College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Environmental Science & Technology

University of Maryland Wins 2018 NE Regional Soil Judging Competition

UMD Soil Judging Team - Regional Champions at the 2018 NE Competition held Oct. 27 in Hillsboro, Ohio. Front row: Dyani Frye (3rd Individual), Cathy Wang (7th Individual), Isabella Bruno; Middle row: Jonathan Moy, Anna Lowien (4th Individual) Yunxuan Pei,
Front row: Dyani Frye (3 rd Individual), Cathy Wang (7 th Individual), Isabella Bruno;
Middle row: Jonathan Moy, Anna Lowien (4 th Individual) Yunxuan Pei, Antonio Vega, Rachael Heisey;
Back row: Barret Wessel (Asst. Coach), Jacob Mast, Aubrey Wiechecki, Martin Rabenhorst (Coach).

It was a raw and grueling day in southwest Ohio, with rain and temperatures in the 40s, but the UMD Soil Judging Team showed real grit as they persevered under such adverse conditions, and at the end of the day Terp Soil Judgers walked away with 1st Place awards for both the group judging and as the overall the Team winner. The field of competitors comprised 14 teams representing 9 Universities in the NE Region, that included Delaware Valley University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Rhode Island, Ohio State University, Wilmington College of Ohio, Bloomsburg University, Brooklyn College and Richard Stockton College.

Practice and contest sites were located in Southwestern Ohio on landscapes mantled with Wisconsinan (younger) and Illinoian (older) glacial tills, much of which was covered by loess, and where the underlying geology was mostly Paleozoic sedimentary rocks including calcareous shales and limestones. The soils themselves included Alfisols and Mollisols derived from residual, alluvial and glacially-derived parent materials, with such interesting and challenging features as glossic horizons, fragic properties and paralithic contacts.

Behind Maryland in 1st place was the Univ. of Rhode Island (A Team in 2nd, B Team in 4th), Delaware Valley University in 3rd, and Penn State in 5th. These four schools will represent the NE region at the National Collegiate Soil Judging contest next April that will be hosted by California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA.

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