Graduate Research Assistant Announcement

The Crop and Soil Science Department at NC State University is seeking a highly motivated student to pursue a graduate degree with a focus on herbicide persistence and risks to subsequent rotational crops. Research may involve laboratory, greenhouse, and field experiments characterizing herbicide persistence, bioavailability and physiological effect(s) on subsequent crops. The student is expected to present results at professional meetings and publish findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals.  The successful candidate must demonstrate a strong commitment to agriculture through research, an excellent work ethic, ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary research team, ability to conduct independent research, and proficiency in the English language (written and oral).

Requirements: the candidate should have weed science, agronomy, ecology, plant science, horticulture or other agriculture related experience.  The assistantship is contingent upon acceptance by the Graduate School and Department of Crop and Soil Sciences (https://cropsoil.ncsu.edu/academics/graduate-programs/crop-science-graduate-programs/).  The successful candidate should begin summer or fall 2017 and will be required to travel in-state to complete research objectives (valid drivers license is required).

 

Compensation: Commensurate with experience. A research assistantship including tuition and graduate student support will be offered.

 

Additional information: Please contact Dr. Travis Gannon (travis_gannon@ncsu.edu), Dr. Anna Locke (anna_locke@ncsu.edu), or Dr. Wes Everman (Wesley_everman@ncsu.edu)

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USDA – NCSU National Needs Doctoral Fellowships

USDA – NCSU National Needs Doctoral Fellowships

 

Multidisciplinary Training in Advanced Technologies for High-Yield Sustainable Agriculture

NCSU Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Engineering, and Sciences are recruiting outstanding students to pursue interdisciplinary PhDs in Advanced Technologies for High Yield Sustainable Agriculture as USDA-funded National Needs Fellows. Open only to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or permanent residents of the Pacific Islands Trust Territory intending to become university teachers/researchers. We encourage applicants from groups underrepresented in agricultural sciences: women and African, Hispanic-, Native-, and Asian-Americans. Research will be under the auspices of AMPLIFY (Agrosphere Modeling for Producing Large Increases in Food Yield) in one or more of these six expertise-shortage areas: 1) biotechnology, biochemistry, and microbiology; 2) natural resources including sustainable agriculture and biofuels; 3) soil sciences; 4) agricultural/biological engineering; 5) plant sciences and horticulture; and 6) water resources including water quality. Students will be cross-trained among these and others such as bioinformatics, computational biology, statistics, electrical and computer engineering, geographic information science (GIS), remote sensing, integrated pest management, modeling, regulatory science, and climate change. A required 3-month resident internship in the public sector or at a local agricultural biotech company will increase career opportunities in the strong job market for cross-trained scientists. Candidates must have outstanding academic records, excellent GRE scores, and demonstrable financial need by federal guidelines. Included are: stipend, tuition, fees, and funds to defray research costs and travel to professional meetings. Additional information is available at the program website.

Potential applicants wishing to pursue a soil-science-related degree are encouraged to contact one or more of the following: Dr. Jeffrey G. White, Dr. Josh Heitman, Dr. Wei Shi.  For a crop-science-related degree: Dr. Ron Heiniger, Dr. Gail Wilkerson. For other disciplines, navigate to the program website.

Exit Seminar – Evaluating the flush of CO2 as a Short-Term Biological Indicator of Soil Nitrogen Availability

Soil Science Exit Seminar
Mary Pershing, M.S. Student, Soil Science, NCSU, will present an exit seminar titled:

“Evaluating the Flush of CO2 as a Short-Term Biological Indicator of Soil Nitrogen Availability” (under the direction of Dr. Alan Franzluebbers)

on 30 September 2016 at 9:00 am in the McKimmon Room (2223 WMS).
All are welcome to attend.

