OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

New lecture series helps you dig the science of soils

01/26/2012

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new lecture series at Oregon State University will shed light on the wonders of soil hidden beneath our feet.

The Harward Endowed Lecture Series honors professor emeritus Moyle Harward, who joined the OSU faculty in 1955 and is best known for his studies of volcanic ash in Oregon’s soils.

Dutch scientist Alfred Hartemink will present the first Harward lecture, “The Joy of Looking at Soils,” on Monday, Jan. 30, beginning at 7 p.m. at LaSells Stewart Center on the OSU campus. The talk is free and open to the public.

Hartemink will explore the similarities between art and science, and tell the story of how these endeavors built on each other to begin the study of soils. A question and answer session will follow the lecture.

Hartemink is secretary general of the International Union of Soil Sciences and a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who has studied soils in Papua New Guinea and other landscapes throughout Africa and Australasia.

The Harward lecture series endowment was created by a group of Harward’s former graduate students, known as the Ash Crew. These OSU alums contributed nearly $30,000 to honor “the fellow who made it all possible for us,” said Del Dingus, one of the Ash Crew and a professor emeritus at California Polytechnic State University, who earned his doctorate under Harward,

The Ash Crew wants the lecture series to embody Harward’s show-and-tell philosophy of teaching soil science, according to Dingus. He says they hope to stimulate a new generation of aspiring soil scientists to protect and restore the small fraction of the Earth’s surface that provides human sustenance – cultivable soil.

Russ Karow, head of OSU’s Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, organizes the Harward Endowed Lecture Series. According to Karow, “The Joy of Looking at Soils” will be filmed and made available on streaming video. Hartemink will also give a technical lecture to graduate students during his OSU visit. More information can be found at http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu.