delware environmental institute

Advanced spectroscopy in soil biogeochemical research

Advanced spectroscopy in soil biogeochemical research

Editor's note: This article appears in the August 2011 of CSA News, the magazine of the Crop Science Society of American, the Soil Science Society of America, and the American Society of Agronomy.

Synchrotron research isn’t just ideal for exploring natural materials such as soils, plants, and particulates, says University of Delaware soil chemist Don Sparks. It’s also ideal for fostering the explorations and development of young scientists.

“It provides a key learning experience,” says Sparks, who helped pioneer the use of synchrotron-based techniques in environmental chemistry two decades ago, “and a top selling point when students graduate and head into the job market.”

He should know. Under his mentorship, graduate students and postdocs frequently travel to synchrotrons around the country and the world, and today 24 of his former group members continue to conduct research at synchrotron facilities on four continents.(full article)