Annual Reports


A - Environmental Quality Section - Officers (A016)

2012 Annual Report

Environmental Quality Section 2012 Annual Report


The environmental quality section of ASA has six active communities, each of which had activity during the 2012 annual meetings in Cincinnati. We had a business meeting on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at 5:00 pm during the annual meetings. Mark David, section chair presided.

We introduced the section officers:


Chair, Mark David, University of Illinois

Vice-Chair, Nathan Nelson, Kansas State University

Board Representative, Jim Ippolito, USDA-ARS

Vice-Chair Elect, Kurt Spokas, USDA-ARS


We then had a brief discussion about the six communities that are active, each having presentations and business meetings in Cincinnati.


Animal agriculture and the environment

Biochar: agronomic and environmental uses

Managing denitrification in agronomic systems

By-product gypsum uses in agriculture

Nutrient loss assessment and prevention

Soil carbon and greenhouse gas emissions


ASA President, Ken Barbarick, presented Mark David with a certificate of appreciation and thanked him for his outstanding service and leadership as section chair. He also gave a brief overview of ASA activities.


The board report was given by Jim Ippolito.


  • Digital library is up and running. It will be open access through the end of 2012. After that it is available with an annual subscription cost. Encourage your institutions to subscribe.
  • No page charges up to 7 pages of content in society journals. Journals are on-line only as of Jan. 1, 2013. No color figure charges, no figure or table charges. $100 per pages over 7 ($200 for non-members)
  • Increased meeting registration fees are providing program enhancement funds, therefore, the funds are coming back to the meeting participants.
  • Annual ASA budget is looking good. 2013 is projected to be a $169,000 deficit. That is a conservative estimate on a budget of over $4,000,000. We will likely make that up (it is less than 5% of the budget) and finish the year in the black.


Mark David summarized the program at the 2012 meeting:


Four community symposia

99 posters in 9 sessions

92 oral presentations in 13 sessions

The general environmental quality poster session had 29 presentations.


  • We discussed the need for general oral and poster sessions at the section level.
  • Next year we could have the communities each select a top graduate student presentation for submission to an environmental quality section award (top section graduate poster). 
  • We could have a reception following the business meeting to attract members to the business meeting.
  • We could have each community give a 5-min (or less) report of their activities and plans.


Nominations were opened for vice-chair and board representative in addition to those put forward by the nominations committee. The final nominations are:



Diane Stott, USDA-ARS

Ariel Szogi, USDA, ARS


Board Representative:

Ray Bryant, USDA-ARS

Mark David, University of Illinois


We had a good discussion of symposia and sessions for 2013, and agreed most would be through the communities. Nathan will consider a symposium for the section, as well as general oral and poster sessions at the section level.


We then welcomed our new chair, Nathan Nelson, and adjourned.



Community Reports follow:




By-Product Gypsum Uses in Agriculture Community Business Meeting Minutes

                     Meeting occurred at the Hyatt Regency, Regency Ballroom F, Third Floor

 10:00 am to 10:20 am Monday 22, 2012


Presider: Dexter B. Watts

Attendance:  Approximately 35 people

Community’s Budget: $1,554.00 in the Program Enhancement Funds

Meeting Discussion:

  • Use of gypsum as a Best Management Practice (BMP). It was mentioned that the following must be considered when developing a NRCS BMP.
  1. What is the purpose of the BMP
  2. Source of material applied
  3. How much is needed (recommended rate)
  4. What is best timing for application


It was also stated that it is a good idea for State Land Grant schools and USDA-ARS work on the development BMPs.


  • Should we have a field trip in Tampa next year or not?

It was mention that if we consider a field trip the best time would be on Sunday when ASA topical sessions are not occurring.

There were also concerns whether or not a field trip is beneficial or not.


  • Should we have a panel discussion at the ASA meeting next year?

A panel discussion was greatly encouraged. The members thought that it would be a good idea to have a panel where there are interactions between scientist and maybe EPA.


  • How can the community increase participation?

It was suggested that we could reach out to the soil fertility group who conducting research on the use of gypsum as a sulfur amendments for crop production.


