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Curriculum: Agriculture: Energy & Environmental Technology [ 119.22(c)(8)]

The Texas Legacy site hosts a variety of educational curricula, lesson plans, keys and ideas, and supporting media, including video, databases, transcripts and other material.  Below you can find the TEKS Agriculture standards for Energy and Environmental Technology, particularly Soil Erosion as described in section 119.22(c)(8), with relevant activities drawn from this archive.

Goal:  The student discusses methods of controlling soil erosion:


Excerpts of TEKS Text

TexasLegacy.org  Relevance

Suggested Activities


(A)  identify sources and types of erosion;



The TexasLegacy.org site includes various resources on soil erosion, both historic and current, with coverage of erosion sources, types, effects and control methods.


Erosion can occur because of natural causes such as wind and water, but often can be accelerated and made more severe because of agricultural practices that expose, compact and kill the soil.  For more examples, please search the TexasLegacy.org website for such terms as "soil" and "erosion".



(B)  list harmful effects of erosion;


TexasLegacy.org narrators see the subtle yet debilitating effects of erosion, and can share their insights with students.


While millions of tons of soils are lost to erosion, often it is gradual and not obvious.  However, one clear and dramatic sign was the Dust Bowl of the 1930s and 1950s.  Here you can watch Lubbock singer/songwriter Andy Wilkinson remember how it was to live through the blowing dust of the 50s. 

Another manifest sign of soil erosion is the 7000 square-mile Dead Zone that extends from the mouth of the Mississippi far into the Gulf of Mexico.  This zone contains sediment and assorted chemicals that have washed off farms and streets throughout the Midwest.  Please read as coastal advocate Sharron Stewart and shrimper Deyaun Boudreaux discuss the Dead Zone's causes and effects.



(D)  list erosion control methods and programs.


Numerous farmers and agricultural experts in the TexasLegacy.org archive offer ideas and practical solutions for addressing erosion losses.


Austin farmer, Carol Ann Sayle, and Albany, Oklahoma rancher, Walt Davis stress the importance of caring for the soil, of focusing on its health above produce or livestock production.

No-till cultivation and contour plowing have long been macro, large-scale solutions to keeping soil in farmfields.  These ideas extend to avoiding clearcutting, skidding, compacting and rootplowing in silviculture too, as pointed out by Longview machinist Richard LeTourneau and Nacogdoches forest advocate, Larry Shelton.

Many experts now urge us to look at the micro level.  For example, San Antonio agricultural supplier, Malcolm Beck, and microbiologist Ruth Lofgren recommend that we become more aware of the microbial life of the soil, which supports its fertility and tilth, but which is also very vulnerable to compaction and over-fertilization.

Some consultants have advised controlling erosion and improving soil fertility by applying sludge to fields.  Others have resisted the ideas due to concerns about spreading pathogens and heavy metals.  Decide for yourself by reading the transcripts of interviews with Bill Addington, who opposed a sludge operation in Sierra Blanca, or with Ken Zarker, an Austin agency official who regulated sludge haulers and appliers.



Conservation History Association of Texas
Texas Legacy Project

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