Sunday, October 6, 2019

2019 Region V Soil Judging: Contest Day and Results: Minnesota Takes 3rd Place Overall - Qualifies for 2020 Nationals!

Contest day opened with a beautiful sunrise and a crisp early October morning. The team completed two pits as individuals in the morning before moving to a second site in the afternoon to complete three pits as a team. Contest days are typically long, and this one is no exception. The students were in the field from 8:00AM to 7:30PM, but with cooperative weather and some amazing soils, nobody was complaining!

Contest ready just after sunrise!
Gabe Benitez (Captain) determining soil matrix color while completing his first individual pit
Abbie Clapp (3rd from right) and Matt Lundberg (right) evaluating soil morphology in their first pit as individuals
Minnesota works as a team to complete their first group card in the early afternoon
On Friday morning, the contest results were announced at an awards breakfast by host (from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln) Dr. Becky Young and NRCS Soil Scientist Becca Hodges. After much anticipation, there was a lot to celebrate. The University of Minnesota placed 7 individuals in the top 20, 4 individuals in the top 10, and took 3rd place overall in the contest, qualifying for the National Collegiate Soil Judging Contest which will be hosted by Ohio State University in April of 2020! Congratulations also to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (1st place) and the University of Missouri (2nd place), who will be joining us at the National contest in the spring.

The 2019 University of Minnesota Region V Soil Judging Team. Front row (L-R): Abbie Clapp, Gabe Benitez (Captain - holding 3rd Place Overall Award), Rowan Doyle (6th Place Individual), Morgan Fabian (8th Place Individual). Back Row (L-R): Nic Jelinski (Coach), Harley Braun (2nd Place Individual), Geneva Nunes, Hannah Anderson (4th Place Individual), Matt Lundberg, Will Effertz, Devon Brodie (Assistant Coach).
A huge thank you to all of the contest hosts, donors, and supporters who made this amazing experience possible!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

2019 Region V Soil Judging: Practice Days in and Around Grand Island, NE

The team has been having a fantastic week, completing 11 practice pits around Grand Island, NE. A huge thank you to our contest hosts and our donors, who have made this amazing educational experience possible. We have seen soils on 3 major landscape components in this portion of Nebraska - Loess Uplands, Dunes, and Floodplains. One practice day has been dedicated to each of these landscape components, as the students have been learning about soil formation, land use, and hydrology!

After all of these amazing soils and landscapes, the Gophers are pumped up and fired up for contest day Thursday morning! We are at one with our soil texture triangles.

A beautiful landscape of dunes (left) and stream terraces (center and right) along the Platte River
An Ustipsamment on a natural levee on a stream terrace near the Platte River
A Haplustept formed in eolian sand on the backslope of  a dune
A floodplain sunset landscape
An Ustipsamment formed in alluvium on a floodplain
An upland depression in the Rainwater Basins near Clay Center, NE
A smectitic Argiustoll formed in loess in an plan depression in the Rainwater Basins
Wednesday Flannel Day for UMN Soil Judging!