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News Release

Montana SWCS Meeting to Feature Prominent Soil Scientists

Stacy Denny Eneboe

Bozeman, Mont., May 14, 2014—The Montana Chapter of the Soil Water Conservation Society will host the Northern Plains Chapter Technical Conference in Billings, Mont., May 28 and 29, 2014.  The conference is open to SWCS members as well as non-members.

Featured at the conference is Dr. Elaine Ingham, president and director of research for Soil Foodweb, Inc., who will offer a full-day workshop on Thursday, May 29, at the Billings Public Library. The workshop will focus on her research and the ability to test life in the soil. It can also be viewed via live stream at

The first day of the conference, May 28, will be held at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Billings. SWCS will conduct a business meeting and chapter development on nonprofit organization success.  In addition, Dr. Kris Nichols, soil microbiologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, will conclude the first day via a live stream discussing soil microbiology.

Pre-registration for the conference (prior to May 16) is $45 for SWCS member and $55 for non-member; full registration is $55 for SWCS members and $65 for non-members. Conference registration should be sent to Jane Holzer, P.O. Box 909, Conrad, MT  59425.

For additional information, contact Stacy Denny Eneboe at 406-271-9156 or  If you are interested in becoming a member of SWCS, visit the organization’s website at

About the Speakers:

Dr. Elaine Inghamis the founder of Soil Foodweb, Inc., and author of the USDA's Soil Biology Primer. In 2011, Dr. Ingham was named as The Rodale Institute's chief scientist. Dr. Ingham earned her Ph.D. from Colorado State University in 1981. Her doctorate is in microbiology with an emphasis on soil. In 1985, she accepted a research associate fellowship at the University of Georgia. In 1986, Dr. Ingham moved to Oregon State University and joined the faculty in both Forest Science and Botany and Plant Pathology. She remained on faculty until 2001 before starting the Soil Foodweb, Inc.

Dr. Kris Nicholshas been a soil microbiologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory in Mandan, ND, for over seven years. Dr. Nichols received Bachelor of Science degrees in Plant Biology and in Genetics and Cell Biology from the University of Minnesota in 1995, a Master’s degree in Environmental Microbiology from West Virginia University in 1999, and a Ph.D. in Soil Science from the University of Maryland in 2003. Since 1993, she has studied arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi – a plant-root symbiotic. Her most recent work involves the investigation of Glomalin – a substance produced by AM fungi. Glomalin contributes to nutrient cycling by protecting AM hyphae transporting nutrients from the soil to the plant and to soil structure and plant health by helping to form and stabilize soil aggregates.