry

  • Organic matter
  • Other nutrient cycling in the environment

Week 6: Chemistry and Fate of Pesticides

  • Special Topics – Sustainable practices
  • Contaminants in Soil, Water and Air

Grading:  to be announced

Technology: According to UMass Online, in order to take this course you must:

  • have access to a personal computer (Mac or Windows)
  • be familiar with basic computer skills
  • be connected to the internet
  • have an e-mail program and account
  • have at least a 56 kbps modem
  • have a Java capable browser (Netscape or Internet Explorer)

NOTE: If you have any problems with technology, please contact the UMass Online Tech Support office for help.


This class is part of the Sustainable Food and Farming Online Certificate Program.   To register for upcoming classes, see UMass Online.  Most classes cost $371/credit.  If you would like to register for the Certificate program, you may apply here.