Our research tends to focus on digital soil mapping, with special consideration of issues with spatial prediction and soil geomorphology. However, new directions are influenced by the lab team members’ individual interests and current grant funding. Please review our recent research products for examples of our recent work.

Current Openings

Spatially Modelling Soil Texture Class on the Iowan Erosion Surface – The objective of this project is to improve the soil texture class information for MLRA 104 (Eastern Iowa and Minnesota Till Prairies), which is situated on the physiographic region known as the Iowan Erosion Surface. This landscape is currently understood to have undergone intense erosion during the Late Wisconsinan glacial stage, which changed the distribution of sediments across the landscape. At the same time, many of the stream channels in this region transported glacial meltwater from the Des Moines Lobe glacier to the west. Those channels became local sources for eolian sediments, further complicating the distribution of sediments across this landscape. In this project, soil samples will be strategically taken across the region and used to produce a digital soil map based on remotely sensed covariates. The student will simultaneously understand landscape variations in soil texture class and use those relationships to develop new and improved soil maps. Applying digital soil mapping techniques to produce new maps of soil texture classes will: 1) Improve the accuracy of soil texture class attributes in SSURGO; 2) Identify opportunities for disaggregation based on a key soil property; 3) Develop protocols for sampling and spatial modeling soil texture class in support of raster-based soil mapping; and 4) Gain a better understanding of the soils in the Iowan Erosion Surface and the processes that formed that landscape. 

Funding is available to support this project for two years for a student starting Spring semester 2019. Prospective graduate students interested in this project should contact Dr. Bradley Miller at millerba@iastate.edu

Prospective Graduate Students

This research group is always looking for exceptional students with matching research interests. Our primary focus is on digital soil mapping and soil geomorphology. Nonetheless, funding is required for admission. Funded assistantships will be posted here.

Useful skills for success in our lab include some combination of the following: basic statistics, computer programming (e.g. Python, R), geographic information systems (GIS), and/or soil geomorphology. Fieldwork is frequently a component of our research activities, which makes having a driver’s license an important asset.

Graduate students working in this research group have the ability to choose from graduate programs in Soil Science, Environmental Science, and/or Sustainable Agriculture. Graduate students enjoy a strong community both within the GLSI research group and across the department and campus. Agronomy is a unique research environment, housing researchers ranging from soil to meteorology to plant sciences. This offers students the opportunity to interact with a diverse set of colleagues. Please contact Bradley if you have any questions.

Prospective Post-doctorates and Visiting Scientists

These positions will be advertised when funding allows. However, if you are interested in developing a proposal or have your own resources and would like to connect with our research group, please contact Bradley.