Monday, October 21, 2019

Bloomsburg Students Participate in Soil Judging Competition

Nick Sherwood, Auston Hummel, Ian Martinez, Dr. Bourgault, Erin Boulger, and Al Sriharsha

The Bloomsburg University Soil Judging Team competed in the 2019 Northeast Regional Soil Judging Competition, October 9-11. Team members Erin Boulger, Auston Hummel, Ian Martinez, Nick Sherwood, and Al Sriharsha, led by coach Dr. Rebecca Bourgault (EGGS), traveled to Easton, MD for the contest, which was hosted by the University of Maryland.

Soil Judging involves entering a soil pit, identifying soil horizons (layers), describing the morphological properties of each horizon, and then interpreting the soil for taxonomic classification and land uses such as septic systems. Days 1 and 2 of the trip consisted of judging 12 practice pits around the Easton area, and students learned about the properties and development of soils on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. On day 3, the competition was held at Remington Farms near Chestertown, MD, where the students judged 3 soil pits individually, and then 2 soil pits as a team. Individuals and teams were ranked based on the accuracy of their scorecards.

The participating schools and their overall rankings are as follows:
  • University of Maryland (1st place)
  • University of Rhode Island (2nd place)
  • Delaware Valley University (3rd place)
  • Penn State (4th place)
  • University of Delaware (5th place)
  • Bloomsburg University (6th place)
  • Brooklyn College (7th place)
  • University of Vermont (8th place)
  • University of Pittsburgh – Johnstown (9th place)
  • Stockton College (10th place)

Soil Judging is a 1 credit course called Soil Morphology Practicum (EGGS 313) offered every fall semester (and spring semesters when the team qualifies for the national competition).
~ written by Dr. Rebecca Bourgault 

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