Soil Science at Chernivtsi University starts from the 40 th of ÕÕ century when the Department of Soil Science and Agriculture was organized within the Faculty of Biology. From September 1950 to August 1955 it was headed by the Candidate of Agricultural Sciences, Associate professor Kuchynsky Peter. When the departement of agronomy stopped its activities in 1955 the Departement was also disintegrated.
The formation of the Department of Physiology of Plants and Agricultural Chemistry in 1985 was the revival of Soil Science at Chernivtsi University . It was conferring graduate degrees in „Agricultural Chemistry and Soil Science” within the program of „Agricultural Chemistry”. Then there were: one full professor, one associate professor, two assistants, laboratory manager and two senior laboratory assistants.
From 1988 to 2003 Nazarenko Ivan Ivanovych, Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, a known professor in the fields of Soil Science, Agriculture, Agricultural Chemistry, Ecology.
From 1994 to 2001 the Department held the name of Soil Science and Agribusiness. From 2001 it was renamed into the Department of Soil Science and Land management. In 2003 Smaga Ivan Stepanovych took over the position of the chair of the Department.
The necessity to expand the research to the fields of soil, evaluation and management of soils stipulated the need for highly skilled engineers – land managers. The initiative of Nazarenko Ivan Ivanovych, chair of the department was supported by Professor Marchenko Myhaylo Markovych, Dean, College of Biology. And a result in 1998 a new specialty was opened “Land management and cadastre (majors in “Evaluation of Land and real estate”). In 2003 the department awarded first graduate degrees of land managers. The same year the department started to train students in specialization “AgroChemichalServis and Infrmation Systems” within the program of “Agricultural Chemistry and Soil Science”.
From 2005-2006 specialization „Management of enterprises and organizations of APC” was opened.
Department provides teaching of the following courses: “Soil Science”, “Zonal soil science”, “Physics of Soils” “Chemistry of Soils” , “Biology of Soils”, “Agricultural Chemistry”, “Agriculture”, “Land Cadastre”, “Land management”, “Basics of Land management”, “Land Law” and special courses for full and part time students “Soil science” and “Biochemistry” for the geography and biology students, conducts research on the problems of soil science and land management, provides post graduate training and doctoral studies.
Study laboratory for “Agricultural Chemistry, Physics of Soils, Chemistry of Soils, and Physical - Chemical research methods” provides the students with the opportunity to conduct complex practical tasks within the courses of “Physics of Soils”, “Chemistry of Soils”, “Agricultural Chemistry”, “Physical - chemical methods of Research in Soil Science”, and experimental research for graduate students. Laboratory is equipped with modern devices and equipment (ionometers, conductometer, flaming photometer, spectrophotometer).
In the “Biology of Soils” Study Laboratory students have an opportunity to master methods of microbiological research and in “Soil Science” Laboratory – perfect skills of laboratory research. Department also maintains laboratories of “Land management” and “Land Cadastre where students do graphic works, manage projects, process quantitative and quality analyses of soils.
Great attention is given to the theoretic training by professional and scientists combining field work and theory. The primary objective of field work – to acquaint students with modern methods, organization forms and tools in their future profession, to provide knowledge and professional skills.
Students majoring in “Land management and cadastre” get knowledge in Land law, Basics of Land management and cadastre, geodesy and cartography, information science and design. The students of “Agricultural Chemistry and Soil Science” are provided with all the necessary facilities for their studies and are trained by the newest methods of soils monitoring, fertility increase, crop rotations, fertilizing methods.
The students of both specialties listen to lectures and seminars in humanitarian, socio-economic and fundamental disciplines that train not only professionals in the field, but well-rounded individuals.
The faculty of the department constantly works on perfection of teachign methodology, efficiency laboratory research and field work, quality of term, bachelor and master's degree papers. The annual crop is no less than 10 methodology works. In 2003 the Ministry of Science and Education text text was published by I.I. Nazarenko, S.M. Polchyna, V.A. Nikorych designed for the students of biology, geography and ecology. The following textbooks are expected to be published “Soil Science with the basics of Geology” for land management students, “Agriculture” for the students of agronomy.
New methods of teaching are implemented at the department. Didactic materials are widely used during the classes (maps of the soils of the world, Ukraine , administrative regions, monoliths of different types of soils, standards of soils, stands, charts, diagrams, pictures and slide sets). Multimedia means are used during the lectures. The courses are organized in module form and computer testing is used for student assessment.
The Department conducts research on the most acute theoretical and applied issues of Soil Science, Biogeochemistry and Ecology.
Basic research tasks :
study of the agro ecological state and level of use of basic types of soils.
ecological evaluation of physical and chemical conditions of soils and factors of their fertility.
development of principles of genetic and agro ecological diagnostics of types of soils of Chernivtsi region.
creation of graphic models of Geochemistry of Agrolandscape of Peredcarpattya and Western Forest-steppe.
Diagnostics of soils and monitoring of state of soils of Peredcarpattya by microbiologic criteria.
development of mathematical models of soils fertility and its factors according to the basic laws of agriculture and agroecological requirements.
The research results in publication of over 180 scientific works, 9 candidate's and 2 doctoral theses defended (associate professors Dmytruk Yu.M., Smaga I.S. dissertations are ready for defence.). Research work of the students is connected with the Departments research. The students analyse the theoretical resources as well as perform field work. Senior year students are involved in the field and laboratory-analytical research. The results serve as materials for lectures, are analysed during student scientific conferences.
The collective of department forms the kernel of the Chernivtsi division of Ukrainian society of Soil Scientists and Agricultural Chemistry (OUTGA).
The research workers of the Department are members of Editorial Board of “Biologycal systems”, (professor Dmytruk Yu.M.), "Soil Science" (associate professor Nikorych V.A.), journal “Ecology and Noospherology" (associate professor Nikorych V.A.) and "Soil Forming Factors from the Temperate Zone" Romania (associate professor Nikorych V.A.)
Professor Dmytruk Yu.M. is the member of the specialized scientific councils of defence of dissertations at College of Geography and Biology.
The collective of department: