Students taking Fundamentals of Soil Science class in the Environmental and Health Sciences Department offered at Johnson State College have been getting out into the field to experience first hand the wide range of soils that are found in Lamoille county.
They have participated in a series of field trips visiting various sites, digging soil pits and writing profile descriptions. For each soil pedon they are characterizing the soils by describing color, texture, consistence, and structure. Additionally, they are taking samples of soil material from each horizon for laboratory analysis. The lab work will include: running pH, bulk density, an aggregative stability assessment and an organic material decomposition experiment. All the data they gather will be part of their final project which they will present to the class at the end of the semester.
Caroline Alves from NRCS gave some pointers on how to use the Munsell Color Book and how to determine texture on the Sept. 27th field trip. That site was interesting in that silt deposits (in green) from ancient glacial lakes transitioned to glacial till (in pink) with elevation, as shown in the 3D graphic. The highlighted magenta contour is 250 feet above sea level. The site is in between Johnson and East Johnson.