Texas Soil Profiles


Vol. 20 No. 1

April 2002

Published by the Professional Soil Scientists Association of Texas


In this Issue...


President's Message by Jon Brandt

Meetings of 2002 PSSAT Annual Meeting

Dues Reminder

FYI - United States Consortium of Soil Science Association (USCSSA) ...Jon Brandt

2002 PSSAT Annual Meeting Attendees

Geoscientist Update ... Murray Millford

2002 PSSAT Soil Texturing Contest

2002 PSSAT Committee Chairpersons and Members

Articles by James Gordon, Jon Brandt and Stacey Muras


President's Message - Jon Brandt

I t was great to see so many people at last year's annual meeting in College Station. We should have more next year--we've already received close to a dozen membership applications since the meeting.

I mentioned in the membership report that we can increase the active membership by almost 50 percent if past members would rejoin PSSAT.  I encourage those of you who have not paid your 2002 yet to forward them to the treasurer, Eddie Bearden, as soon as possible. Why should you be a member?  One reason is that membership dues to PSSAT provide an additional source of funding to soil science scholarships. Another reason is that when we join and support the association, we are increasing the visibility of soil science. 

If those two reasons are not enough, you can read Daniel Hillers article ("Ideas for the role of the soil in the environment and in hu-man welfare"), published in the September 2001 issue of CSA News, the monthly newsletter for ASA-CSSA-SSSA. He eloquently presents a thought-provoking essay that illustrates why soil science scholarships and promotion of our profession are essential.

Are we, as soil scientists, perceived to be a group of professionals that can provide valuable information? I believe we are, by most of those that know we exist. However, many people still don't know that there's such a thing as soil science, let alone soil scientists. Plus, there are really not that many of us. That could explain why many soil scientists employed by private and public entities are not classified as soil scientists, but as environmental specialists, planners, or natural resource scientists.

To provide the visibility our profession deserves and make soil in- formation more accessible, we should do our best to accomplish the following things this year: 1. Finish compiling the "Soils of Texas" slide set (including digitization of the images and publishing a book/pamphlet for the general public); 2. Provide assistance and support to Dr. Murray Milford, the lone soil scientist on the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists, and share any suggestions we may have regarding Geoscience License policies and operational procedures; and 3. Speak about soils to local schools and organizations -perhaps a PSSA T speakers bureau is in order.

I'm looking forward to working with the membership this year. We're approaching a milestone next year, our twentieth anniversary. How do we want to celebrate it? Do we want to have our annual meeting at the Holiday Inn or someplace else (maybe the G. Rome White Visitor's Cen-ter)? Please send me your suggestions and any other thoughts you may have about the as- sociation: PSSA T web page content, scholarships, membership activities, etc.


Minutes of the Professional Soil Scientist Association of Texas 2002 Annual Meeting

Holiday Inn - College Station, Texas

February 6, 2002

Dennis Brezina called the meeting to order. He insinuated that Dr. Wilding was our speaker tonight, then remarked he was not serious. Dennis recognized Glen Chervenka to present our speaker, Dr. Lee Nordt.

Dr. Lee Nordt introduced himself. He informed us his presentation was entitled, "Adventures of a Pedologist in a Geophysical World." Dr. Nordt showed the group the cover from a magazine entitled Geotimes. It was a good color picture of a soil profile. Dr. Nordt stated there are more positlons academically, open to those in the geophysical arena, than of the agricultural arena.

Dr. Nordt said Adventure Number One, a Professor at Baylor University was a match made in heaven. He works with folks in geology, who want someone with a soils background. The study of the rock record, from a perspective of a soil scientist, helps other geologists to expand their knowledge.

Adventure Number Two involves a geologist from the University of Tennessee. The folks in Tennessee have seen what appears to them as vertisols in the rock record. They write a grant to the National Science Foundation to do a study of vertisols in Texas to study how climate affects the development of vertisols. The grant is chosen first above 151 other grants. The grant is interdisciplinary involving geologist, geomorphologists, soil scientists, university personnel from Tennessee, Baylor, Prairie View A&M, and Texas A&M.

