College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources


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Soil science professor to give Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Lecture

Thomas DeSutter

Thomas DeSutter, NDSU professor of soil science, has been selected for the prestigious Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Lectureship. His virtual presentation, “Transformative Power of Soil,” is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. via Zoom.

DeSutter’s research focuses on improving salt-affected soils and reclaiming soils impacted by energy exploration. A major emphasis of his work is exploring innovative ways to reduce the time required for soils to regain their plant productivity potential after a disturbance.

DeSutter describes the title of his talk as a play on words. “Soils come to be because they transform from parent materials. I also attempt to educate people – students, industry professionals and landowners – with this new knowledge,” he said. “Thus, the hope is that the standards for the reclamation of soils post disturbance will be transformed.”

DeSutter’s talk is the first of two Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Lectures this academic year. Kalpana Katti, University Distinguished Professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been selected to give a talk during spring semester. Her presentation is scheduled for Feb. 22, with details to be announced.

DeSutter was nominated for the honor by Frank Casey, director of the NDSU School of Natural Resource Science. He said the words that come to mind that describe DeSutter are “excellence” and “service.”

“Dr. DeSutter exemplifies the values of NDSU, and he excels in all aspects of our vision of being a student-focused, land-grant, research university. He personifies all that makes NDSU and its faculty great and he is well deserving of this award,” Casey said.

DeSutter has published 110 peer-reviewed research articles in a variety of leading journals. His work has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, crop commodity agencies and other national, state, and private sources. His honors include the NDSU College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources’ Larson/Yaggie Excellence in Research Award, H. Roald and Janet Lund Excellence in Teaching Award, Teaching Award of Merit from the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture and the Emil Truog Soil Science Award presented by the Soil Science Society of America.

In addition, DeSutter was appointed to serve on the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality Advisory Council, and he is the lead editor for the journal, Agricultural and Environmental Letters.

DeSutter joined the NDSU faculty in 2006. He earned his bachelor’s degrees in geography and environmental management and his master’s degree in plant science from South Dakota State University. He earned his doctorate in agronomy at Kansas State University.

Source: NDSU News

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