Richard Stehouwer, Ph.D.

Richard Stehouwer, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Environmental Soil Science

Areas of Expertise

  • Composting and compost utilization
  • Mined land reclamation
  • Restoration of degraded soils
  • Biomass crop production


  • Ph.D., Soil Science, Ohio State University, 1990
  • M.S., Agronomy, Cornell University, 1981
  • B.S., Biology, Calvin College, 1977

Responsibilities and Interests

The extension program in environmental soil science serves a broad clientele including agriculture, industry, local municipalities, and state and federal regulatory agencies. Issues addressed in the program include soil-based recycling of agricultural, municipal and industrial and by-product materials, composting and compost utilization, mined land reclamation, brownfield restoration and remediation of contaminated soils.


My research program in large measure is driven by the issues and needs that arise in the extension program. Recent and current research projects include:

  • Characterization of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in composts as a function of compost maturity, and the influence of DOC on metals binding and transport in soils and minespoils.
  • Effects of long-term application of municipal sewage biosolids on the quality of agricultural soils and crops.
  • Effect of biosolids used in mine reclamation on acid mine drainage and nutrient discharge.
  • Fate and bioavailability of soil-applied Cu from dairy hoof baths


  • 75% Teaching
  • 25% Research

Web sites managed

Professional Background

  • Agriculture Extension and Development Leader, Christian Extension Ministries, Liberia, 1981–1986.
  • Post-Doctoral Researcher, Department of Agronomy, Ohio State University, 1990–1992.
  • Senior Researcher, School of Natural Resources, Ohio State University, 1992–1997
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Agronomy, Penn State, 1997–2003.
  • Associate Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Penn State, 2003–2011.
  • Professor, Department of Ecosystem Sciences and Management, Penn State University, 2011–present.

Selected Publications

Refereed Journal Articles

  1. Stehouwer, R.C., R.L. Day, and K.E. Macneal. 2006. Nutrient and Trace Element Leaching following Mine Reclamation with Biosolids. J. Environ. Qual. 35:1118–1126.
  2. Kost, D.A., J.M. Bigham, R.C. Stehouwer, J.H. Beeghly, R. Fowler, S.J. Traina, W.E. Wolfe, and W.A. Dick. 2005. Chemical and Physical Properties of Dry Flue Gas Desulfurization Products. J. Environ. Qual. 2005 34:676–686.
  3. Stehouwer, R.C., K.E. Macneal. 2004. Effect of alkaline stabilized biosolids on alfalfa molybdenum and copper content. J. Environ Qual. 33:133–140.
  4. Shober, A.L. and R.C. Stehouwer. 2003. On-farm assessment of biosolids effects on soil and crop quality. J. Environ. Qual. 32:1873–1880.
  5. von Willert, F.J. and R.C. Stehouwer. 2003. Compost and calcium surface treatment effects on subsoil chemistry in acidic minespoil columns. J. Environ. Qual. 32:781–788.
  6. von Willert, F.J. and R.C. Stehouwer. 2003. Compost, CaCO3, and gypsum effects on Ca and Al transport in acidic minespoil. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 67:778–786.
  7. Stehouwer, R.C., and K.E. Macneal. 2002. Use of yard trimmings compost for restoration of saline soil incineration ash. Compost Science and Utilization 11(1):51–60.
  8. Stehouwer, R.C., A.M. Wolf, and W. Dotty. 2000. Chemical monitoring of sewage sludge in Pennsylvania: Variability and application uncertainty. J. Environ. Qual. 29:1686–1695.
  9. Stehouwer, R.C., W.A. Dick, and P. Sutton. 1999. Acidic soil amendment with a magnesium-containing fluidized bed combustion by-product. Agron. J. 91:24–32. Abstract.
  10. McCoy, E.L., and R.C. Stehouwer. 1998. Water and nutrient retention properties of internally porous inorganic amendments in high sand content root zones. J. Turfgrass Mgmt. 2(4)49–69.
  11. Stehouwer, R.C. 1997. Amendment of acidic coal refuse with yard waste compost and alkaline materials: Effects on leachate quality and plant growth. Compost Science and Utilization 5(3):81–92.
  12. Stehouwer, R.C., P. Sutton, and W.A. Dick. 1996. Transport and plant uptake of soil-applied dry flue gas desulfurization by-products. Soil Sci. 161:562–574.
  13. Stehouwer, R.C., P. Sutton, and W.A. Dick. 1995. Minespoil amendment with dry flue gas desulfurization by-products: Plant growth. J. Environ. Qual. 24:861–869.
  14. Stehouwer, R.C., P. Sutton, R.K. Fowler, and W.A. Dick. 1995. Minespoil amendment with dry flue gas desulfurization by-products: Element solubility and mobility. J. Environ. Qual. 24:165–174.

Book Chapters

  1. Sims, J.T., and R.C. Stehouwer. 2002. Recycling of nitrogen through land application of agricultural, municipal, and industrial by-products. Chapter 18 In J. Schepers (ed.) New edition of Nitrogen in Agricultural Soils, Agronomy Series 22.
  2. Dick, W.A., R.C. Stehouwer, J.M. Bigham, W.E. Wolfe, Y-L. Hao, D. Adriano, J. Beeghly, and R.J. Haefner. 1999. Beneficial uses of flue gas desulfurization by-products: Examples and case studies of land application. In James F. Power and Warren A. Dick (eds.) Land Application of Agricultural, Industrial, and Municipal By-Products. Soil Science Society of America.
  3. Stehouwer, R.C., W.A. Dick, and J.M. Bigham. 1998. Co-utilization of flue gas desulfurization and organic by-products for mine reclamation. p. 377–396. In S. Brown, J.S. Angle, and L. Jacobs (eds.) Beneficial Co-Utilization of Agricultural, Municipal, and Industrial By-Products, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands.
  4. McCoy, E.L., C.W. Boast, R.C. Stehouwer, E.J. Kladivco. 1994. Macropore hydraulics: Taking the sledgehammer to classical theory. p. 303–347. In R. Lal and B.A. Stewart (eds.) Soil Processes and Water Quality. Adv. Soil Sci. Lewis Publishers, Ann Arbor, MI.