Daniel Fritton, Ph.D.

Daniel Fritton, Ph.D.

  • Professor Emeritus of Soil Physics
116 Agricultural Sciences and Industries Building
University Park, PA 16802


  • Ph.D., Soil Physics and Agricultural Climatology, Iowa State University, 1968
  • M.S., Soil Physics and Agricultural Climatology, Iowa State University, 1966
  • 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