News

DelVal wins the Northeast Regional Collegiate Soil Judging Competition

Nov 04, 2010

DelVal participants in the 2010 Northeast Regional Soil Judging competition are, from left to right, William Betts, Amanda Faust, Mike Marsciano, Coach Michael Sowers and Christopher Becker.

State College, Pa. -- Delaware Valley College placed first in the 2010 Northeast Regional Soil Judging Competition.

The contest was hosted by Penn State University from Oct. 13-16. Fifty-seven students from seven colleges and universities competed in the four-day annual event. As the first-place team, DelVal qualified for the National Collegiate Soil Judging Competition hosted by Oregon State University, to be held April 26-30.

The DelVal winners were Mike Marsciano, a senior from Mountain Top, Pa., majoring in Agronomy and Environmental Science (1st place); Amanda Faust, a junior from Barnsville, Pa., majoring in Agronomy and Environmental Science (6th place); Christopher Becker, a senior from Troy, Pa., majoring in Agronomy and Environmental Science (10th place); and William Betts, a senior from Milton, Del., majoring in Agronomy and Environmental Science (15th place).

Coaching the team was adjunct faculty member Michael Sowers, who teaches soil judging.

Penn State and the University of Rhode Island also qualified for the national competition with their second and third place finishes. Other colleges and university competing in the event were the University of Maryland, Ohio State University, Wilmington College (Ohio) and the University of Maine.

To prepare for the competition, the students learned about the many soils associated with the ridge and valley topography of Center County, where the event was held. This included the clay rich soils in the limestone valleys, the colluvial soils with fragipans located along the ridges and the alluvial soils located along streams and rivers.