Soil Stories with Nic and Leanna is a podcast developed for SOIL 2125 (Basic Soil Science) at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities starting on 18MAR2020 in response to the move to remote instruction for all classes due to COVID-19 policies recently enacted. These podcasts might have guests, or might be us just chatting about interesting applications of the material or key points. This will be a new adventure.
In this episode, Leanna does a deep dive into nutrient management with Dr. John Jones (Foundation for Agronomic Research + Fertilizer Institute), Dr. Melissa Wilson (UMN), and John Breker (Agvise Laboratories).
In this episode, we talk soil mapping with Patty Burns and Dr. Dylan Beaudette, two USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) experts about all things soil maps - how they are made, what they show, and why they are so important.
In this episode, we talk about Gelisols, which are permafrost-affected soils of arctic and subarctic regions and are one of the most interesting, but least understood soil orders. The name Gelisol is derived from the Latin word for freeze. But Gelisols are far from static. They are dynamic soils that respond to physical, chemical and biological processes that take place in cold environments and are at the forefront of global change. Our guests Dr. Alexander (Sasha) Kholodov (University of Alaska-Fairbanks) and Mark Clark (retired state soil scientist for Alaska) bring us some perspective on what makes these soils so dynamic and unique.
In this episode, Leanna and I discuss the U.S. system of naming soil horizons and the amazing stories that our "Alphabet of Soil" can tell. We discuss intercollegiate Soil Judging with former (Drea Williams, Devon Brodie) and current (Gabe Benitez, and Morgan Fabian) University of Minnesota Soil Judgers.
After some reflections, we talk about redox reactions, microbes, and the importance of soil color and redoximorphic features with redox expert Dr. Karen Vaughan (University of Wyoming). Stay tuned for another podcast interview in the coming weeks with Karen as we talk about her research, teaching, and outreach projects.
Most people don't know that Charles Darwin spent more time in his life studying earthworms than he did studying and writing about evolution. In fact his 1881 book The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms, With Observations on Their Habits, sold more cop[ied before he died than his now much more famous book "On the Origin of Species".
So I set out to find some folks who are still researching earthworms and try to better understand the motivations behind Darwin's research, why the topic was so interesting to him, and what we are still learning about earthworms today.