Soil Quality Project: science meets practice

KK_soil sample

This is one of a series of blogs by OSU students who share the opportunities, experiences and benefits of SQP internships.

Kathleen Knight

Collaboration Makes Way for Accomplishments

I was first able to learn about this internship through many of my soil friends who thoroughly enjoyed the experience along with such an enthusiastic and motivated mentor. I really enjoyed getting the hands-on experience that this internship provided. The collaboration between Oregon State University, Benton Soil and Water Conservation District, and local farmers was inspiring. I was able to see the accomplishments that can be done when the science meets actual practice. I enjoyed meeting the large variety of farmers in our community with their differing farming practices, ideas, and crops; all connected through an interest in their soil quality. I’m glad that there has been increasing interest in soil quality and hope to be involved in this area of study as it becomes increasingly important as population rises, the amount of farmable land decreases, and a changing climate brings further unpredictable events.

Class and Lab Work Benefits Community

I’m happy that I had the opportunity to finally put those soil classes and labs to use and provide actual feedback that can be used to benefit our community. The combination of field work, lab work, and interacting with farmers was perfect for adding variety to the internship. I just graduated with a double degree in soil science and environmental science and I hope to focus on soil quality and health for my future career, and now feel more prepared in terms of skills and working with farmers. I look forward to applying these skills for future jobs and a soil graduate degree!