Research


  • Digital Mapping / Landscape Modeling

    Evaluation of DEM grid resolution to build landscape models in low relief and rugged terrain

      Some Findings:
      • Soil properties can be effectively predicted using DEMs irrespective of topography of the land.
      • While landscape configuration is not significantly affected by DEM resolution in low relief areas, topography becomes very important when modeling in rugged terrain.


  • Soil Health / Quality in Urban Environments

    • - Soil Properties and their Relationships in Urban Landscapes

    • Sample

      Sampling of Urban Soils with students

          Some General Findings:
          • Generally, soils rebound from disturbances associated with construction activities.
          • There is buildup of organic matter in the yards with time and bulk density of the soils around the houses significantly decreased from older neighborhoods to the new ones.

    • - Heavy Metals Distribution urban landscapes

        • Some Findings from Ankeny, Iowa:
          • There was a general decreasing trend in heavy metal concentrations from the Pre-1939 period until 1980–1993, after which there was a sharp increase in the concentrations of most of the metals.
          • There appears to have been a source that caused an increase in Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Pb, and Ni concentrations in soil adjacent to homes built between 1983 and1990 and this needs further investigation.

    • - The effects of farmer attitudes and farm management practices on soil quality

        • Some Findings:
          • Ownership, rent or own, is not directly an influencing factor in shaping soil quality.
          • Fields of farmers with large acreages had lower organic matter, lower microbial respiration, and higher pH.
          • The no-till systems adopted by farmers with large acreages resulted in soils with high bulk densities.
          • Farmers who enjoyed farming had fields with lower bulk densities than those who farmed simply to make a living.