Lastly Dr. Nordt showed slides from several of his projects in Central and South America. He explained how beneficial to geologists it is to have someone with a soils background in their work. He also told us how improper use of a foreign language can get you into trouble.

Dennis took over after Dr. Nordt's presentation was finished. Dennis reminded the group, that the minutes of the previous Annual Meeting were published in Texas Soil Profiles, Volume 19, No.1, and asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes. Being none, a motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes as published in Texas Soil Profiles.

Dennis recognized Charlie Thompson, Scholarship Committee Chairperson. Charlie Said this year was a good one. Last year, due to circumstances, the lag time for sending applications to choosing a winner was short. Last year, one application yielded one scholarship winner. This year, there were six applications, and all of them were good. The committee had a tough decision to make, and many things to consider.

The Scholarship Committee had discussed a couple of times in committee, but wanted feedback from the membership. One item was to increase the amount of the scholarship. Another was to determine if a Freshman Scholarship was needed. And lastly, due to some circumstances this year, there was discussion on tightening the requirements for the PSSAT Scholarship. Most folks felt it was up to the committee to set policy and requirements. So Charlie continued with the fun part. He said there were six applications this year. The scholarship was advertised on SOILTALK, as well our web site, plus personal contacts with universities.

This year's winner is from Thorndale. He is a Junior at Texas A&M University. However, he had spent time at Texas Tech University and Temple University. Some of his honors include the Dean's List, the High Point Individual in a Range Science Plant Contest, and was a member of the team for the Regional Soil Judging Contest. This year's PSSAT Scholarship winner is Travis Waiser. Charlie presented him with a plaque and a check.

Dennis said some items on the agenda for discussion pertaining to the Scholarship Committee. Dennis asked the question, is it time to raise the amount of our scholarship. He pointed out that since he served as PSSAT Treasurer, the funds in the scholarship account had doubled. The other item was the Freshman Scholarship, which would be an addition to our current scholarship. Of course, a problem with giving a freshman a scholarship, was to determine if the freshman would stay on course to become a soil scientist, or the possibility of changing their major. So there are some inherent problems with the freshman scholarship idea.

[Glen Chervenka lifted the receiver, and replaced the receiver, on a ringing phone near the bar.]

There was much discussion on the two items Dennis presented on the scholarships. Dan Kowalski made a motion to raise the scholarship amount to $1,500.00. The motion was seconded, and the motion carried. Dennis used the gavel to pound out his applause.

More discussion on the scholarship issue was begun by Nathan Haile. Nathan said changes were needed on the application and in the scholarship guidelines, mainly the list of references. All agreed these changes should be handled by the committee. Some other questions were raised about the number of references and the timely return of the references by the student versus those folks who are the references. Dr. Wilding suggested using four references by the applicant, but including telephone numbers and addresses. The committee would require two ref- erences, but would request four references. Dennis implied it was still up the committee to enact these suggestions. Charles Batte said time is the main limitation for our process to work smoothly. Dennis said the applications go out in October, but with holidays and Christmas, it is a challenge to process the applications. Charlie suggested improving the process, and that he would lead the committee to improve the processing. After more discussion, Mike Risinger suggested the current committee make notes of problems and possible solutions to pass onto the incoming Committee members. Dr. Bill Harris added that the committee would use good judgement in making their decisions. Dennis added that we as PSSAT, would support those decisions of the scholarship committee.

Dennis recognized, Eddie Bearden. PSSAT Treasurer, to make his report. Eddie reported that he and Glen Chervenka, Finance Committee Chairperson had met, and agreed on the treasurer's report. Eddie reported that the checking account began the year with $4,800 and ended up the year with $5,851.80. The Scholarship Account began with $4,300.00 and ended up with $5,806.75. Eddie was concerned with the monthly bank charges. He said .the account was audited by a fine person, Denise, a CPA and also Eddie's wife.

There was some discussion to if we needed to relocate the account to another bank to eliminate the monthly charges. Charlie Thompson, said he would contact the bank to discuss our account. Wayne Gabriel added that as long as our balance remained below $10,000, we were not subject to the IRS and potential taxes.

