Research Areas

Research in soil science includes the study of soil as a global natural resource, as a critical component of the environment, and as a resource to sustain agricultural and wildland ecosystems. Our students and faculty conduct research in diverse areas of concentration. Below are some examples of research projects conducted by our students and faculty.

  • Potential for Carbon Sequestration in California Agricultural Soils
  • Characterization of microbial communities in vineyard soils
  • Biodegradation of MTBE by indigenous microbial communities in contaminated California aquifers
  • Effects of cover crops on a merlot vineyard in the northern San Joaquin Valley
  • Developing management alternatives to the current harvest procedures in response to air quality mandates
  • The Ecological and Economic Costs and Benefits of Alternative Agricultural Practices: Sediment, Nutrient, and Pesticides in Runoff From Conservation Tillage and Cover Cropped Systems
  • Influence of Fuel Reduction Alternatives on Forest Soil Properties and the Carbon Cycle
  • Impacts and Sustainability of Livestock Grazing in Mountain Meadows and Conifer Forests of Baja California
  • Soil carbon dynamics in fire-suppressed, wildfire-burned, and prescribed-burned chaparral in the Sierra Nevada foothills
  • Increasing the Adoption of Biologically Integrated Farming Systems (BIFS) in California Speciality Crops: Farmer-to-Farmer Outreach of Environmentally Sound and Economically Viable Practices
  • Nutrient Management and Soil Microbial Ecology for Organically-Grown Fresh-Market Tomatoes
  • Spatial distribution of soil biota, mycorrhizae, roots and soil nitrogen transformations
  • Use of organic amendments for revegetation of disturbed sites with adverse soil conditions
  • Terrain analysis and soil survey support in Pinnacles National Monument, Point Reyes Seashore, and Lassen Volcanic National Park
  • Relationship between soil biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions from soil
  • Cultivation of brine shrimp and algae in irrigation ponds as feedstock for biofuels
  • Monitoring and investigations of the San Joaquin River and tributaries related to dissolved oxygen