  • Nominee for Vice Chair

Mark Reiter as nominated (all agreed)


Nutrient Loss Assessment and Prevention Business Meeting

Monday Oct. 22, 2012

Attendance: approx. 12 to 15 people

General Business

  • A Special Collection of papers from last year’s symposium will appear in the Nov-Dec print edition of JEQ.  There are 7 papers and an introductory paper.
  • SERA-17 annual meeting will be held following the ASA meetings.  More discussion on how well this works will be held at the SERA-17 meeting on Thurs. Morning.
  • We may want to change our name to something more concise and general.  i.e., “Nutrient Loss” or “Nutrients in the Environment”

Program Planning

This year we had some good oral meetings, but we may have missed on posters.  These posters could be attracted if our sessions had more general names, or captured broader categories.

Symposia ideas (including ideas solicited as part of the SERA-17 Meeting)

The following symposium were recommended for the 2013 meeting at either the community or the Section level.  The symposium on P fate, management, and modeling in artificially drained soils received substantial support and was strongly suggested as a section symposium.

  • Benefits and challenges with nutrient management in agricultural drainage
  • 590: How states are addressing the 590 changes? How do NRCS (state and national level) and EPA feel about use of P index as a management tool? How to address changes in manure management within a rotation.
  • P fate, management and modeling in artificially drained soils;
  • Building a vision for Nutrient Management:
    • Farmers involvement in and implementation of nutrient management plans (are plans and indices implementable in the real world)
    • Attaining P balance on farms – is that enough
    • What should a future PI look like?
    •  How transport of P and conservation practices to address P may be diverging.
  • Topics driven by the ongoing P-index assessment CIG projects.  Possible topics in 2013:
    • Improving components of SWAT and APEX
    • Issues and opportunities organizing data from watershed runoff studies.

Community Leadership

Nominations were closed; Keith Reid was the only nominee.  Voting was unanimous in favor of Keith as the incoming vice-chair of the community.  Keith Reid will serve as vice-chair in 2013 and chair in 2014.


Biochar Community Business Meeting was held on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at 11:00 am




1. Awards:


a) Biochar Researcher of the Year: Plaque, Cash award ($200), and ASA membership paid for 1 year

This year’s award recipient for the Biochar Community Outstanding Researcher of the Year was Dr. Johannes Lehmann.  I am sure you are all well aware of the advances Dr. Lehmann has made and continues to make in the field of biochar research. Congratulations to Dr. Lehmann.


b) Best Oral Presentation:  A certificate and cash award ($100)

This year’s recipient was Dr. Sergio Abit, an assistant professor of Soil Science from Oklahoma State University.  Sergio discussed the “Influence of biochar feedstock on transport of pathogenic bacteria in unsaturated biochar amended soil”.  Congratulations Dr. Abit.


c) Student Awards: Each of the award winners receives a certificate and a cash award ($100).

  • Ms. Vanita Sachdeva from McGill University presented “Phosphorus in Runoff and Leaching Potentially Mitigated by Biochar Application in Agricultural Fields”.
  • Mr. John Field from Colorado State University presented “Liming Effects and Winter Wheat Yield Response in Biochar-Amended Agricultural Soils”. And,
  • Mr. Landon Young from Purdue University presented “Improved Biomass, Essential Oil, and Flavonoid Yield of Greenhouse Basil in Five Organic Soil Substrates”.
  •  In addition, we utilized community funds in support of one undergraduate student research award.  Ms. Margaret Pryatel from the University of Cincinnati helped with research pertaining to “Effects of biochar use on greenhouse gas emissions from organic farming in the Ohio Valley”.  


Congratulations to all the award winners.


2. Meeting Sessions:

 Overall there were positive comments received for the format and content of this year’s sessions.


3. Vice-chair voting:

The biochar community had an electronic (email) ballot for the next vice-chair position.  The result of the election was that Dr. Jeffrey Novak from USDA-ARS in Florence, SC was elected as the new vice-chair of the community.  Jeff will serve 2013 as the vice-chair and then serve as chair of the community in 2014. 