Dennis recognized Jon Brandt, Membership Committee Chairperson. Jon reported that in 2002, PSSAT has 80 active members, two associate members and five honorary members. This year, we added six new members. He mentioned that of those active members, 14 were delinquent for one year, and 21 were delinquent for two years. He suggested we encourage those delinquent members to become current on dues, and if some have dropped their membership, to encourage them to rejoin. Jon went on to state that of the 54 Charter members in 1983, most of them are still members today. He added we should try to add four to five members each year, and retain 95 percent of the current members. PSSAT has five members who live out-of-state.

Dennis proposed a question, do we keep delinquent members on the roll? And how do we get them to pay back dues? If we stick to our constitution and bylaws, some members will be dropped. Dennis indicated some members have asked to be removed from our rolls.

Jon Brandt, PSSAT Web Master presented his report. Jon indicated he would add the constitution and Bylaws to the site. Since last year, there were 2,600 hits on the site, which averaged about 213 hits per month. First timers accounted for 66% of those hits.With links to search engines such as Yahoo and Lycos, 843 hits came from search engines.

The "Ask a Soil Scientist" accounted for 26 hits. Currently there are 50 subscribers to the listserver.

Dennis responded to the report by saying, it is working. We are getting noticed. Dennis told of one email from a Russian student inquiring about graduate school.

Dennis called on Dr. Ted Zobeck, Ethics Committee Chairperson to make his report. Ted reported there were no ethical violations this year. And he was happy to present a negative report, staying consistent with past Ethic Committee reports.

Susan Casby-Horton, Public Relations and Education Committee Chairperson, and Soils of Texas Slide Set, made her report. Susan said she is still working on the Soils of Texas Slide set. There are a number of soils and landscape pictures on hand, but more are needed. She did thank those soil scientists who submitted slides. She said she might list the soils needed on the website.

Dr. Wilding reported about the American Geological Institute testifying before a State of Texas Committee. Currently the state no longer requires earth sciences to be taught on the primary or secondary level. On January 15, the AGI testified before the State Board of Education on the need to teach these subjects to school children. Dr. Wilding suggested that it would be appropriate if PSSAT sent a letter to the Chair of the State Board of Education relating the importance of soil science and the earth sciences.

Dr. Larry Wilding, Geosciences Licensure Act, reported the act was passed in the last session of the state legislature. It was the eighth try to get the act passed. The state government has appointed a certification board, and one of our own is on the board. Dr. Murray Milford is a representative. The committee has not yet met. Dr. Milford will discuss this on Friday of the Soil Survey and Land Resource Workshop. There was a round of applause for both of these gentlemen's efforts on the Geoscience Act. Dr. Wilding instructed us to lend our support to the Geoscience area.

Mingling amongst the meeting tonight, Ricky Lambert and Jon Brandt took digital pictures of the members and the meeting.

Dennis recognized Jamev DougIass, Constitution and Bylaws Chairperson. Jamey stated nothing had been done on our constitution and bylaws. He had, however, prepared information packets for all the officers and for the committee chairs. He apologized for not doing so many years ago. Each committee chairperson received a copy of the constitution and bylaws, plus a history of what had been done on the committee since its inception. The packets for each officer contained a copy of the bylaws, plus a copy of every motion ever made by PSSAT. He was applauded for his efforts.

Dennis recognized Dan Kowalski, Chairperson of Nominations. Dan said there was only one nominee for each office. Maurice Jurena was nominated for President-Elect, Joe Castille was nominated for Vice President. Dan asked if there were any nominations from the floor. Being none, a motion was made to accept the nominees and that they be accepted by acclamation. The motion was seconded and passed.

Dennis recognized Micheal Golden, State Soil Scientist. Mike said this year's Top Soil Scientist Award was for a graduate of Southern University, and the individual had worked in DeWitt, San Saba counties, and military bases, he is one of the new Project Leaders. This year's winner is Tom Cyprian.

