Current and recent projects
- Effects of soil properties on organic blueberry cultivation. Collaboration with Roman Miller, Eastern Mennonite University.
- Soil respiration (CO2) flux rates across the Shenandoah Valley. JMU College of Science & Mathematics seed funding.
- Geothermal heat pump potential for reducing fossil fuel consumption. JMU Valley 25x’25 seed funding. Data here.
- Landmine aging. We assessed how soil properties influenced landmine aging in Jordan and Cambodia, with a goal of informing ordnance disposal practices. Project conducted in collaboration with the JMU Center for International Stabilization and Recovery, with external funding from the US Department of State.
- Soil respiration fluxes across a sustainable forestry pilot project. We are measuring CO2 flux across different commercial forestry plots to assess the effects of a sustainable forestry pilot project initiated by Weyerhaeuser in North Carolina. Seed funding from Weyerhaeuser.
- Geoarchaeology of Landes Cemetery. We fused pedological, geophysical and archaeological characterization techniques to help reconstruct the history of an old family cemetery subjected to centuries of erosion. Anna Courtier presented a poster (ASV_Poster_2011) with preliminary findings at the 2011 Archaeological Society of Virginia Meeting. Our preliminary observations suggest soil creep could be shifting headstones/tombstones downhill from the corresponding coffins.
- Agricultural potential of New Mexico (Daniel Sumner)
- How does the addition of biochar influence soil respiration rates (Brad, Marshal, Taylor Springs; Fall 2010; Spring 2011)
- Soil carbon mapping of Radical Roots Farm (Nick Pence, Summer/Fall 2010)
- Soil carbon balances across 3 farms (Lowell Moore, Tim Charlton, Simon Boone; poster presented at Regional GSA Meeting, Geological Society of America, Pittsburgh, April 2011)
- Does the hotness (Schoville units) of a pepper depend on soil type? (David McMichael, Fall 2011, Spring 2012)
Preliminary soil report for J. Glick, Mt. Crawford
We have several ongoing soil carbon projects. We index soil carbon using soil organic matter, determined by loss-on-ignition (400 degrees C for 6 hours) after microwaving sieved ~3 gram samples of soils to constant weight (approximately 6 minutes in a … Continue reading
The Soils Lab is pursuing a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant titled: WINSOM: Widening Interest in New Soil Organic Matter. The aim of this grant is to develop community-supported research on local farms that explores how specific land management … Continue reading
The Soils Lab received Seed Funding from a Department of Energy-sponsored Shenandoah Valley 25x’25 initiative aiming to increase the fraction of renewable energy to 25% by the year 2025. We currently use about 11% renewable energy sources. Our Valley Geothermal Project … Continue reading
The SoilsLab received Seed funding from Valley 25x’25 to improve awareness of the energy efficiency advantages of geothermal (ground source) heat pumps.
2011 Human-soil relations are changing rapidly Soil Science Society of America Journal 75(6): 2079-2084. doi: 10.2136/sssaj2011.0124 Richter, D. deB. et al. (33 co-authors, including A.S. Hartshorn @ 16) DanRichter pdf Impact of rainfall and topography on the distribution of clays … Continue reading