Soil and Erosion Researchers
Dr. Gerard Kluitenberg is a professor of soil and environmental physics in K-State’s Department of Agronomy. His research interests include the use of thermal sensors for quantifying soil physical properties and processes; the transport and fate of agricultural chemicals in soil; field-scale special variability of soil properties and transport processes; and heat, radiation and energy exchange in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum.
A K-State faculty member since 1989, Dr. Kluitenberg holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in soil and water science from the University of California, Davis. He received his doctoral degree in agronomy (soil physics) from Iowa State University. Dr. Kluitenberg is a member of several professional societies, including the Soil Science Society of America, the International Union of Soil Science, and the American Society of Agronomy, among others.
Dr. Augustine Obour is an assistant professor of soil science at K-State’s Agricultural Research Center in Hays, Kansas. Dr. Obour’s expertise is in developing soil management and agronomic production practices which protect soil, water, and air resources while sustaining crop yields and maintaining soil and environmental quality. His research includes nutrient cycling and soil quality, the development of oilseed and bioenergy feedstock production recommendations for western Kansas. He also leads investigations on tillage and impacts of cover crop management options on crop yield as well as on soil fertility and nutrient management issues in dryland cropping systems.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in crop science from Kwame University of Science and Technology in Ghana, as well as a master’s degree in agronomy and a doctoral degree in soil and water science from the University of Florida. Dr. Obour joined the K-State faculty in 2013.
Dr. Nathan Nelson is an associate professor in K-State’s Department of Agronomy, specializing in soil fertility and nutrient management. His research projects primarily explore nutrient management, cycling, and distribution within soil profiles and across landscapes. Part of this research is investigating ways to increase the efficiency of phosphorus applications in agriculture, with a main goal of increasing food production while reducing phosphorus runoff into surface waters. Dr. Nelson’s work with KCARE resulted in the development of the Kansas Agricultural Watershed Field Laboratory, a large in-field water quality laboratory at the Ashland Experiment Farm near Manhattan. This facility is used to investigate effects of agricultural systems on surface water quality and develop and verify best management practices to reduce non-point source pollution from agricultural lands.
A native of Manhattan, Dr. Nelson graduated from K-State with a B.S. in agronomy before moving to North Carolina State University where he received his M.S. and Ph.D. in soil science. He has been with the K-State faculty since 2005.
Dr. DeAnn Presley is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Soil Science and Management at K-State. She has been with the department since 2007, where she works on a range of projects that extend to both agricultural and suburban environments. Specifically, her research focuses on cover crops and how they affect soil health and crop production.
Dr. Presley’s unique understanding of cover crops and her passion for soil science are a great asset to KCARE’s Great Plains Grazing research on how climate change, land use, and markets affect cattle production in the southern Great Plains. Her work on this project includes evaluating multi-species cover crops for forage production as well as soil health evaluation in no-till, cover crop, and pumpkin production systems in the Southern Great Plains.
Dr. Presley received her bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Iowa State University, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in agronomy from Kansas State University.
Dr. Aleksey Sheshukov is an award-winning faculty member at K-State who specializes in the study of watersheds. His work examines the processes of ephemeral gully erosion, evaluates the best management practices for sustainable watershed management and restoration, and creates novel computer models to improve our understanding of climate and land use change impacts on watershed hydrology and water quality.
He received his master’s degree in applied Mathematics/Theoretical Mechanics and his doctorate in Fluid Mechanics from Kazan State University in Russia. Dr. Sheshukov joined K-State in 2008 as a watershed modeling specialist. Currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, he leads the research and extension program on water quality.
Dr. Daniel Sweeney is a professor of soil and water management at the Southeast Agricultural Research Center in Parsons. Dr. Sweeney has focused his research on fertilizer application, tillage, and irrigation to improve row and forage crop production on claypan soils — the types of soil prevalent in southeast Kansas. He also has studied environmental issues such as land application of municipal solid waste compost and animal manures for row crop production, plant-based remediation of contaminated soil, and nutrient losses in surface runoff after turkey litter applications.
Dr. Sweeney is a fellow of three professional societies: the American Society of Agronomy, the Soil Science Society of America, and the Crop Science Society of America.
Dr. Sweeney earned a Master of Science degree in agronomy from Purdue University and a Ph.D. in soil science from the University of Florida.