108-7 Using Soil Trace Gas Quantification to Teach Carbon & Nitrogen Cycling.
Monday, October 23, 2017: 3:15 PM
Tampa Convention Center, Room 7
Understanding carbon and nitrogen cycling is a fundamental aspect of promoting sustainable agriculture practices. Gaseous emissions of carbon and nitrogen from soil are the result of key biogeochemical processes and indirectly provide insight into soil microbial activity and nutrient availability. There are a number of student lab activities that could be utilized to compliment carbon and nitrogen cycling lectures from the classroom. Quantifying soil trace gas emissions in real-time from soil is an engaging way for students to observe these cycles. While conventional techniques of soil trace gas quantification may present a great challenge to undergraduate students, some modern analyzers are easily adaptable to an undergraduate learning environment. A Gasmet mobile-FTIR was utilized to quantify soil trace gas emissions from student-designed experiments. In this six-week lab series, students were able to identify a soil amendment of their choosing, hypothesize how it might influence soil trace gas emissions, and then test that hypothesis with three-week soil mesocosm lab experiment. This presentation will provide an overview of how this lab series was designed and implemented, student outcomes achieved, and lessons learned in the first year of this novel undergraduate lab activity.