Teaching and Research Mission

The Soil Science Group's teaching and research seeks to clarify and quantify the impact of soil processes on global biogeochemical cycles. We conduct research both locally and globally with an eye toward using Earth's continental landscapes as a research laboratory. The distribution of landforms crossing climatic, lithologic, and topographic boundaries are natural experiments that only require ingenuity to decipher. Along with analysis of patterns in landscapes, we use natural chemical and isotopic tracers to quantify mineral weathering and neoformation, and biogeochemical cycling as soils evolve in contrasting ecosystems. An important long-term goal in this work is development of spatially explicit models that describe the distribution of Earth-surface properties and processes in relationship to changes in driving processes along environmental gradients.