UW–Platteville will host the 53rd annual National Collegiate Soils Contest Sunday through Friday, April 21–26.
NCSC is a weeklong study of regional soils and landscapes where participants describe and classify soil and landscapes using techniques developed by soil scientists.
UW–Platteville has the longest continuous streak in the country of attending the NCSC, but this will be the first time hosting the competition. It is also the first time the contest will be held entirely in the driftless region. UW–Platteville is an 11-time national champion, however the host team can’t participate in the competition.
Individual and group competitions will include 200 students from 23 colleges and universities from around the country. Participants will have four days to study practice sites before two days of competition.
“While it is a contest, it is also a unique opportunity for students to learn much about the soils of a region in a very short period of time,” said Dr. Christopher Baxter, UW–Platteville associate professor of soil and crop science.
“It is a great honor and will help me network and get great field experience in the job field that I would like to work in after graduation,” said Brandon Hall, senior soil and crop science major from Victoria, Ill., and UW–Platteville soils judging team member.
New this year is a tour of the Coon Creek Watershed near La Crosse.
“This will provide students an opportunity to learn about some of the innovative soil conservation practices that were developed there and the impact they have had on agriculture and natural resources in the driftless region,” said Baxter.
Delegates from the International Union of Soil Science will be attending the event to prepare for the first ever International Soils Competition that will be held during the 20th World Congress of Soil Science in South Korea in the summer of 2014.
“The event provides a great deal of national and international exposure for UW–Platteville and the surrounding region,” said Baxter.
UW–Platteville was fourth in the 2012 overall championships held at West Virginia University and has won national championships in 1976, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1997, 2001, 2002, and 2004.
For more information, visit www.uwplatt.edu/soa/ncsc/index.html.