Student Spotlight: Love of Outdoors Leads Student to Soil Science

Although it hasn’t been a direct path, NC State University junior Gary Morehouse believes he’s on the right road to a rewarding career: that of consulting soil scientist.

While a student at Grace Creek High School near Fayetteville, N.C., Morehouse was an FFA chapter president and a participant in Envirothon, an environmental education competition. Recognizing his love of the outdoors, he went to Montgomery Community College (MCC) to earn an associate degree in forestry.

An otherwise unfortunate accident led him to seriously consider soil science as a field of study: The summer he graduated from MCC, one of his instructors broke a leg, and when school administrators couldn’t find an experienced educator to serve as substitute for the soil science class, they turned to Morehouse.

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Growing the Future

The Department of Crop and Soil Sciences is pleased to announce our new department strategic plan, “Growing the Future

Our plan has five strategic directions addressing priority areas in teaching, research and extension.  In addition, you will find our vision and mission statements along with Core Values that we embrace in this department. This plan will guide our department and provide a framework for investing department resources.

We look forward to “Growing the Future”

Download a copy here



Merger of Crop Science and Soil Science departments

copper wolf

On July 1, 2016 the merger of Crop Science and Soil Science into a single department becomes official, but our departments have collaborated on preeminent research studies for decades. More in-depth articles about individual studies to come, but even a quick non-inclusive overview is impressive in scope. In addition to studies in bioenergy sources as well as microbial research, our Crop-Soil collaborative studies are addressing some of the most pressing issues our world faces today:
Enivronmental Studies

  • Protecting NC crops affected by the Dan River coal ash spill
  • Protecting soil from potential contaminants

Climate Change Studies

  • Developing high tech solutions to measure greenhouse gas emission
  • Assessing organic farming’s role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Food Production Studies

  • Determining most effective and cost efficient crop production resources
  • Maximizing crop production while providing best environmental protection

As one Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, we will continue to find answers, create solutions and teach our students how to do the same in the future. We move forward as the largest department in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; in fact one of the largest departments in the entire university. This is our opportunity to lead, and we are ready to meet the challenge.

Protecting drinking water in Cambodia

“By understanding the chemistry of sediment I want to be able to create a conceptual and quantitative model that can be used as a guideline for if and when arsenic might pollute an aquifer.”

Student Perspectives – Elizabeth Gillispie: Mixing it up


Student farmers turn dining hall into classroom

Student farmers turn dining hall into classroom

NC State’s Agroecology Education Farm is a double-impact instructional tool: The six-acre site gives practical experience to students taking agroecology-related courses or volunteering as a service project. And the abundance of produce it provides the dining services system each year – 3,222 pounds in 2015 – reminds students across campus to think about where their food comes from and how it is produced.



Student Perspectives – Angel Cruz

“I think a lot of people right now are talking about feeding the world in 2050, but I want to remember that there are a lot of people who are hungry today and don’t have enough to eat. My name is Angel Cruz. I’m a Ph.D. student here at NC State in the Crop Science Department”