Wed, Jul 18, 2018
4:00pm to 4:40pm
Soil health assessment involves the measurement and interpretation of multiple chemical, physical, and biological soil attributes that contribute to soil function. The concept of soil health arose from decades of soil conservation efforts and the recognition that soils play a key role in sustained agricultural productivity and environmental quality. The challenge of integrating and interpreting multiple soil health indicators led to the development of the Soil Management Assessment Framework (SMAF), an index that currently handles 13 indicators and accounts for site-specific characteristics, such as soil texture, mineralogy, and climate. Recent advances in biological techniques have thrust soil microbiology to the forefront of soil health research. Biological measurements, however, are costly and often exhibit high spatial and temporal variability. Therefore, development of a reliable, affordable, and high-resolution soil health assessment depends on continuing innovation in laboratory and field techniques.
Dr. Kristen Veum is a research soil scientist with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Columbia, Missouri. She earned her B.S. in geological sciences, M.S. in limnology, and Ph.D. in soil science. Her research is cross-disciplinary and focuses on development of biological, physical, and chemical indicators of soil health and evaluation of proximal soil sensing and sensor data fusion techniques. Dr. Veum serves as a scientific advisor for the NRCS Soil Health Division, the Soil Health Institute, and the Soil Health Partnership. She co-founded the ASA Soil Health Community and is the current Chair of the ASA Land Management and Conservation Section.