Posted by: Janis Boettinger on May 4, 2011

A Dirty Job

A Dirty Job

The USU Soils Team competed against 21 teams from around the USA in the 51st National Collegiate Soils Contest, hosted by Oregon State University at the Cascades Campus, April 25-30, 2011, in the Bend, OR, area.

Seven USU students participated in the contest, which consisted of several days practicing how to describe, classify, and interpret the soils and landscapes of this unique volcanic terrain, then two days of competition. Day 1 (April 29) was the Individual Competition, where four team members worked independently at three different sites -- each student had just one hour at each site to identify and describe the morphology of up to six soil horizons, identify landscape features, classify the soil according to Soil Taxonomy (the US System of Soil Classification), and interpret the suitability for dwellings with basements, septic tank absorption fields, and local roads and streets. Day 2 (April 30) was the Team Competition, where all seven team members worked together at two different sites. The overall team score is the sum of the scores from both individual and team competitions.

USU placed 10th in the Team Competition, and 9th in the Overall Competition, with Cody Sanders placing 12th (out of 84 students) in the Individual Competition. Faculty Advisor Janis Boettinger and Team Coach John Lawley were pleased, "9th place overall in the National Soils Contest is very respectable, especially considering we had only two students with prior national contest experience."

USU Soils Team members participating were Shannon Babb, Ashlee Diamond, Brook Fonnesbeck, Daniel Horne, Jon Jones, Miles Maynes, and Cody Sanders.

The 51st National Collegiate Soils Contest was covered by several Central Oregon media organizations, including Oregon Public Broadcasting -- which interviewed the USU Team, KVTZ television station, and The Bulletin newspaper.