Research Groups

Research Groups, Labs, and Projects


The Department of Plants, Soils and Climate has active and productive research groups, laboratories, and field projects that we invite you to  visit and explore! (Clicking on the left menu will open a website in a new window; clicking on the hotlink below will open the website in the same window.

  • Soil Chemistry and Biogeochemistry Soil chemistry involves the study of the chemical composition of soil components, their chemical properties, and the reactions that take place between the soil solution and soil solids.
  • Biometeorology and Climate Research Biometeorology and climatology study the interactions between the atmosphere and the living organisms on the planet or biosphere.
  • Crop Physiology Laboratory The CPL specializes in the use of controlled environments to examine whole-plant physiological responses to the environment.  Primary studies are crop plants, however, research has evolved to include the use of plants to clean up contaminated soils.  
  • Pedology Group The Pedology Group focuses on the formation, morphology, classification, mapping, and modeling of soils in terrestrial ecosystems.
  • Soil Microbial Ecology Soil microbial ecology is the study of biota that inhabit the soil, their functions, the processes that they mediate, and the effect of their activities on the character of the soil and the growth and health of plant life.
  • Soil Physics Group The environmental soil physics group is engaged in modeling, measurement and interpretation of mass, energy flow, and transformation in porous media; observation and modeling of liquid behavior in porous media under gravity and reduced gravity for space exploration; development and application of electromagnetic measurement techniques for hydrology; structural and mineral physics of transport properties, and in situ characterization of soils using electromagnetic mapping techniques for hydropedology.  
  • Utah Small Grains Research
  • T.W. Daniel Experimental Forest Project
  • Weed Science Weed Science research focuses on biological and ecological characteristics of weeds, as well as the development of tools and tactics to reduce weeds and their effects on crops, rangelands, forests, roadsides, and other natural and disturbed environments.
  • Center for Water Efficient Landscaping CWEL was created to conduct research on effective irrigation techniques, landscape water demand analysis, low-water use landscaping, and plant water needs.
  • Fruits and Vegetables The Production Horticulture program at USU includes research and extension to support the production of quality vegetables and fruits in Utah and the Intermountain West.