International EarthCache Day

Many of readers of this blog are outdoor enthusiasts. One “game” that has gained in popularity among outdoor enthusiasts is Geocaching. Geocaching is basically a high-tech treasure hunt where people get coordinates for a hidden geocache from a website called geocaching.com. They then enter those coordinates into a GPS receiver, or into their GPS-enabled smartContinue reading “International EarthCache Day”

Earthworm Invasion: Good or Bad for Soil

I came across a news article put out by the BBC. It was entitled Earthworm Invasion: Aliens Causing More Harm Than Good? by Jeremy Coles and Matt Walker. It is an interesting article, and an interesting soil science topic. I recommend going and reading that article first, then come on back to ColbyDigsSoil to read the restContinue reading “Earthworm Invasion: Good or Bad for Soil”

How to Discover More Science With Google+

I’m sure many of you are very familiar with the extensive number of social network sites available these days. The most popular is, of course Facebook. This is followed closely by Twitter (you can follow me, by the way, at https://twitter.com/ColbyDigsSoil). One more that is on the rise is Google+, which has quickly became one ofContinue reading “How to Discover More Science With Google+”

Science is “Hopping”

As some of you may know, I am a homebrewer, along with several other faculty, staff, and students in the NCSU Dept. of Soil Science. Last week I was offered the opportunity to pick hops on a hops variety trial that our department has been working on for the last few years along with the horticulture department.Continue reading “Science is “Hopping””

Soil Science In The News: Mars Science Laboratory

You may have heard about the successful landing of NASA’s Curiosity Rover on Mars this morning. The Curiosity Rover, also known as the “Mars Science Laboratory” (MSL) is the latest of several unmanned missions to the red planet to study its formation, and the possibility that it could, or previously has supported life. The landingContinue reading “Soil Science In The News: Mars Science Laboratory”

Sizing Up Soil Structure

Today’s post will focus on soil structure. Previously, soil texture was defined as the relative proportion of soil particles (sand, silt, and clay). Soil structure is the arrangement of those soil particles into aggregates, or peds. Soil structure is important because it has a direct impact on many soil physical properties, but especially on theContinue reading “Sizing Up Soil Structure”

Getting a Feel for Soil Texture

One of the most important characteristics of soils is soil texture. Soil, by definition, consists of particles less than 2 mm in diameter. Soil texture is the proportion of sand, silt, and clay particles that are of soil size (2 mm or less). The US Department of Agriculture classifies soil particle sizes as the following: sandContinue reading “Getting a Feel for Soil Texture”

North Carolina Soil Geomorphology Tour

At the beginning of this week I helped some faculty in the NCSU Dept. of Soil Science with the North Carolina Geomorphology Tour. The tour is a one-week field class that starts at the outer banks of North Carolina and ends in the mountains at the Tennessee boarder. Along the way the students examine andContinue reading “North Carolina Soil Geomorphology Tour”

Soil and Water Stewardship Week

This is just a quick post for today. June 29 through May 6 is Soil and Water Stewardship Week, as declared by the governors of Iowa (my home state) and Oklahoma in their respective states. The Conservation Blogger (the blog brought to you by the Soil and Water Conservation Society) had a great post onContinue reading “Soil and Water Stewardship Week”

Soil Science on the Late Show

When I’m not trudging around in a swamp, mixing up chemicals in a lab, writing something on a computer, or partaking in one of my many hobbies, I enjoy my fair share of TV. Last night I was staying up later than I should and was watching The Late Show with David Letterman. His guestContinue reading “Soil Science on the Late Show”