delware environmental institute

UDaily: Serviam Girls Academy students learn about soils at inaugural camp at UD

UDaily: Serviam Girls Academy students learn about soils at inaugural camp at UD

The inaugural Soil Is Life summer camp was held July 10 as 45 students from Serviam Girls Academy spent time on the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources campus learning from Angelia Seyfferth about the importance of soils. The camp was funded by a five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Award that Seyfferth received in 2014.

Because the United Nations has designated 2015 the International Year of Soils, Seyfferth, assistant professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences (PLSC), said that it was a perfect time to launch the inaugural camp.

The campers were able to get hands-on experience with soils and plants as they toured the 12 rice paddies that were recently installed on UD’s Newark Farm as part of the Rice Investigation, Communication and Education (RICE) Facility.

They also toured a cornfield, investigated a soil pit and toured the organic vegetable farm created earlier in the year by Mike Popovich, a research associate in PLSC, and CANR Dean Mark Rieger. The students got to see vegetables growing in the garden and to learn about compost.