The West Virginia University Soils Team recently brought home another regional title after participating in the 2013 Southeast Regional Collegiate Soils Contest hosted by the Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, Tenn.

The Soils Team is made up of undergraduate students who have developed skills for the description, analysis and interpretation of soils and landscapes through training and practice.

Since winning a national championship in 2006, the team has been a strong contender at the regional and national levels. While it’s only the fifth time WVU has won the Southeast Region since it began competing in 1967, it’s the second in the last five years.

Paving the way for WVU’s first-place victory were five Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design students who placed in the top 10: Caleb Griffin, an agroecology major from McHenry, Md., placed second; Nickolas Beaver, an agronomy major from Sistersville, W.Va., third; Adrienne Nottingham, a soil science major from Green Bank, W.Va., fifth; Emily Wells, an agribusiness management and rural development major from Sistersville, W.Va., sixth; and Becca Swope, an agricultural and extension education major from Salem, Ohio, ninth.

Other team members include Jody Carpenter, an animal and nutritional sciences major from Montrose, W.Va., Dillon Fuller, a soil science major from Augusta, W.Va., James Leonard, an agroecology major from Middletown, Md., Adam Pollio, an applied and environmental microbiology major from Austin, Texas, and Katie Stegemerten, a recreation, parks and tourism resources major from Ellicott City, Md.

“As always, I’m extremely proud of the accomplishments of these students. They continue to build upon the past success of the Soils Team, and students and faculty from other schools are recognizing these students’ achievements,” said Jim Thompson, associate professor of soils and land use in the Davis College. “I believe this speaks to the quality of the training that these students receive from the Division of Plant and Soil Sciences. Considering the diversity of majors represented by the students on the Soils Team, it also reflects the overall strength of the academic programs across the Davis College.”

Other schools that participated were Auburn University, Clemson University, Murray State University, North Carolina State University, the University of Tennessee—Knoxville, the University of Tennessee—Martin, Tennessee Tech, Virginia Tech, and Western Kentucky University.

The team will now begin to prepare for the National Collegiate Soils Contest to be held May 30 to April 4, 2014, in Doylestown, Pa.



CONTACT: Jim Thompson, Associate Professor

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