Texas Soil Profiles


Vol. 18 No.1

March 2000

Published by the Professional Soil Scientists Association of Texas


In this Issue...


President's Message...... Dan Kowalski

Dues Reminder

Comments on Year 2000 Soil Survey and Land Resource Workshop...... Cynthia Martinez and Ted Zobeck

Minutes of Year 2000 Annual Meeting...... Jamey Douglass

PSSAT Year 2000 Committee Appointments

It's Detail Time Already...... Jamey Douglass

A Note from Nellie Frisbee, PSSAT Treasurer


President's Message...... Dan Kowalski

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the PSSAT members who attended the annual meeting this year in College Station. I think the meeting was well attended, but I hope to see more members there next year.

I would also like to thank all the committee members for their hard work for the association. Special thanks go out to Ricky Lambert and Craig Byrd for their efforts in creating our new web page. I hope everyone has had a chance to browse through it. Web Master Jon Brandt has been busy modifying and adding to the site, and it's really looking good. I believe that the web site will prove to be one of the most useful tools that PSSAT has ever used. it has been only two weeks since the meeting and we've already had nearly 700 hits.

There are two areas I think that we must address in the coming year:

First, I believe that we must try to increase our membership numbers. Web Master Jon has recently added a member application form to the web site, and hopefully we will gain some membership inquiries. This application form can be downloaded by any of our members for distribution to any likely candidate. I would like to see us add at least 10 new members this year.

Secondly, I feel that we should look at raising our dues from the present $10 to $15 per year, with $6 going to the operational fund and $9 going to the scholarship fund. We need to keep the scholarship fund self-sustaining.

Let me or any other members of the Executive Council know your opinion so that the PSSAT can better serve you and the profession of Soil Science in Texas.


Dues Reminder

If you were unable to attend this year's Annual Meeting in College Station, perhaps you have not paid your dues.

Dues in the amount of $10 can be sent to:

Nellie Frisbee

P. O. Box 498

Jewett, TX 75846


Comments on Year 2000 Soil Survey and Land Resource Workshop...... Cynthia Martinez and Ted Zobeck

As Editor, I asked some folks who attended the Soil Survey and Land Resource Workshop in February, to write some comments. They are below.

A Perspective on the Y2K SSLRW
Dr. Ted M. Zobeck, Ph.D., CPSS

The 2000 Soil Survey and Land Resource Workshop at the Rudder Conference Center, TAMU February 10-11, 2000 was another great success. The meeting had something for everyone. About 85 people attended to hear wide variety of oral papers highlighting the National Cooperative Soil Survey Program, drastically altered lands and reclamation, international research activities, nutrient management, soil/land resources, land application of organics, wet soils, and professional and soil survey updates. A number of papers also were presented as posters in the adjoining room. Several of the speakers and posters had handouts or other free materials.

One helpful handout was a copy of the abstracts of the papers presented. But that's not all... I also found one of those famous vials of Houston Black Clay, several bookmarks, video tapes and more.

The PSSAT annual meeting was held on Wednesday evening. A report on the that meeting appears elsewhere in this newsletter. On Thursday, Michael Golden, State Soil Scientist, presented some well-deserved awards to outstanding soil scientists, Jerry Rives, and Kirby Griffith. On Thursday evening, the Wilding's hosted another wonderful evening BBQ in their Home.

I would like to encourage all PSSAT members to attend this meeting next year. This is the first meeting I have attended in a few years and I regret not attending. Not only were the papers very informative and professionally presented, the fellowship during the breaks and the evening BBQ was outstanding. The meeting was a good reminder that we work in an exciting, diverse and vital profession. I look forward to attending next year and thank and congratulate the organizers on a job well-done.

Comments on the SSLRW
Cynthia Maitinez,USDA-NRCS Robstown

This year's Land Resource Workshop in College Station was interesting and informative. Most presentations were well done and of value to us in our various careers.

However, several speakers would not keep their presentations to the allotted time frame and consequently caused the presenters following them to also be late. A few other speakers had not checked their computer presentations for compatibility with the available equipment/technology and these caused additional delays in the schedule. This was distressing because several students came into the hall to hear specific topics of discussion and many had to leave before the presentation that they had come to hear.

The presentation hall, the breakout room, and the refreshments were wonderful.


