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We are very excited to announce that the CSS department has invested in CAL to develop our lab into an educational resource for students across the Oregon State University campuses. We have three main avenues we are pursuing to enhance soils education: the use of CAL as a resource for students to process their own samples, a two week intensive method course, and soils-related research consulting.
We regularly train graduate and undergraduate students on how to perform routine analysis on their samples so that they can reduce costs and be connected to the process of data analysis. CAL is able to train students to process plant, soil, water, and soil amendments for a range of characteristics. Our Laboratory has many resources that students are able to use themselves after appropriate training. This training is offered, for a fee ($40/hr), by CAL employees. After the student is proficient in the method, we offer very low prices for said analyses just to cover the costs of consumables. We understand that soil is related to many natural sciences, but tthere are many nuances, special considerations, and decisions that have to be made based on a range of parameters, so we are here to help people ensure that they are sampling properly and performing the analyses that will allow them to answer their questions.
If you are a student interested in processing your own samples in CAL, we encourage you to set up an appointment with Shannon to discuss your goals and the best ways we can work together.
Prior to starting work in CAL each student will have to complete the following modules in EHS
The link below has a lot of different links. About half way down the page are the links to the safety training regulations listed above. Make sure that you enter Shannon Andrews in as the lab PI so I can have access to your records.
We will be teaching two, intensive methods courses this summer. They will be similar to the courses taught last year with improvements based on what we learned from the first time around. We have decided to pair down the topics covered, and focus on agricultural site assessment, and agriculturally relavent laboratory analyses. We will have a one-week intensive course on field methods that students and practitioners will need for the field. We will also offer a one-week intensive laboratory methods course where we introduce students to the theory and practice of laboratory skills needed to do standard soil testing. The links to syllabi on this page are from last year, but will give you an idea of what to expect.
CAL has a history of being a resource for new methods development. We are happy to work with professors or students to find and or develop a method that is appropriate for their specific research question. We recognize that there are a lot of scientific disciplines that are related to soil but the investigator may not know exactly what they need to test, how to process the soils, or how to set up the experimental design needed to get scientifically robust and statistically significant results. We offer consulting service to help design and implement soil related research to those in other disciplines.