Students and Faculty are working to deepen our understanding of the ecological components within the Factor Four area. In 2016 students took soil samples of the area to learn more. This year students from our Forest and Natural Areas Management (FNAM) and Fish, Wildlife and Recreation (FWR) programs sampled soils in the Factor Four area and compared them to soils taken from the forest on the south side of campus. Healthy soils are important indicators of ecological health. They contribute to air quality, storm water management, water quality and plant growth.
Problem and/or Opportunity
Eighteen sites were sampled on campus and analyzed for 11 variables: pH, EC, % OM, %N, C/N, P, K, Ca, Mg, % coarse fragments and % fines. The soils in the Factor Four area were compared to the results from last year, and compared to the soils around Guichon Creek.
It was found that the soils in the two areas didn’t differ greatly in terms of the 11 variables. However the soil in the Factor Four area is substantially more compact and may limit root expansion.