4. New Chair of the ASA Biochar Community:

The current vice-chair (Kurt Spokas) will become the chair of the community in 2013.


5. Open Discussion Items:

Meeting format:


There was an open forum for comments from the community members attending the meeting. The overall opinion was the structure of the meetings was favorable and agreed that the awards to students was a good use of funds for the community. 

There was discussion over the format for the biochar sessions at the Tampa meetings, and the use of 15 minute time slots was generally accepted as the preferred format. 

There also was the opinion expressed that there should be more of an effort to include the poster sessions into one of the oral sessions... A new format for the posters will be attempted in next year's meeting in Tampa.


6. Message from outgoing chair (Jim Ippolito):

I have really appreciated serving as your community leader over the past two years.  Although challenging with the restructuring, it has also been one of the most rewarding experiences as I have gotten to know many of you. Dr. Kurt Spokas will be your next chair starting (theoretically) with the planning of next year’s meetings.




2012 ASA Annual Meeting, Cincinnati, Ohio

American Society of Agronomy Community

Managing Denitrification in Agronomic Systems


Summary of Business Meeting

Tuesday, October 23 at 11:30 am in DECC Room 263, Level 2.


Presiding leader: Mark David, University of Illinois.

Vice Leader: Louis Schipper, University of Waikato.


  1. General

Mark David opened the meeting immediately after the inaugural symposium for the Community. There were 15 people present. Mark explained that this was the first meeting of the community and asked for feedback on whether the community symposium had been useful and whether the Community should continue.


The group strongly supported an ongoing presence of the Community at the ASA annual meetings.


The current membership to the group about 50 and is unlikely to be as large as many of the other groups because of the specific focus. There was discussion about broadening the scope of the community without losing focus. Managing nitrogen in agronomic systems was considered too broad but it may be possible to create a home for researchers interested in denitrification in general.


  1. Activity at 2012 Cincinnati Annual conference

Two sessions were held

  1. An invited symposium: “Managing Denitrification in Agronomic Systems to Reduce Nitrate Loss: Methods, Unknowns, and Limits to Adoption.”  This attracted between 35 and 50 people for the various talks, which provided an excellent summary of the state of knowledge.


  1. A small poster session – three posters only – see below for plans to improve this presence.


  1. Ongoing Communication

Information on community would be conveyed through a list serve established by University of Rhode Island and associated website as well as through the ASA community e-mail list. Interested members can join the Rhode Island list serve by contacting Kelly Addy (


  1. Presence at Tampa 2013 ASA annual meetings

Several suggestions were made about how the community would have a presence at the annual meetings next year in Tampa, with a good discussion about what we should do.

One suggestion agreed on was that a poster session be held coupled to an informal drinks/finger food gathering. As the management of denitrification in agronomy is a newly developing field many researchers have only just initiated field experiments. The opportunity to present preliminary results through posters and have a general discussion on approaches was considered valuable. Funds from ASA would be available to support food and drinks. We would ask all of those involved with field (or laboratory) studies to present a poster, even if there were few results available. We would then schedule a time of an hour or so at the end of the poster period for a facilitated discussion, while providing food and drink. We think this would be a nice next step.


  1. Community leaders

The current leader is Mark David with Louis Schipper acting as vice leader. Both agreed to stay on for 2012/2013 as the community is just developing.


There will also be a call for a new vice leader to serve as 2012/2013 vice-leader and leader 2013/2014. Louis Schipper did not feel that acting as a leader for the group in 2012/2013 was pragmatic from New Zealand mainly because of time zone differences and uncertainties with attending the annual meeting from New Zealand.


ASA Section: Environmental Quality

Soil Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Community Business Meeting

23 October 2012, 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Meeting Minutes


Presiding: Alan Franzluebbers (for Diane Stott)

Recorder: Mark Liebig

Attendees: 14


Symposia/Session/Workshop topics for 2013 ACS meeting – Input was gathered from those in attendance on potential topics for next year’s ACS meeting in Tampa, FL.  Suggested topics included the following:


  • Methodologies for calculating soil carbon dynamics, with emphasis on establishing quality baseline data.
  • Approaches for up-scaling greenhouse gas fluxes and soil carbon dynamics.
  • Application of statistical procedures for analysis of greenhouse gas flux data.

