F. H. King’s Department of Agricultural Physics was recognized at UW-Madison in 1889, and from this emerged the Department of Soils, later renamed the Department of Soil Science. As part of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (originally the College of Agriculture) 125th anniversary (that’s a quasquicentennial, but we are favoring numerals) we marked 2014 as the 125th anniversary of Soil Science at UW-Madison. This was also the date that the first phase of what was to later be named King Hall opened. (And the Soils Building turned 99, close enough for many of us, but not everyone, alas.)
The celebration was on Friday, May 23, 2014, and included a full day and evening of recognition of our department’s remarkable legacy. The day’s program included reflections on our history, research updates from leading faculty members and graduate students, and four special talks from folks who we count among our most important product–graduates–and are now distinguished scholars of soil science. These four were Maribeth Kirkham (Kansas State University), Mike Vepraskas (North Carolina State University), Paul Gessler (University of Idaho), and Tom Sauer (USDA-ARS and Iowa State University).
Thank you to all who could attend!
To help defray the cost of the event (currently estimated in excess of $10,000) we have created the “Soil Science Anniversary Fund” at the UW-Foundation. Please consider a donation to this fund, by following this link to our UW-Foundation account.
Program of Events
Friday, May 23, 2014
10.00-10.30 Welcome from CALS Dean Kathryn VandenBosch
10.30-10.50 Phil Barak (UW): History of the soil science department
10.50-11.10 Bill Bland (UW): Soil science futures
11.10-11.40 Mike Vepraskas (North Carolina State): Hydric soil research
11.40-12.10 Mary Beth Kirkham (Kansas State University): Heavy metals in the environment
13.10-13.40 Paul Gessler (University of Idaho): Soil landscape modeling
13.40-14.10 Tom Sauer (USDA-ARS Iowa): Sustainable bioenergy production
14.10-14.20 Carrie Laboski (UW): From test kits to statutes: The evolution of soil fertility
14.20-14.30 Clay Vanderleest (UW, graduate student): Soil water potential and cranberry irrigation
14.30-14.40 Steve Ventura (UW): Soils and urban agriculture
14.40-14.50 Melissa Haber (UW, graduate student): Heavy metal sequestration via soil
15.10-15.20 Doug Soldat (UW): Rapid soil formation in golf course root zones
15.20-15.30 Megan Chawner (UW, graduate student): Benefits of radish as a cover crop
15.30-15.40 Joel Pedersen (UW): Soil and the transmission of prion disease
15.40-15.50 Melanie Stock (UW, graduate student): Agricultural runoff on frozen soils
15.50-16.50 Plenary discussion
16.50-18.15 Aperitifs & poster session in King Hall
18.15-20.00 Dinner at Carson Gulley (across the street from the Soils Building)
20.00-22.00 Music and Dance
Photos and Video
Click here to link to video of the presentations.