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19 July 2012

Introducing the European Geoscience Union – Soil Systems Science Division

The European Geoscience Union, a leader in the free dissemination of scientific research, has rolled out its Soil Systems Science Division (SSSD). The SSSD has a blog newsletter with some fine articles and beautiful images about soils and surface geology of Europe. When Editor Jessica Drake (Soilduck) kindly invited me to write a short “why I do soil science” biographical piece, I jumped at the chance. Being that I’m American, …

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1 June 2011

New Soil Blogs

Years ago, a fellow geology major and friend who went on to graduate school to focus on structural geology and tectonics liked to “razz” those of us interested in surficial processes, dismissing it all as “superficial geology.” In rebuttal, someone would remind him that structure and tectonics are only significant to the extent those things are expressed at or near Earth’s surface where we all try to make a living. …

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19 January 2011

Barnegat Bay Restoration Plan Addresses Nuke Cooling System and Soil Compaction

Barnegat Bay and Oyster Creek Generating Station. Photo by Andrew Bossi CC. Last month, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie unveiled a plan to improve the ecologic health of Barnegat Bay, which includes coastal areas of Orange County. According to thegovmonitor.com “The goal is to restore, protect and enhance Barnegat Bay, which has been suffering,” said (Department of Environmental Protection) Commissioner Martin. “We are dealing with problems that have been long …

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8 September 2010

Unversity of Texas Oil Production and Land Degradation

Image: Texon Oilfield west of Big Lake, TX. NAIP air photo, 2005. There’s more to extracting oil than drilling a neat hole in the ground. An Austin American-Statesman article by Ralph Haurwitz, makes clear the tremendous wealth the University of Texas has aquired from oil extracted from its property, as well as the substantial land cost of that business. Since drilling began in 1921, 2.1 million acres of University of …

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1 August 2010

Eaarth: Bill McKibben's New Book

I’ve been enjoying Bill McKibben’s new book Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. At one point he writes this about soil and farming: “We need to stop thinking of farming in abstract terms, as a “low rung on the ladder of economic development,” and remember again what it involves: using water and sunshine to grow plants rooted in soil that can provide the nutrients people need….When you …

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26 March 2009

Put Livestock Back Out to Pasture

Grazing livestock would enhance soil fertility, raise healthier animals, and improve public health. “…an estimated 70 percent of all U.S. antibiotics and related drugs are given to animals that are not sick. This overuse of antibiotics contributes to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria, with the result that antibiotics we commonly use are becoming less effective in fighting human illnesses, including some life-threatening infections.” – Union of Concerned Scientists In …

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