At this time, Dennis asked Jon Brandt to come to the front. Dennis passed the gavel to Jon, Jon presented Dennis with a plaque for his service to PSSAT as President.

Jon announced who the incoming committee chairpersons were for 2002-2003. The Finance Chair is Glen Chervenka, Constitution and Bylaws is Conrad Neitsch, Ethics is Ted Zobeck, Membership is Maurice Jurena, Nominations is Dennis Brezina, Public Relations and Education is John Jacob.

Jon reported a Science Teacher Conference upcoming. He said NRCS and PSSAT would be sharing a booth, and he knew of a National Consulting Soil Scientist (NCSS) booth. Jon will be needing volunteers to staff the booth.

Dr. Wilding suggested a new meeting place for next year's PSSAT Annual Meeting. He suggested the G. Rollie White Visitor Center out at the Beef Center. Dr. Wilding thought we might be able to get this site and not have to pay for its use. Several said they would explore this site for next year.

At this time, a motion was made and seconded, to adjourn. It carried.


 Dues Reminder

We had a great turnout of PSSAT members at the Annual Meeting in February.However, there were many folks who could not attend the meeting. In case you overlooked the lengthy minutes, Treasurer, Eddie Bearden would be more than happy to collect your 2002 dues, and previous years, if you've forgotten. Dues are $15.00. Please send any dues to:

Eddie Bearden

6 Fountain Gate Circle

Allen, TX 75002


FYI - United States Consortium of Soil Science Association (USCSSA) ...Jon Brandt

I participated in a teleconference last month, on February 13, in which the topic of discussion was the newly-formed U. S. Consortium of Soil Science Association. It's a mouthful and awkward-sounding; nevertheless, the Association's purpose is to serve as a clearinghouse for state and national professional soil science organizations. I wanted to let you know that this new group is being developed. Also, if anybody wants more information or wants to participate in the organization of the USCSSA, please let me know.

I've included Article II of the draft by-laws so you can read what the Association's purpose is:

Article II. Purpose of the Association

Section 1.0- The purpose of the Association is to promote communications and visibility of State Professional Soil Scientists Societies/Associations and similar organizations in the United States on common soil survey issues including soil interpretations, acquisitions, applications of soil survey data, and outreach to general public and elected decision makers in wise use of science-based soil survey information for protection and management of the Nations soil resources.

Section 2.0 --Major activities areas will include 1) enhance communications and networking among Societies/ Associations; 2) outreach to general public and decision makers; 3) technical issues of policy, application, operations and science; 4) listing of available training and workshops; 5) list of potential Soil Scientists available for consulting services and 6) professional recognition.

The United States Consortium of Soil Science Association has excellent communication potential to have significant impact on informing elected official decision makers at local, state and federal levels on the continued need to have the resources required to make and interpret soil surveys for users in managing a most important national natural resource -- the soil.


2002 PSSAT Annual Meeting Attendees

PSSAT Annual Meeting

Holiday Inn -College Station, Texas

February 6, 2002


Officers Present:

Dennis Brezina, Jon Brandt, Maurice Jurena, Eddie Beard, Jamey Douglass


Guests Present:

Russ Pringle, Bill Packet, Hayes Dye, Jerry Daigle, Dr. Wayne Hudnall, Arlene Tugel,

Doug Slabaugh, Joe Anderson, Dr. Sergey Goryachkin


PSSAT Members

Dr. B.L. Allen, Jennifer McCloughin, Mike Golden, Kelly Attebury, Wes Miller,

Dr. Clyde Stahnke, Charles Batte, Derek Milner, Jon Wiedenfeld,

Sam Brown, Stacey Muras, Dr. Larry Wilding, Joe Castifle, Mittie Muse, DeWayne Williams,

Willie Crenwelge, Conrad Neitsch, Dr. Ted Zobeck, Tom Cyprian,

Dr. Lee Nordt, Rusty Dowell , Paul Reynolds, Dr. Lynn Loomis, Dr. Richard Drees,

Mike Risinger, James Greenwade ,Shanna Dunn, Jerry Rives, James Gordon,

Tom Feuerbacher, Alan Stahnke, Wayne Gabriel


Geoscientist Update ... Murray Millford

Texas Geoscientist Licensure Update

In Spring 2001 the Texas Legislature passed a Licensure Act for Geoscientists. Governor Perry signed the legislation and appointed members to the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists in November, 2001. They are Kevin Coleman, Kelly Krenz Doe, Sheila Hall, Murray Milford, Ed Miller, Renee Payne, Kimberly Robinson and Gordon Ware.

