Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The "Organic Matter Trail" follows the 45-yr career of C.E. Clapp, Research Chemist with USDA-ARS in St. Paul, MN. Highlights are polysaccharides and soil structure, waste management of sewage sludges and wastewater, nitrogen/carbon interactions in soils using stable isotopes N-15 and C-13, and isolation and characterization of humic substances from soils and waters. Figures and tables present examples of the research topics.
Technical Abstract: A farm boy from Princeton, MA went to the University of Massachusetts to study chemistry and learn how to make dynamite. After 4 years with a chemistry major and agronomy minor he proceeded to Cornell University to become a soil biochemist. This paper represents a summary of the research and experiences initiated in 1952 under the guidance and direction of Professor Jeffrey Earl Dawson, who started me on the way along the Organic Matter Trail. Jeff was an outstanding teacher and researcher who thought thermodynamically and later became a true friend and colleague. His life and career were cut short due to health complications, and he passed away at age 49. This paper is dedicated to the memory of Jeffrey Earl Dawson. Along with the highlights of research on organic matter, many references will be made to the people, colleagues and friends, who influenced the Trail throughout the years.