Minutes of Year 2000 Annual Meeting...... Jamey Douglass

PSSAT Year 2000 Annual Meeting
Minutes, February 9th, 2000
Holiday Inn, College Station, Texas

Members Present:
Jon Wiedenfeld, Jamey Douglass, Levi Steptoe, Jr., Dr. B.L. Allen, Dr. Murray Milford, Dr. Richard Griffin, Susan Casby-Horton, Alan Stahnke, Shanna Dunn, Dr. Ted Zobeck, Charlie Thompson, Ed Janak, Joel Bolin, Harold Hyde, Wayne Gabriel, Ed Griffin, Rick Leopold, Dan Kowalski, Tom Cyprian, Dave Wagner, Phillip Owen, Dr. Bill Harris, Dr. Tom Hallmark, James Greenwade, Nathan Haile, Jerry Rives, Conrad Neitsch, Tom Feuerbacher, Sidney Paulson, Kirby Griffith, Jon Brandt, Mike Golden, Cynthia Martinez, Lester Brockman, Nellie Frisbee, The Dennis Brezina Family, Sam Brown, Dr. Richard Drees, Dr. Larry Wilding, Kelly Attebury, Laurie Kiniry, Maurice Jurena, Ricky Lambert, Eddie Bearden, Willie Crenwelge, James Gordon, Dr. Jan Horbaczewski, The Chervenka's, Charles Batte, Dr. Dee Carson, Wesley Miller.

Dr. Wayne Hudnall, Robert Goff, Ken Scheffe.

Scholarship Nominees:
Susan Degraff, Justin Dupree

Note about photos:
Ricky Lambert did a great job taking pictures of the Annual Meeting with a digital camera. If you wish to see what the scholarship recipients looked like, click this hypertext.

Jon called the meeting to order about 7:15 PM. He welcomed everyone present to the Y2K Annual Meeting of the Professional Soil Scientist Association of Texas (PSSAT). Jon introduced tonights speaker, Dr. Murray H. Milford.

Dr. Milford mentioned he was asked to speak on the topic of Issues in Soil Science. Some points he presented included organizations for soil scientists. For seventy-five years, the Soil Science Society of America was the group for soil scientists. There is a group called the International Union of Soil Scientists, led through the efforts of Dr. Larry Wilding. The international union contains many different organizations, and has put the profession of soil science on the same level as other disciplines.

Dr. Milford discussed tile tri-societies, which indude the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). Recently, the SSSA became an organization of its own, and gained some independence. Currently across the nation, six to seven states have licensure acts. He commented that we in Texas have tried to pass this same type of legislation. Dr. Milford suggested that USDA-NRCS soil scientists take the Fundamentals of Soil Science examination. Dr. Milford said if one could pass his Agronomy 301 final exam, they could pass the fundamentals exam, and he took part in developing the exam. Dr. Milford said some issues coming to the forefront in soil science include Global Climate change, Water Quality and Quantity, and Carbon Sequestration.

We as soil scientists should concentrate on educating the public and Congress on soil science. He said the best place for education is grade levels K-12.

As far as enrollment at the college level, soil science is not good. More folks are going into the environmental areas where opportunities are better. Dr. Milford challenged each of us, who works as a soil scientist to make opportunities to educate the public on what we do. We need to toot our own horns!

Dr. Milford stated that one-third of the earth is comprised of soil. Where is the emphasis? Is it water or air? We should not let folks stumble into being a soil scientist. We all need to tell teachers about our profession.

Jon thanked Dr. Milford for his presentation. Then Jon said he had a couple of questions, that during the course the meeting he hoped to answer. They concerned the direction of where we wanted to go with our PSSAT webpage.

Next, Jon accepted a motion, that the minutes of the previous meeting be accepted as published in last year's newsletter. The motion was seconded, and passed.

Jon called on Nellie Frisbee to present the Treasurer's Report. To summarize her report, there is about $3,220.47 in the general account, and $6592.29 in the scholarship account giving us a net worth, as of December 1999, of $9,812.76.

Next, Dan Kowalski, President-Elect, presented the Membership Committee report. Dan said we have 105 members, with four new additions this past year. The new members include Daniel Chavez, Cynthia Martiez, Phillip Owen, and James Gordon. Dan counted 52 members present tonight.

Dr. Richard Drees presented a negative Ethics Committee report.

Jamey Douglass, Constitution and Bylaws committee, said his committee had not done much in three years. He incorporated all the motions since 1996 into the document, and made some editorial and grammatical changes that were long overdue. He presented the new document to the membership.

