Wednesday, September 23, 2015

2015 Region V Collegiate Soil Judging Contest: Day 2

Today was our second day in the pits and… WOW! The soil been crazy compared to last year’s pits in Iowa.  Interesting and diverse! Every pit at the UMN’s North Central Research and Outreach Center and the Chippewa National Forest has something interesting and I love it! So far we have practiced 4 pits individually and 3 pits as a team.  We have had pits with up to 3 parent materials, lamellae and spodic subsurface features (but not Spodosols).

As the saying goes, “Take a picture, it will last longer!”  Check out the pictures Ed Nater is posting!  I also like to joke though that the soil will last longer.

Tomorrow, we are headed out to the peat bogs and glacial lake bottoms.  Looking forward to judging my first Histosol!  All the other teams have seen it and they just don’t seem to stop talking about it.  Hopefully the weather holds off from the 90% chance of thunderstorms, but I guess that’s why we all packed rain gear!

It’s been a fun 3 days with the team judging and hanging out.  The first two team pits we did, everyone took two different roles.  We noticed quickly what was working and what wasn’t for communication and time efficiency.  Today out in the pit, we broke into more assigned roles based upon what worked smoothly.  We noted improvements we could make, but everyone has been commenting upon how they enjoyed their roles!

Thursday is competition day and the team is pretty excited.  Looking forward to seeing what the organizers have in store, so stay tuned!

— Rusty Zimmerman, Team Captain

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