Unfortunately, no funds were allocated for the Board and it has not met although the legislation called for a meeting to occur prior to January 1, 2002 and for the rules, policies, etc. to be in place by September l, 2002 with licensure or an application for licensure on file being required for public practice on September 1, 2003. Individual members of the Board are trying to expedite the availability of funds from appropriate sources through contacts with governmental personnel and legislators.

Murray Milford, Professor Emeritus of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University, is the soil scientist representative on the Board. He has no idea when the first meeting will occur, but hopefully it will be soon. He has collected appropriate materials from states having licensure policies including those for soil classifiers in Arkansas and Missouri. Also on hand are copies of licensure acts and operating policies and rules for licensing of soil scientists in Minnesota, New WJ~~ Hampshire, North Carolina and Wisconsin. Other materials that might be helpful in formulation of policies and rules would be appreciated by Murray, mailto:mmilford@tca.net.

Murray Millford


2002 PSSAT Soil Texturing Contest

Soil 1



Soil 2



Textural Class

% Clay

% Sand

Textural Class

% Clay

% Sand

sandy clay loam

25 60 silt 9 5






clay loam 30 30 silt 4 2
sandy loam 18 55 lvfs 6 84
loam 30 45 silt loam 15 15
loam 25 30 silt loam 21 8
loam 23 35 silt loam 22 30
loam 11 45 silt loam 10 15
loam 27 46 silt loam 22 27
loam 25 silt loam 25
loam 12 45 loam 15 40
clay loam 28 50 silt loam 27 15


2002 PSSAT Committee Chairpersons and Members

Finance Committee

Chairman - Glenn Chervenka

Lynn Gray, Lindsay Lang

Constitution and Bylaws Committee

Chairman - Conrad Neitsch

Jamey Douglass, Dr. C.T. Hallmark

Ethics Committee

Chairman - Dr. Ted Zobeck

Joel Bolin, Mitte Muse, Dr. C.T. Hallmark

Nominations Committee

Chairman - Immediate Past President - Dennis Brezina

Dr. Jan Horbaczewski, Michael Golden, Sam Brown

Dr. Bill Harris

Public Relations and Education Committee

Chairman - Dr. John Jacob

Susan Casby-Horton, Willie Crenwelge,

Wayne Gabriel, James Greenwade,

Dr. Lynn Loomis, Ramiro Molina,

Allen Neuman, Dr. B.L. Allen,

Jerry Rives, Alan Stahnke

Membership Committee

Chairman - President-Elect Maurice Jurena

Tom Feuerbacher, Dr. Richard Griffin,

Sydney Paulson, Dr. Richard Zartman


Articles by James Gordon, Jon Brandt and Stacey Muras

Review of the 2002 PSSAT & SSLRW MEETING

by James Gordon

Allow me to begin by relating to those who did not attend the meeting that it was a great success. The meeting ran very smoothly, and the presentations were interesting and informative. Also, I will take this opportunity to thank everyone for their time in preparing for the meeting and attending.

Soil scientists began converging on College Station Wednesday evening. Social hour before the meeting started, as usual, was a great time to visit with friends and make new acquaintances. It was good to see friends that I have not seen since the last meeting.

The gathering of the minds commenced Thursday morning on Texas A&M University. As always, the facilities for the meeting were first-class. The meeting began by everyone introducing ones self. The number of people attending and their various occupations surprised me.

The presentations were thought provoking and impressive. The discourse on the PEN Technology and 3D Mapper was intriguing. I believe this type of field mapping technology will be of great service to Soil Survey. The preliminary trials seem to be promising as was indicated. With continued development of the PEN Technology and 3D Mapper, I believe that it will help field mappers (soil scientist) produce a more accurate and quality product.

