Daniel Fritton, Ph.D.

  • Professor Emeritus of Soil Physics
Daniel Fritton, Ph.D.
116 Agricultural Sciences and Industries Building
University Park, PA 16802


  1. Ph.D., Soil Physics and Agricultural Climatology, Iowa State University, 1968
  2. M.S., Soil Physics and Agricultural Climatology, Iowa State University, 1966
  3. B.S., Soil Science, Colorado State University, 1964

Responsibilities and Interests:

I am interested in the improvement of student learning and have experimented with numerous teaching techniques. I am especially interested in improving the problem solving and critical thinking skills of students.

I am generally interested in how soil physical properties and processes influence man’s use of soil. I am more specifically interested in corn root growth and on-site effluent disposal systems as two specific uses of soil. I usually approach any of these problems using either mathematical or computer simulation procedures as a framework.

Currently, I am involved in nitrate leaching and soil compaction projects from the soil physics perspective.

Other areas of expertise include the following:

  • computer-assisted presentations
  • use of instructional objectives in soils teaching
  • encouraging active involvement of students
  • soil heat flow and temperature
  • soil property modification
  • pollutant movement and interaction with soil, and
  • soil physical property measurement


Professional Background:

  • Assistant Professor, Cornell University, 1968–1971
  • Assistant Professor, The Pennsylvania State University, 1971–1976
  • Associate Professor, The Pennsylvania State University, 1976–1981
  • Professor, The Pennsylvania State University, 1981–2008
  • Professor Emeritus, The Pennsylvania State University, 2008–present

Selected Publications:

  1. An Improved Empirical Equation for Uniaxial Soil Compression for a Wide Range of Applied Stresses. 2001. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 65: 678–684. Abstract.
  2. Jabro, J.D., J.D. Toth, Z. Dou, R.H. Fox, and D.D. Fritton. 1995. Evaluation of nitrogen version of LEACHM for predicting nitrate leaching. Soil Science 160:209–217. Abstract
  3. Fritton, D.D., J.D. Jabro, D.P. Knievel, and G.W. McKee. 1992. Weather and maize data for plant growth modeling: 1978. Agronomy Series No. 123. Penn State University, University Park, PA. 81 pp.
  4. Brown, J.L., D.E. Hall, K.V. Iversen, and D.D. Fritton. 1994. Under my feet: An exploration of soil: Activities and projects. The Pennsylvania State University, The Department of Agricultural and Extension Education, University Park, PA. 36 pp.
  5. Fritton, D.D. 1990. A standard for interpreting soil penetrometer measurements. Soil Science 150:542–551. Abstract
  6. Daniels, M.B. and D.D. Fritton. 1994. Groundwater mounding below a surface line source in a typic fragiudalf. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 58:77–85. Abstract
  7. Campbell, C.M. and D.D. Fritton. 1994. Factors affecting field-saturated hydraulic conductivity measured by the borehole permeameter technique. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 58:1354–1357. Abstract