Students Working in Soil Pit


Program Description

The Forest Soils interest group in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences is uniquely structured to provide a flexible program covering many aspects of soil science. Students are involved in basic and applied research relating to such topics as forest resources, restoration (see also the Restoration Ecology and Environmental Horticulture interest group), and waste applications. Students are exposed to a variety of interests and perspectives by drawing on the broad background of the soils faculty. Students will develop expertise in one or more fields of soil science including management of forest soils, biosolids applications, soil chemistry, pedology, soil microbiology, biogeochemical cycling, or phytoremediation. Course work is flexible to cover the diversity of interests within the interest group.

Highlighted Research

Forest soils research in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences is conducted by individual faculty and is related to a variety of environmental topics. Students are often hired as research assistants. Below are examples of the diverse projects that have been under study by this group. Students interested in graduate work in forest soils are encouraged to contact appropriate faculty members for complete information about current research areas.

  • •  Altering soils to encourage growth of target native plant communities
  • •  Coarse woody debris decomposition and nutrient conservation
  • •  Ecosystem restoration using blended residuals
  • •   Effects of organic amendments on soil quality
  • •   Fate of nutrients and trace metals in soil amendments
  • •  Influence of forest edges on fruiting of mycorrhizal fungi
  • •   Land-use legacy effects on soil carbon and nitrogen
  • •  Long-term productivity of forest soils
  • •  Nutrient cycling in an old-growth forest watershed, Olympic Peninsula, WA.
  • •   Phytoremediation and groundwater remediation
  • •  Recycling waste materials in forest ecosystems
  • •  Soil carbon quantity and composition
  • •   Soil modification for native plant restoration and weed suppression
  • •  Tropical soils
  • •  Whole tree and stand water use
  • •   Wildfire effects on soils, soil nutrients, soil organisms
  • •  Using plants and bacteria as green solutions to polluted soil and water

For current funded grants in this interest group, click here.

FacultyAreas of Interest
Sally Brown In situ remediation of soils; Use of biosolids; Phytoremediation of heavy metals
David Butman Influence of humans and climate on carbon cycling at the intersection of terrestrial and aquatic systems
Robert Harrison Forest nutrition; mineral cycling; long-term forest productivity; organic waste utilization; carbon sequestration
Brittany Johnson Soil science; Soil chemistry; Plant-soil interactions; Climate change; Fire ecology; Forest ecology; Hydrology
Daniel Vogt Soil and ecosystem ecology; Natural, disturbed, and sustainable ecosystems

For further information:

Interest Group Coordinator: Dr. Daniel Vogt
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
Box 352100
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-2100
email; Phone 206-685-3292