Kevin McSweeney


Kevin McSweeney – Professor Emeritus

Pedology (Soil genesis, classification, mapping and land use) and its application to sustainable land management.

UW-Madison, Department of Soil Science
1525 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1299, USA


Program Affiliations

  • Department of Soil Science


  • BS Geology/Botany, 1976, University of Sheffield
  • MS Agronomy/Soils, 1981, University of Illinois-Urbana
  • PhD Agronomy/Soils, 1984, University of Illinois-Urbana

Teaching and Research Overview

My research program is designed to advance fundamental understanding of the nature, function and distribution of soils on the landscape and apply this knowledge to development of strategies that foster sustainable land management. I have a diverse program that includes research in sustainable agriculture and natural resource management, and the application of geographic information system (GIS) and allied technologies to soil-landscape modeling.

Sustainable agriculture and natural resource management research is largely conducted in Central America and is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development under the sustainable agriculture and natural resource management (SANREM) collaborative research support program (CRSP). SANREM CRSP is an interdisciplinary, interinstitutional program that places a strong emphasis on involvement of farmers and rural communities in the research process. This research addresses monitoring and assessment of soil/land quality and indicators of sustainability.

Research on the application of GIS and allied technologies to soil-landscape modeling is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Ventura. The focus here is on constructing 3-D models that provide realistic depictions of soil-landscapes, which can be used in conjunction with hydrological, biogeochemical, ecological, agronomic models etc., to simulate change on the landscape

I also maintain a strong interest in the following areas paleopedology, land rehabilitation, fate and transport of agricultural chemicals in soil-water systems, and micromorphology.

Selected Publications

Slater, B.K., B.J. Irvin, and K. McSweeney. 199_. Comparison of soil layer classification using fuzzy K-means and traditional horizon morphology. Geoderma 0:000-000. (Submitted).

Slater, B.K., and K. McSweeney. 199_. Towards a realistic depiction of soil-landscape diversity. Geoderma 0:000-000. (Submitted).

Lowery, B., K.J. Fermanich, K. McSweeney, D.E. Stoltenberg, and R.C. Harwig. 199_. Groundwater quality and crop yield responses to tillage management on a Sparta sand. J. Prod. Agric. 0:000-000. (Submitted).

Meyers, N.L., J.M. Kabrick, and K. McSweeney. 199_. Pattern and diversity of soils on drumlinized uplands in Northeastern Wisconsin. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 0:000-000. (Submitted).

Kabrick, J.M., K. McSweeney, and M.K. Clayton. 199_. Spatial patterns of soil carbon and texture on drumlins in Northeastern Wisconsin. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 0:000-000. (Accepted).

Ventura, S.J., B.J. Irvin, B.K. Slater, and K. McSweeney. 199_. Data structures for representation of soil stratigraphy. p. 000-000. In M. Goodchild et al. (ed.) GIS and environmental modeling: Process and research issues. Natl. Ctr. for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCIGA) Spec. Publ. GIS World, Boulder, CO. (In press).

Kabrick, J.M., M.K. Clayton, A.B. McBratney, and K. McSweeney. 1996. Cradle-knoll patterns and characteristics on drumlins in the Nicolet National Forest. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 0:000-000. (In press).

Fermanich, K.J., W.L. Bland, B. Lowery, and K. McSweeney. 1996. Irrigation and tillage effects on atrazine and atrazine metabolite flux below the root zone of a sandy soil. J. Environ. Qual. 0:000-000. (In press).

Wang, D., B. Lowery, K. McSweeney, and J.M. Norman. 1996. Spatial and temporal patterns of ant burrow openings in an agricultural landscape. Pedobiologia 0:000-000. (In press).

Wang, D., B. Lowery, K. McSweeney, and J.M. Norman. 1996. Ant burrow effect on water flow and soil hydraulic properties of Sparta sand. Soil Tillage Res. 0:000-000. (In press).

Barak, P., C.A. Seybold, and K. McSweeney. 1996. Self-similitude and fractal dimension of sand grains. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 50:72-76.

Romig, D.E., M.J. Garlynd, R.F. Harris, and K. McSweeney. 1995. How farmers assess soil health and quality. J. Soil Water conserv. 50:229-236.

Peterson, G.W., J. Bell, K. McSweeney, G.A. Nielsen, and P.C. Robert. 1995. Geographic information systems in agronomy. Adv. Agron. 55:68-111.

Wang, D., K. McSweeney, B. Lowery, and J.M. Norman. 1995. Soil modification by the ant Lasius neoniger Emery. Geoderma 66:259-272.

Meyers, N.L., and K. McSweeney. 1995. Influence of tree-throw on soil properties. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 59:871-876.

Seybold, C.A., K. McSweeney, and B. Lowery. 1994. Atrazine adsorption in sandy soils of Wisconsin. J. Environ. Qual. 23:1291-1297.

Slater, B.K., K. McSweeney, A.B. McBratney, S.J. Ventura, and B. Irvin. 1994. A spatial framework for integrating soil-landscape and pedogenic models. p. 169-185. In R.B. Bryant and R.W. Arnold (ed.) Quantitative modeling of soil processes. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Spec. Publ. no. 39. SSSA, Madison, WI.

McSweeney, K., P.E. Gessler, D. Hammer, J. Bell, and G.W. Petersen. 1994. Towards a new framework for modeling the soil-lanadscape continuum. p. 127-145. In R.G. Amundsen et al. (ed.) Factors of soil formation: A fiftieth anniversary perspective. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Spec. Publ. no. 33. SSSA, Madison, WI.

Hart, G.L., B. Lowery, K. McSweeney, and K.J. Fermanich. 1994. In situ characterization of hydrologic properties of Sparta sand. Geoderma 64:41-56.

Wang, D., J.M. Norman, B. Lowery, and K. McSweeney. 1994. Nondestructive determination of hydrogeometrical paramemters of soil macropores. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 58:294-303.

Wietersen, R.C., T.C. Daniel, K.J. Fermanich, B.D. Girard, K. McSweeney, and B. Lowery. 1993. Atrazine, alachlor, and metalochlor mobility through two sandy Wisconsin soils. J. Environ. Qual. 22:819-824.

Wietersen, R.C., T.C. Daniel, K.J. Fermanich, B. Lowery, and K. McSweeney. 1993. Irrigation and polymer effects on herbicide transport through the unsaturated zone of a Sparta sand. J. Environ. Qual. 22:811-818.

McCurdy, M., and K. McSweeney. 1993. The origin and identification of macropores in an earthen-lined dairy manure storage basin. J. Environ. Qual. 22:148-154.

Habecker, M.A., K. McSweeney, and N.L. Meyers. 1990. Variability of a Fragiochrept with windthrow microtopography in north central Wisconsin. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 54:483-488.

Fastovsky, D.E., K. McSweeney, and L.D. Norton. 1989. Pedogenic development at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, Garfield County, Montana. J. Sed. Petrol. 59:758-767.

Leigh, D.S., K. McSweeney, and J.C. Knox. 1989. Micromorphology of a welded Sangamonian to Wisconsinan age paleosol in southwestern Wisconsin. Catena 16:575-587.

McSweeney, K., A.A. Heshaam, G.S. LeMasters, and L.D. Norton. 1988. Micromorphological and selected physical properties of bare and residue covered soil surfaces. Soil Tillage Res. 12:301-322.