Abstract
Determining the appropriate nitrogen (N) rate for field crops is critical to farm economics and environmental protection. In North Carolina, N fertilizer recommendations are not modified by residual inorganic N or biologically active N, but only by realistic yield expectation set for each soil type and crop. However, due to increasingly popular conservation management practices such as cover cropping and no-till farming, residual N can remain in the soil in a biologically active form for potential plant uptake, resulting in greater supply of N than expected. Measuring biologically active carbon (C) is strongly related to net N mineralization, and may be less complicated, expensive, and time consuming than measuring biologically active N, due to the rapidly changing nature of soil N. Soil samples (n=759) from research stations and private farms representing three physiographic regions of North Carolina (coastal plain, piedmont, and mountains), as well as from cooperating locations in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Georgia were analyzed for various soil chemical and biological properties in the laboratory and utilized in four separate greenhouse growth trials. Unfertilized Sorghum bicolorwas grown for eight weeks in each soil sample to test for N availability. Dry matter accumulation and N concentration of plants were measured, which allowed for determination of above ground plant N uptake. The flush of CO2 following rewetting of dried soil was a key indicator of interest, as was net N mineralization during 24 days, soil microbial biomass C, particulate organic C and N, and total organic C and N. In Greenhouse Trial 1, the flush of CO2 was the second best indicator of greenhouse growth (R2=0.78) behind net N mineralization (R2= 0.81). In Greenhouse Trial 2, total soil N was the best indicator of greenhouse growth (R2 = 0.82). In Greenhouse Trial 3, the flush of CO2was the best indicator of greenhouse growth (R2 = 0.96). In Greenhouse Trial 4, the flush of CO2 was the second best indicator of plant N uptake (R2=0.83) behind net N mineralization (R2= 0.88). Among all samples, the flush of CO2 explained 69% of the variation in N uptake. The slope to predict greenhouse growth in soils from Oklahoma, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, was significantly different from Virginia and North Carolina. The interaction effect of state on the flush of CO2 improved prediction of dry matter production from 50 to 71% and of plant N uptake from 68 to 89%. Samples originating from NC and VA (n=516) were predicted by the flush of CO2 with an R2=0.81 for plant N uptake and R2=0.66 for dry matter production. The biologically active fraction of organic matter was the most dominant and consistent way to determine plant N uptake in this study (i.e. through net N mineralization and potential C mineralization). Sometimes soil nutrient concentrations and initial inorganic N were additionally helpful. In conclusion, the flush of CO2 has the potential to be a simple, rapid, and reliable predictor of potentially available N in the mid-Atlantic United States.  

Graduate Research Assistant – Pesticide environmental fate and behavior (PhD preferred)

Research will involve laboratory, greenhouse, and field experiments investigating various factors that affect pesticide fate, behavior, and off-target movement. The student is expected to and present results at professional meetings and publish findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The successful candidate must demonstrate a strong commitment to agriculture through research, an excellent work ethic, ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary research team, ability to conduct independent research, and proficiency in English language (written and oral).

The preferred candidate will have weed science, agronomy, ecology, agroecology, plant science, horticulture or other agriculture related experience.

The position requires travel to research fields and a valid driver license is required.

For more information contact Travis Gannon.

Graduate Research Assistant (GRA), M.S. – filled

This position has been filled

Effects of land conversion for biofuel crop production on soil properties and field water budgets.

We seek an exceptional student to conduct research examining the effects of land conversion for biofuel crop production on soil (biological, chemical, physical) properties and field water budgets. The study compares established perennial and annual systems (switchgrass, miscanthus, sorghum, corn, and fescue) in the Southeastern Piedmont.

The project will include field applications of soil physics, soil fertility, agronomy, biometeorology, and hydrology.

Presentation of research results at local, regional, and national meetings will be an important component of training. All graduate research assistants participate in the Department’s teaching program.

 

Graduate Research Assistant – Filled

This position has been filled.

Graduate Research Assistant, Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management.

“Conduct independent research in the area of soil fertility, specifically potassium management for soybean. Activities will include collaboration with the Agronomic Division staff in the North Carolina Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services in identifying, installing and monitoring field trials at multiple locations in North Carolina, and collecting soil, plant tissue, and seed yield at harvest.”