After brief discussion, there was informal consensus to organize a workshop focused on methodological and data analysis approaches for quantifying greenhouse gas flux and soil carbon dynamics.  The workshop would be organized to allow for a ‘classroom style’ atmosphere, with invited specialists leading interactive lectures on relevant topics.  It was suggested one or two overview presentations on basic processes contributing to gas flux and soil carbon dynamics be given as a ‘lead off’ to the workshop.  Suggestions for specific topics and potential speakers/lecturers are welcome.


Chair-elect nominations – Jane Johnson and Hero Gollany expressed interest to serve as chair-elect for the Soil Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Community.  An election will be held soon to select the next chair-elect.


Website hosting opportunity – If you are interested and willing to edit the community website (, please contact Alan Franzluebbers at


Upcoming meetings


  • The 4th International Symposium on Soil Organic Matter will be held in Nanjing, China, 5-10 May 2013.  Details may be found at
  • IUSS Global Soil Carbon Conference, Madison WI. This is the first IUSS interdivisional and intercommissional conference that focuses on soil C in space and time, soil C properties and processes, soil C in relation to soil use and management, and the role of soil C in sustaining society and the environment.  Abstracts (≤250 words) are due by 1 February 2013. For more information:

Community-sponsored sessions – Attendance at sessions organized by the community has been excellent.  Over 80 people attended the oral session held Monday (22 October), while attendance at the oral session Tuesday included approximately 40 people.  High attendance at the afternoon poster session was anticipated.


Joining the Soil Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Community – Interested in participating in this community?  If so, joining the membership is as simple as a few clicks of a mouse.


Go to, login with your username and password, and select ‘Soil Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Emissions’ within the Environmental Quality Section.  The Soil Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Community currently has >1000 members!


Addendum:  12-6-2012 (DE Stott)


2014 Presiding Leader – An on-line vote for 2013 Vice-leader was conducted in November.  We had one candidate nominated during the o-line nomination process in September/November (Jane MF Johnson) and one candidate nominated during the annual business meeting held in Cincinnati during the ASA-CSSA-SSSA meeting (Hero Gollany). A total 80 votes were cast out of a membership of 1122 – so a 7.1% turnout.


Thank you to Alan Franzluebbers (Presiding Leader for 2013) for handling the business meeting for me as I had to cancel travel plans at the last minute.


2012 Business Meeting Report: Animal Agriculture and the Environment


  1. Animal Agriculture and the Environment Business Meeting was held on October 23, 2012; 3:55 – 5:10 PM. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Gilbert C. Sigua and attended by 22 community members.


  1. Agenda

  • Welcome  and Introduction – Gilbert C. Sigua
  • Community Overview
  • Transfer of Community Leadership
  • Plans and Outlook (e.g., 2013 ASA Meeting, Symposium, Awards, Website, list serve)
  • 2015 Nomination for Vice Presiding Leader


  1. Result of Vice Leader Election – Dr. Dan Miller was elected as the Community Vice-Leader

  • Dr. Kimberly Cook – 49.1%
  • Dr. Dan Miller – 50.9%


  1. Community-Sponsored Sessions: 2012

  1. Monday, October 22, 2012
  • Symposium -- Characterizing Human and Livestock Contamination in Soil and Water Sources: Current Research Gaps and Emerging Chemical and Molecular Approaches. 8 Invited Papers
  • Poster Session -- State of Animal Manure Management and Related Technologies On Water Resources and the Environment: (Best Poster Competition Awards). 10 Poster Papers
  1. Tuesday, October 23, 2012
  • Oral Session -- Dust, Bioaerosol, and Gas Emissions Associated with Confined Animal Feeding Operations.  7 Papers




Items Requiring Board Attention:

Members of the Committee:

Mark David (Presiding Chair, Environmental Quality Section)
Nathan Nelson (Vice Chair, Environmental Quality Section)
James Ippolito (Board Rep., Environmental Quality Section)

Prepared By:

David, Mark B.