The PSSAT Experience by Stacey Muras

I recently attended the Soil Survey and Land Resource Workshop and PSSAT meeting in College Station, TX for the first time. The meeting was interesting and I got to meet several people. The food was ok, but I've had a lot better! The workshops the following two days were very informative. It was a good time for me to meet many people and learn a lot about what other soil enthusiasts were doing around Texas and surrounding states. I especially liked the presentations given on the soil surveys in Texas since that is what I am working for. The remote sensing and other computer imaging presentations were awesome. It is amazing to see what they can do with computers. I also enjoyed the presentation on off road vehicle impact on the soil. My favorites though, were Dennis Brezina and Lynn Loomis' presentations which included several inspiring photos of their work areas.

The soil Survey and Land Resource Workshop was a learning experience as well as a time to relax with the company of people sharing my same interest in soil. I look forward to going again next year.

Comments on the SSLRW - Jon Brandt

This year's Soil Survey and Land Resource Workshop (SSLRW) was the best I've been to. In fact, the SSLRW is consistently the best professional activity I get to attend. I'm glad that the PSSAT annual meeting and the SSLRW are held back to back.

Most of the presentations were informative, but I found several that were really helpful. I'll only mention my favorites here, since you don't want a 10-page report about the workshop. Gordon Wells, from the Center for Space Research at the University of Texas, talked about satellite imagery that's available for the state of Texas. He described the Texas Data Synergy Project; it promotes the use of NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS). This work is funded by NASA, is administered by the Raytheon Company, and is run from the offices of the Center for Space Research. Some of the satellite images are accurate to a 1 :24,000 scale. Other imagery has 200+ spectral bands at 30m resolution. All of these are great for those of us using GIS to map soils and other natural resources. You can find more information at this web address: http://synergy2.csr.utexas.edu/

Other presentations I found useful were those about the use of ArcView in soil mapping, given by several NRCS staff (Shanna Dunn, Jonathan Wiedenfeld, and Joe Anderson). Derek Milner has also been doing great work with digital orthophoto quads (DOQs), and digital elevation models (DEMs). Admittedly, these talks were enjoyed more by the computer geeks in the crowd (myself included).

There were two presentations on soil quality and one on ecological site descriptions that stood out. Bill Puckett and Arlene Tugel talked about work the Soil Quality Institute is doing. Soil Health Cards are being developed in several states (for more information, look at this web page: http://www.statlab.iastate.edu  has anybody thought about producing soil health cards in Texas?). Dynamic soli propertIes (those that change with use or management) were also discussed. George Peacock gave an interesting talk on ecological site descriptions.

For those of you following the issue of soil carbon and carbon sequestration strategies, you would have enjoyed the talks given by Frank Hons and David Zuberer. And we were fortunate to have a visiting Fulbright scholar, Sergey Goryachkin, give a talk on soil survey problems in high latitudes. I believe I'll remember the difficulties in mapping soils in northern Russia next time I'm griping about the afternoon sun in South Texas in August.

The reports on soil survey activities in National Park Service lands were also interesting. I now know that boats and fishing gear are appropriate soil survey tools (thanks, Dennis). Well, at least when you're mapping soils within the Padre Island National Seashore. I'm also envious of Lynn Loomis, enjoying the spectacular scenery while mapping soils in Big Bend National Park.

Next year's workshop will be held at the same place, on February 13th and 14th.


Want to see back issues of Texas Soil Profiles?

Click on the Hyperlinks below to view back issues that have been posted on the website.

Volume 17 No. 2 - August 1999
Volume 17 No. 3 - January 2000
Volume 18 No. 1 - March 2000
Volume 18 No. 2 - December 2000
Volume 18 No. 3 - January 2001
Volume 19 No. 1 - March 2001

  Texas Soil Profiles is Edited By: Jamey Douglass

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Questions and comments on Texas Soil Profiles newsletter: Jamey Douglass or PSSAT<webmaster@pssat.org>