Laurie Kiniry, Scholarship Committee presented her report. Jon was asked a question on the amount of our scholarship, was $500 enough? Eddie Bearden said he received more than that 25 years ago. There was much discussion on the amount. Charlie Thompson suggested the discussion be held at the committee level, and any recommendations from the committee be brought back at the next annual meeting. Laurie commented that $1000 would be more beneficial to the students. One of the ideas of the committee was to issue the funds to the university to disperse to the recipient. Comments made from several persons were that if the university got the money, students would not see much of it. Comments were made on the amount, Charlie Thompson added if we have the money, we should give; and if we do not have the money, we will not give a scholarship that year. Dr. B.L. Allen thought it was best to give the money directly to the student. At this time, James Greenwade moved that, "next year, PSSAT give one $1000 scholarship." The motion was seconded and passed.

Next Laurie thanked her committee of Charlie Thompson and James Greenwade. The committee received three applications this year, and would award two scholarships tonight.

Laurie called to the front, Susan Degraff. Susan is a senior at Texas Tech University. She is working towards BS in Agronomy, and plans to work with Dr. Zartman upon graduation. She is a member of the Soil Judging Team. Laurie presented Susan with a check and a plaque.

Next, Laurie called Justin Dupree to the front. Justin is a graduate of Gregory-Portland High School. He is a junior at Texas A&M University, and his interests lie in soil science. Justin also loves flying and has his pilot license. A check and a plaque was awarded to Justin.

Jon called on Susan Casby-Horton to make the Public Relations and Education committee report. Susan said thus far, the committee has been working on the Soils of Texas slide set. She said that her predecessor, Wayne Gabriel had collected about 180 slides, written a preliminary script, and had about 100 slides scanned. They hope to include the updated taxonomic class, and separate the slides by MLRA. Susan had questions pertaining to the audience of the slide set. Where should the set be located? The committee discussed making the scanned slides available on the USDA-NRCS Soil Survey homepage, but after some discussion, this idea was abandoned. The committee recommended that there be two slides for each soil, one of a profile and the other of a landscape. The slides are to be linked to the Official Series Description. Comments made by many as to the potential users of this slide set. Dr. Harris suggested PSSAT make CD's of the slide set to sell. Jon mentioned the CD format is popular for most users. Susan suggested we send out a list of slides needed via SOILTALK.

President Wiedenfeld next presented paperweights to the PSSAT Web Design Team. The members of this team are Jon Brandt, Ricky Lambert and Craig Byrd. Jon Brandt gave a short demonstration, using a computer, of getting around the webpage, and many of the features built into the webpage.

Jon Brandt gave the report for the PSSAT Web Page. The page was posted September 1999. Ricky Lambert and Craig Byrd designed the webpage. The page is located on the same Internet Service Provider (ISP) that Jon uses. By using an ISP, the name is shorter, and there is more space to put information.

Jon reported, for about $150/year, PSSAT could register its own webpage address and it would be something like www.pssat.org. Using the counter on the current webpage, there have been 514 hits. He is using the counter to keep track of who viewed the page, for statistical purposes.

Jon also discussed a listserver. For those PSSAT members familiar with SOILTALK, PSSAT could develop its own listserver. It would be exclusive only to members of PSSAT, or others who are favorable. Jon found out about eGroups.com, where organizations can develop listservers at no cost. After some discussion on a listserver, security, and others topics. Dan Kowalski moved that we go with eGroups to set up a PSSAT listserver. The motion was seconded and passed. The next issue was to determine whom could join the listserver, Jamey Douglas moved that the PSSAT listserver be limited to paid members of PSSAT, the motion was seconded and passed.

At this time. President Jon called on State Soil Scientist Michael Golden. Mike commented that during the annual meeting of PSSAT, was a good time to recognize individuals amongst their peers. Mike said last year was great, for much of their efforts were marked for the Centennial of the Soil Survey program. He added that during the Soil Survey and Land Resource Workshop he would be presenting these efforts using Power Point. Mike wanted to present two awards tonight.

Each year, a Top Soil Scientist in the State is recognized. This individual spent a lot of his time working with SSURGO, and actively worked on the NRI program. He participated in reviews, editing geology sections etc. Mike called on Jerry Rives to come up and receive his thanks and a commemorative knife set. The other recipient of tonight's award also worked on SSURGO, map compilation, and soil survey on military installations. He worked with mapping and digitizing. Kirby Griffith was presented with a knife too.

Jon then presided over the nominations and election of new officers. This year, two offices were up, that being the office of Vice President, and President-Elect. A secret ballot vote took place, and the ballots counted. Folks tried their fingers at the Texturing Contest, or socialized.

