soil science

Colloid-Mediated Transport of Hormones with Land-Applied Manure

Endocrine-disrupting hormones may enter the environment via land application of livestock manure. With respect to both livestock production and soils, Iowa is the prototype for agriculture in the Midwest. Our hypothesis is that the risk of hormone transport can be better understood by knowledge of the mechanisms of sorption, desorption, and transport of colloid-hormone complexes.

Determining soil water evaporation and subsurface evaporation zones

Evaporation from the soil largely determines water availability in terrestrial ecosystems and the partitioning of solar radiation between sensible and latent heat. It is key to hydrology and climate. The evaporation process is complex, involving movement and phase change of water, varying with depth and time. Following water inputs, evaporation occurs at the soil surface, controlled by atmospheric demand. As surface soil water is depleted, evaporation becomes soillimited and shifts below the surface; nonetheless it is generally viewed as a strictly surface process.

PhD candidate John Jones was awarded with the Future Leaders in Science Award from the ASA-CSSA-SSSA. Speaking with colleagues who had attended the ASA-CSSA-SSSA Congressional Visits Day in the past led him to apply for the award. The tri-societies provide workshops and sessions for graduate students who have an interest in communicating their science to a broader audience. After interacting with actively engaged graduate students and representatives from the ASA-CSSA-SSSA science policy office, the Future Leaders of Science Award seemed like an excellent opportunity for John to expand his understanding of science communicator. 

Dr. John Pesek was a soil scientist, champion of sustainable agriculture, teacher and leader. Regrettably, our esteemed colleague passed away February 11. With over 40 years of service to the Department of Agronomy and Iowa State University, Dr. Pesek left a lasting legacy.

Dr. Pesek was born November 15, 1921 in Hallettsville, Texas. He received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture education from Texas A&M in 1943, at which point he entered the military. He was a member of the 98th Bomb Group within the 15th Air Force.

Heather R Pasley
Postdoc Research Associate

Improving cereal rye cover crop BMPs to increase adoption of cover crops by Iowa farmers (2018-2020)

Issue: The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy (INRS) calls for cover crop implementation on over 12 million acres, which equates to every other field. Despite numerous environmental benefits associated with cover crops, many farmers are still hesitant to change their current production practices. Major barriers to introducing cover crops as a conservation practice include cost of implementation, yield drag, and knowledge.

Our Bradley Miller was presented with the Dan Yaalon Young Scientist Medal by the International Union of Soil Sciences at the World Congress of Soil Science in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil earlier this week. The award honors Dan Hardy Yaalon (1924-2014), a professor of soil science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Dan H. Yaalon had 57 years of an exceptional research career. He contributed to some of the most fundamental issues of soils in space and time as well as theory and history of soil science. In particular, he made some of the most significant contributions in pedology and palaeopedology, especially regarding arid and Mediterranean landscapes.

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