Thursday, June 28, 2012

Microbes gasping in the heat

Angel and Oliver conduct a microbial respiration assay on the NCSU Agroecology Education Farm. This demo will be used as part of the CEFS internship program introductory soil science field day this Monday. Oliver and Angel are still smiling, even in 93 degree temps. What a great team! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Silly putty in the brickyard

Not too far from our building, students from Department of Material Science and Engineering had a fun activity in the afternoon. 

A 60 lb. of silly putty was dropped from the top of the library. Yes, from the 11th floor.

Do you think we should do the same but with 60 lb. of silly soil? Wouldn't that be fun?

Teaching kids what it's like to be cool soil scientists

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Suzanne wins Golden Opportunity Scholarship!

Congratulations to our undergraduate researcher Suzanne Flieshman, who has been selected as a Golden Opportunity Scholar by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. Way to go, Suzanne! Twenty scholars are selected nationally each year on their academic achievements and interest in agronomy, crop and soil sciences. The program provides financial support for travel, lodging, registration, and other costs related to attending the Annual Meetings. Please join me in congratulating Suzanne, who now joins the ranks of our esteemed undergraduates Max and Jacob, who were scholars last year. See more here:

Suzanne hard at work in the legume field - sure can't beat this job!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ahoy Matey - Pirates Ahead!

Ahoy Matey! I am marooned at the filming location for the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. (Don't send rescue) Hampstead Estate is located on the north side of Dominica, affectionately called "The Nature Island". Most of the island is rural and mountainous. One of the very few sandy beaches is here. Unfortunately, after soil sampling they make us swim for our rum!

Soil sample site #4 - coconut farm.  I'm working hard - I swear.  

 A pile of coconut husks.  Looks like good compost, huh?

The Lab Goes Wild!

Greetings from the island of Dominica!  The Grossman lab seeks new adventures in the land of pirates!  Tony Kleese of Earth Wise Company invited us to soil sample on a historic coconut farm called Hampstead Estate.  While we here we are evaluating how to integrate cover crops on an organic farm in the tropics.  Mangoes, Pineapples, Bananas, Coconuts, and Rum - Oh My!  It's a rough job..... but somebody has to do it.

Calling all soil geeks:  These are Smectite rich soils.  Smectite is associated with the shrink swell clays common in the tropics.  There is no sticking the average soil probe down in there.

Old mango grove on Hampstead Estate.

Monday, June 4, 2012

CEFS Field Day Fun

May 3rd was the CEFS field day and many of our lab members came out for the fun in the (very hot) sun, with Matt, Erika, Arun, Sean, Sarah – even JiJY! – in attendance. Three busloads of participants visited our field site, where I gave a brief snapshot intro to the cover crop termination experiment, and the field staff then demoed the roller crimper on the blocks that will not be used for data collection this summer. The group really enjoyed seeing the roller-crimper in action!

Doesn't get cooler than a new cooler

When a post-doc misbehaves....

Friday, June 1, 2012

Congratulations Erika!

Congratulations to Erika Larsen for receiving the 2012 Eugene J. Kamprath Soil Science Scholarship! Great job, Erika!

Congratulations Matthew!

Congratulations to Matthew Brown for receiving first place on his poster delivered at the Soil Science Society of North Carolina Annual Meeting!

Arun Jani

Welcome to our newest grad student, Arun Jani, who will be studying root dynamics of legume cover crops. Welcome, Arun!

JiJY Sooksa-nguan

We welcome back our post-doc Thanwalee ‘JiJY’ Sooksanguan from Thailand to work with us on our molecular evaluation rhizobia associating with legume cover crops. Welcome back to NC!

The Lab

Congratulations to the Grossman lab and associated service-learning colleagues for receiving the Opal Mann Green Engagement and Scholarship award for community garden outreach work in low-income communities.

Nape Mothapo

Congratulations to our graduate student Nape Mothapo for receiving the 2010 Hugh Hammond Bennett Award in Soil Science! Way to go, Nape!

Matthew Brown

And yet another one joins the team! Welcome to Matthew Brown, coming to us from NYC where he was a soil scientist in Central Park. Matthew will be studying decomposition of legume covers killed using different termination methods such as rolling, herbicide, and incorporation.