Penn State Soil Characterization Lab
Soil is an integral part of ecosystem function. There are 29 million acres (11,735,884 hectares) of soil in Pennsylvania supporting: wetlands; forest lands; agricultural lands; urban lands; homes, businesses, and roads; our drinking and wastewater filtration. Without soil, these activities and functions would be much more difficult and in some cases even impossible, for soil is as precious to our lives as the very blood in our bodies.
Research in the Soil Characterization Laboratory focuses on people’s use of landscapes and the accompanying changes in soil function across the larger ecosystem the soil supports. Dr. Drohan’s research group addresses basic science questions, but also demonstrates how this new knowledge can be applied to improve land management and ecosystem stability.
Soil Characterization Lab News
New video promo spot for the "Dig It" soil's exhibit featuring Dr. Drohan
December 4, 2013"Dig It" was a 4,000-square foot exhibition on soil in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History from July 18, 2008 through Jan. 10, 2010. It is now traveling around the country.
Cody Fink successfully defended his thesis!
December 4, 2013Master's student Cody Fink successfully defended his thesis entitled: Dynamic soil property change in response to natural gas development in Pennsylvania.
Coastal marshes, North Dakota oil and gas, and rattlesnakes to boot...summer of 2013 was busy!
August 28, 2013During summer of 2013 a lot happened in the Penn State Soil Characterization Lab. We visited 5 different states for research projects, sampled a couple of hundred soils, and managed to take a break for a swim in the Atlantic ocean.