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Lauren Vitko and Mike Marsicano place at SSSA Annual Meeting Grad Student Competition

Posted: February 1, 2013

Lauren Vitko and Mike Marsicano placed 3rd in the poster and scientific talk sections at 2012 SSSA Annual Meeting Grad Student Competition (pedology division).

Penn State Soil Characterization Laboratory (PSUSCL) Students had a successful fall at the 2012 Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting in Cincinnati, OH. In the Society's Pedology Division, Graduate Student Research Competition, doctoral student Lauren Vitko presented a poster on her research, which is using geophysics to map restrictive layers in soils. Lauren is developing models of restrictive layer presence or absence across Pennsylvania soils in order to better understand their resulting control on surface saturation. Lauren's research is supporting the PSUSCL's work with the USDA-ARS and NRCS to develop the "Fertilizer Forecaster". Master's student Mike Marsicano placed 3rd in the scientific talk section. Mike presented his research to identify Ecological Sites, and develop corresponding State and Transition (S&T) Models in Pennsylvania. Ecological Sites, and S&T models, have been used extensively in the western U.S. to examine ecosystem resistance and resilience to anthropogenic disturbance. Mike's work is some of the first such research in the eastern United States.