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2016

NEW BOOK CHAPTER: Future Challenges for Soil Science Research, Education, and Soil Survey in the USA
November 18, 2016
This new book highlights the anniversary of soil science in the United States. Soils are a critical and often unappreciated resource because they are belowfoot and mostly out of sight. This book brings to you a comprehensive overview of the diversity, beauty, and vital importance of soils to ecosystems, agriculture , forestry, and urban infrastructure. It is intended to be a reference and learning tool that will enhance your knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the soil resources in the USA. Soil supports all terrestrial life forms, and performs functions critical to the well-being of the global population including nutrient and water storage and supply for plant growth, partitioning of precipitation into ground and surface waters, disposal and renovation of anthropogenic wastes, habitat for soil organisms, and support for roads, buildings, and other infrastructure. Soils are a major reservoir of global carbon and can, with proper management, serve as a sink for atmospheric carbon to reduce greenhouse gasses. Soils are relatively resilient, but are subject to degradation if managed improperly. Only by understanding the properties of and processes occurring in the soil, can the soil resource be conserved and sustained for continued support of the Earth’s population. -L. T. West , M. J. Singer, A. E. Hartemink
Dr. Drohan Advises at National Grazinglands Soil Health Workshop
July 17, 2016
Dr. Drohan traveled to Ft. Collins, CO this July to participate in a National grazing and grassland workshop for the USDA-ARS and the National Institute of Food and Agricultural. Dr. Drohan was asked to provide an overview of soil health initiatives on forest lands to help set the stage for the workshop and its forthcoming white papers.
SOILS 499A & B class focuses on Co-Evolution of landscapes and people through time
June 24, 2016
Dr. Drohan hosted a study abroad program Spring 2016 that culminated with a 10 day abroad program in Southeastern Ireland with Irish agricultural, environment, and cultural organizations.
Dr. Drohan recognized by US EPA
April 13, 2016
Dr. Drohan and others (alumnus Steve Dadio) were recognized this week by the US EPA by receiving an Honorable Mention for the US EPA Scientific and Technological Achievement Award. This is for their "Research on Understanding the Nature of Urban Soils and Their Role in Stormwater and Sewar management."
NEW PAPER: High Resolution Hydric Soil Mapping using LiDAR Digital Terrain Modeling
March 23, 2016
The recent availability of 1-m laser imaging, detection, and ranging (LiDAR) data in Pennsylvania provides a high resolution digital elevation model (DEM) which could improve on existing USDA-NRCS Order 2 soil survey mapping. The ability of LiDAR derived terrain indices to predict hydric soil presence was evaluated across the Northern Appalachians. We developed a logistic regression model to predict hydric soil presence using a dataset of 1153-field data points and several terrain indices derived from LiDAR DEMs. The best performing regression model included slope derived from a 1-m LiDAR DEM, depressions derived from a 5-m LiDAR DEM, and physiographic region. This model was able to successfully predict 67% of hydric soils and 73% of non-hydric soils from a validation dataset. The model performed better at predicting non-hydric soils compared with hydric soils and was not as effective in low slope areas. This suggests that the 1-m LiDAR hydrologic variables used in the study cannot completely account for soil hydric status.
First day of Spring....our lab is brighter than the weather outside!
March 21, 2016
It may be a dim first day of Spring in Happy Valley but we aren't. Left, Shauna Kay Rainford, right Katie Speicher.
Seeking MS student in SOILS for soil chemistry study related to deer health
January 22, 2016
The PSU SCL is recruiting an MS student to begin July 1, 2016. This student will work with Dr. Drohan, and Drs. Diefenbach and McDill in the ESM department, on a PA Bureau of Forestry study examining how soil chemistry may influence forbe chemistry and deer health. Interested students should contact Dr. Drohan at pjd7@psu.edu.