Department Research Programs

Mission

Department research defines the function of soils in:

  • CYCLING of energy, elements, and nutrients within and between ecosystems
  • SUSTAINABILITY of natural and managed ecosystems
  • TRANSPORT AND FATE of contaminants and pathogens in the environment
  • INTERACTION among organisms (humans, plants, soil biota) and the soil environment.

Research Disciplines

Environmental Chemistry
Faculty

Phillip Barak — Soil chemistry of plant nutrients
William Bleam — Chemistry of humic substances and soil colloids
Joel Pedersen — Environmental toxicology and organic chemistry

Resources

VMMM Virtual Museum of Minerals and Molecules
Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Center
Biotechnology Training Program
Environmental Chemistry and Technology

Soil and Environmental Microbiology
Faculty

William Hickey — Environmental biotechnology; bacterial nanostructure; soil pathogens
Sharon Long — Applied environmental microbiology; microbial source tracking
Thea Whitman — Soil ecology, soil microbiology, terrestrial carbon biogeochemistry, climate change

Resources

Wisconsin Ecology
Institute for Biology Education
Microbiology Doctoral Training Program
Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Center

Nutrient Management
Faculty

Nick Balster — Nutrient management of forest soils and nurseries
Phillip Barak — Nutrient recovery and nutrient budgets
Carrie Laboski — Nutrient management of grain and forages; manure management
J. Mark Powell — Nutrient management of dairy systems
Matt Ruark — Nutrient cycling in agroecosystems; nutrient management of grain and vegetables
Doug Soldat — Nutrient management of turf and urban soils
Thea Whitman — Organic matter cycling in natural and managed ecosystems

Resources

UW Discovery Farms
Nutrient and Pest Management Program
Nonpoint Pollution and Demonstration Project
SNAP-Plus nutrient management software
Wisconsin Phosphorus Index phosphorus loss risk assessment tool
Manure Management Advisory System
Dairy Forage Research Center
Wisconsin Turfgrass

Water Quality
Faculty

Francisco Arriaga — Soil management systems and water quality
Sharon Long — Drinking water quality and standards
Joel Pedersen — Organic contamination of surface waterways
Matt Ruark — Nutrient management and surface and groundwater quality
Doug Soldat — Urban and suburban impacts on water quality

Resources

UW Discovery Farms
Nonpoint Pollution and Demonstration Project
Wisconsin Phosphorus Index phosphorus loss risk assessment tool

Landscape Processes
Faculty

Nick Balster — Ecological engineering and ecosystem restoration
Alfred Hartemink — Digital soil mapping, pedology, soils of the tropics
Stephen Ventura — Geographic Information Systems (GIS); Land use planning

Resources

Wisconsin Ecology
UW Arboretum
UW Discovery Farms
Land Information & Computer Graphics Facility
Digital Soil Mapping
International Union of Soil Sciences

Soil Physics
Faculty

Francisco Arriaga — Soil management systems and water quality

Resources

UW Ag Weather and Modeling
ASIG software
WinTransect software development
Nonpoint Pollution and Demonstration Project
Cupid plant canopy model
TiSDat Timely Satelite Data for ag management
ALEXI satellite estimation of evapotranspiration over the continental U.S.