Welcome to the Soil, Water, and Air Resources Unit
The mission of the Soil, Water, and Air Resources unit is to utilize the information about the interactions of physical, chemical, and biological processes within the soil, plant, and atmosphere continuum to quantify the impacts of management practices on soil, water, and air quality. The primary focus within this unit is on the soil processes as part of a project focused on biogeochemical processes affecting soil organic matter, structure, and environmental quality. Soil organic matter is one of the critical components of soil and is responsible for affecting soil structure, maintaining the aggregate stability of the soil which leads to improved water infiltration rates and gas exchange, and soil water holding capacity. Understanding these dynamics within the soil as affected by changing inputs and forms of organic material is being conducted on ongoing research using biochar, stover removal, and humic substances.
Air quality is being addressed through a project entitled “Management of agricultural and natural resource systems for reduced atmospheric emissions and resilience to climate change.” This project is a continuation of ongoing research and covers three objectives to: measure and model the impact of agricultural systems (animal and cropping) on air quality components to identify and develop potential mitigation strategies; measure and model the impact of agricultural systems on greenhouse gas emissions and develop and evaluate potential mitigation strategies; and measure and model the soil and atmospheric factors that limit the water, nitrogen, and light-use efficiency of annual and perennial systems to define how crops can become more resilient to climate change. This project is being written for evaluation by peers at this time.