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K-State Today

December 19, 2017

Assistant Professor Colby Moorberg earns Certified Professional Soil Scientist status

By Kathy Gehl

Colby Moorberg

Colby Moorberg, assistant professor of soil science in the agronomy department, has been named a Certified Professional Soil Scientist by the Soil Science Society of America Soils Certifying Board.

To become certified, candidates must meet rigorous requirements for exams, experience, education and ethics.

Moorberg earned a doctorate in soil science at North Carolina State University. He joined K-State's agronomy department in 2015 where he teaches two soils courses: Agronomy 305 — Soils, an introductory soil science course; and Agronomy 635 — Soil and Water Conservation. He also is the assistant coach for the K-State soil judging team.

Moorberg said he hopes his certification will encourage his students to pursue professional certification. His research program specializes in root ecology and hydropedology, an emerging field combining soil science with hydrology.

Certified Professional Soil Scientist is a voluntary certification that establishes base standards of knowledge for individuals who practice the profession of soil science.

Each scientist must pass a comprehensive exam covering soil chemistry; soil mineralogy; soil fertility; soil physics; soil genesis, morphology, classification; soil biology, biochemistry; land use management; field and laboratory techniques; and ethics. They must have at least a bachelor's degree in the area of soils with five or more years of experience and five supporting references, plus sign a code of ethics.

With the certification, Moorberg joins a select group of current K-State agronomy faculty members including Gary Pierzynski, Mickey Ransom and DeAnn Presley.