Some days ago, we interviewed some undergraduate students for fieldwork positions in the summer. Spring has arrived (well, almost) and we are planning ahead for our projects. We explained the projects to the students and then discussed all the variables, like our new probe sampler, the sampling design, the new instruments that we are using this summer, and of course the weather. It appeared to one of the students that there is lots to be figured out and decisions to be made whilst conducting research – not everything can be planned. The student couldn’t be more right as we are seeking for novelty, trying to explain and understand things a bit better, chasing ideas alongside, whilst keeping our goals and overall progress in close view.

Often, I think our department moves in a similar mode and manner; there are lots of things going on that may appear dispersed but the overall objectives of pushing the frontiers of soil science and doing some of the best teaching and extension is solidly anchored in the commotion of everyday life. We have the good fortune of being supported by a great staff, and an excellent college and university. We have keen undergraduate and graduate students, and a wonderful group of alumni and retired colleagues. The purpose of this newsletter is to keep you informed about departmental activities………………………From Alfred Hartemink

To access the rest of Vol. 8, No. 2 of “Profiles,” log in to MyUW and follow the link. https://uwmadison.app.box.com/files/0/f/27798721833/1/f_176011878926.  Watch for future volumes posted on this web site.