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Justin Broglio
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DRI Hosts Conference on Soil Research

Role of desert soils for climate change to groundwater contamination to be discussed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 2, 2013

LAS VEGAS –Two dozen scientists from across the United States who work in the disciplines of soil physics and soil hydrology are gathering at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Las Vegas beginning today through Saturday to discuss cutting edge soil-related research as part of the W2188 Multi-State Research Project. These annual meetings are part of a larger research discussion led by a community of scientists who specialize in the discipline of soil physics and vadose zone hydrology. 

Discussion topics for the annual project meeting will range from the role of desert soils for climate change to groundwater contamination. The project title is “Characterizing Mass and Energy Transport at Different Vadose Zone Scales.”

“The great part about this meeting is having world-leading experts together in one room for three days in an informal setting to exchange ideas and provide a scientific point of view,” Dr. Markus Berli said. Dr. Berli, the Associate Research Professor hosting the project meeting at DRI, said the annual meeting is a chance for scientists to gather in an informal setting to discuss new ideas and develop solutions for real world problems related to soils, hydrology, agriculture and the environment.

Dr. John Nieber, a professor from the University of Minnesota and this year’s chair, says the on-going research discussions focus on the vadose zone, which is the part of the Earth from the land surface all the way down to the groundwater table. “The vadose zone is critical to the maintenance of a healthy balance of water for Earth’s life-sustaining processes. It separates precipitation into surface runoff, plant water use, and groundwater recharge. Proper management of water resource systems, including our lakes, streams/rivers, and groundwater supplies requires a clear understanding about the functioning of the vadose zone,” Nieber said.

These annual meetings are part of a larger research discussion in this field led by a community of scientists who specialize in the discipline of soil physics and vadose zone hydrology. The W2188 project meetings have taken place at DRI each year for about a decade, and the annual meeting has occurred for more than 50 years, making it the longest multi-state project of this type in the

About the Desert Research Institute: DRI, the nonprofit research campus of the Nevada System of Higher Education, conducts cutting-edge research in air, water quality, land and life across Nevada, the United States and on every continent.


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Note to Reporters and Editors: DRI, the nonprofit research campus of the Nevada System of Higher Education, strives to be the world leader in environmental sciences through the application of knowledge and technologies to improve people’s lives throughout Nevada and the world.

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