The winners of the secret ballot voting were:
President-Elect - Dennis Brezina, and Vice President - Shanna Dunn.

At this point, Jon called on incoming President Dan Kowalski to come forth and make some comments.

Dan said that according to the Constitution and Bylaws, the incoming President was to have selected Chairpersons for the standing committees. He announced the leadership for the committees:
Finance - Maurice Jurena
Constitution and Bylaws - Jamey Douglass
Ethics - Levi Steptoe, Jr.
Membership - current President-Elect, Dennis Brezina
Nominations -immediate past President, Jon Wiedenfeld
Public Relations and Education Committee - Susan Casby-Horton
Scholarship - Laurie Kiniry

Dan had some comments. He would like to see our membership grow some. In the past, we lost more members than we gained. Many consulting soil scientists in the state are not presently PSSAT members. He added that it might be a good idea to have a membership application on the webpage.

As far as the Scholarship Fund, he graciously thanked the many members who give more than $4 to the fund each year. He encouraged the membership, to give more, if they could.

Dennis Brezina announced the winners of the Texturing Contest. Four entries had the correct name of the texture. Dennis said he was pleased that two members of his staff were included in those four correct answers. This year's winner is Dr. Ted Zobeck. Ted presented a really nice soils knife and sheath. The correct textures and percent clay were as follows:
Sample 1 - loam, 17% clay
Sample 2 - clay, 52% clay

At this point. President Jon asked if there was any further business. Jamey Douglass, said yes. Jamey said that currently PSSAT had one Honorary Member. As dictated in the constitution and bylaws, anyone may be nominated to be an Honorary Member of PSSAT. Jamey Moved that Dr. B.L. Allen, Dr. Larry Wilding and Dr. Murray Milford be made Honorary Members of PSSAT. The motion was seconded and passed.

At this point, a motion to adjourn was accepted. They did!!!


PSSAT Year 2000 Committee Appointments

Finance Committee: Chair-Maurice Jurena
Members-N. Haile, C. Neitsch

Constitution/Bylaws Committee: Chair-Jamey Douglass
Members-K. Attebury, C. Pehl

Nominations Committee: Chair-Jon Wiedenfeld
Members-A. Stahnke, E. Janak

Ethics Committee: Chair- Levi Steptoe
Members-K. griffith, S. Paulson

Scholarship Committee: Chair-Laurie Kiniry
Members-C. Thompson, J. Greenwade

Public Relations and Education: Chair-S. Casby Horton
Members-L. Lumis, R. Zartman, P. Owens, A. Stahnke, R. Lambert, W. Gabriel, J. Castille, J. Bauchert

Membership Committee: Chair-Dennis Brezina
Members-R. Griffin, T. Feuerbacher

*Website Advisory: Chair-Jon Brandt
Members-R. Lambert, C. Byrd
*Ad Hoc


It's Detail Time Already...... Jamey Douglass

Yes Virginia, it's that time of the year! Details have begun in earnest. For those of you not familiar with details, I am referring to temporary assignments for USDA-NRCS soil scientists to areas outside their normal work area. For those who attend, it involves longer hours, motel rooms, and eating out every night (unless you are in Freer, then Dennis Brezina barbecues!)

I was invited, or was it told, to report to Beaumont on February 27, for a two week detail in Newton County. I worked in the Flatwoods MLRA 152B, which is actually the Beaumont and Lissie Formations, with pine trees and a layer of loess.

It was good to be back in the pineywoods, even if they were considered flatwoods. Conditions were dry, which allowed us to cover some territory. Areas we worked belonged to major timber companies, so access was not a problem. Many of the map units were moundy complexes. It was a real change from the Beaumont and Lissie Formations on the mid Gulf Coast. Thanks to Ricky Lambert for his hospitality. I probably will be back next year!


A Note from Nellie Frisbee, PSSAT Treasurer

Those of you who requested a receipt for your membership renewal was enclosed in your mailed newsletter. We thought we would save some mailing costs by it! If there are any discrepancies, contact Nellie Frisbee at P.O. Box 498, Jewett, TX 75846.


Want to see back issues of Texas Soil Profiles?

Click on the Hyperlinks below to view back issues that have been posted on the website.

Volume 17 No. 2 - August 1999
Volume 17 No. 3 - January 2000

  Texas Soil Profiles is Edited By: Jamey Douglass

Texas Soil Profiles on the web - designed by: Ricky Lambert

Questions and comments on Texas Soil Profiles newsletter: Jamey Douglass or PSSAT<webmaster@pssat.org>