Process-based models are increasingly used to put field and laboratory data into a larger context. The course aims to equip students whose primary research is in the field or laboratory with basic modeling skills. In other words the course provides a gentle introduction into the realm of modeling. We will address how to convert a conceptual model into a series of differential equations. We will then work to implement these equations into a numerical model. We will use a simple web-based tool to analyze the behavior of several interacting components. Next to this system analysis tool, we will utilize the statistics software R to code up, analyze and visualize dynamic soil processes. Students will learn to assess stability, uncertainty, and limitation of models they are designing and/or working with. Example and exercises will be based on biogeochemical and physical processes in the soil, and focus on carbon and nutrient dynamics and reactive transport of tracers (e.g. gases, contaminants, nutrients) in soils. A major component of this course will be students evaluating their own data in the context of either an existing model they are adapting or a simple new model that they design and code up.
Credits: 3 Semesters Offered: Summer B Prerequisites: Students are expected to bring a background in soil biological and physical processes, and be ready to familiarize themselves with calculus and linear algebra.
Textbook: Reading assignments will be available on the course site in the form of scientific papers.