Although we missed ASA Nationals this year, a portion of our team will be traveling to the NACTA contest (hosted by Kansas State University) in April, 2017. If you've been around Soil Judging for more than a minute (and certainly, I hope, if you've been on any of my teams), you know that results are secondary to the educational and skill development opportunities that Soil Judging provides. Often, the black and white boxscores don't translate to the value of the educational experience or the depth of knowledge of the participants - for example, this fall we had an unbelievable number of high-level conversations about geomorphology, hydrology and soil formation; and our Minnesota students were the most highly engaged group in asking and answering questions posed by our Nebraska host, Dr. Paul Hanson - questions that often went beyond the scope of the contest and scorecards.
With that being said, some of our Judgers are graduating in December. Here are 6 reasons to hire a Soil Judger!:
1. Trained Observers. Soil Judgers are trained observers, individuals who can recognize subtleties in soil materials and landscapes. These observational skills translate well into many other disciplines and tasks - you can be sure a Judger won't let any clues slide by them!
|Stefan Swenson, Kathleen Hobert, Dom Christensen, and Andrea Williams making observations of soil morphology in a Nebraska Hapludalf.
|No problems on a windy, wet, rainy day for this group - still smiling after 8 hours in the field!
|Mekuria Zemede completing an individual scorecard.
|Reconciling individual scorecards after an individual practice pit to construct a group consensus scorecard through the Socratic method. Evidence-based arguments for individual decisions are presented and discussed.
|Andrea Williams, Mari Cartwright, Sara Bauer, Bri Egge, and Mekuria Zemente contributing to a group scorecard.
|Murray Hill overlook near Little Sioux, IA - on top of the Loess Hills looking at their Pleistocene source, the Missouri River floodplain.
Thank you again to all of our supporters. Check back in April for updates on our team's travel to Manhattan, Kansas.
Be at one with your textural triangles!