Author Archives: admin

Rapid Project on Flood Damage

The path to greatness starts in the soils lab

Spring 2011 got off to a great start with a visit from Angie Hernandez, former student hourly and art history major.   She assured the current crew that soil grinding helped her get that internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Italy.

Conservation Management Tool

This project evaluates the performance of the Natural Resource Conservation Service’s Conservation Management Tool.  This is a practice based tool that inventories farmer’s management practices to determine eligibility for the Nation’s Conservation Security Program.  This is a national program that offers payments to producers enrolling in CSP programs  and encourages them to adopt conservation management practices or to improve/maintain existing conservation practices.

Team members include Susan Andrews, Carmen Ugarte and Ho-young Kwon

Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture Program

I currently serve as the director of ASAP.  The University of Illinois program is one of the first univeristy based programs addressing sustainable agriculture in the country.  Our current mission is to promote information exchange and knowledge application to improve the sustainabliity of food, fiber and energy production in Illinois and beyond.   For more on ASAP click here.

Soil Quality Website

I  host the Soil Quality Website which is the product of  a collaborative effort between Susan Andrews, members of NCERA-59, and the Soil Tilth Lab.  Many individuals have worked for the past decade to develop and deliver content addressing and promoting sustainable soil management.  This is an outgrowth of a SARE-PDP project that engaged Illinois educators and farmers in design effort.  Dr. Holli Kuykendall, NRCS  Ecologist is the managing editor of the web site and is responsible for assimilating comments, recommendations and contributions to expand its content and advertise its availability. 

We are always seeking input so if you have some to share let us knowTo visit the site click here


  Current members of the lab include a hard working group Postdoctoral Associates Carmen Ugarte- Soil Ecologist, Indicators, Management Tools Graduate Students Xianni Chen- The effects of inherent and dynamic properties on organic matter dynamics Ron Revord- Hazelnut Improvement for … Continue reading


  • Wander, M.M., S.J. Traina, R.B. Stinner, and S.E. Peters.  1994.  Organic and conventional management effects on biologically active soil organic matter pools.  Soil Science Society of America Journal. 58:1130-1139.
  • Wander, M.M., D.S. Hedrick, D. Kaufman, S.J. Traina, B.R. Stinner, S.R. Kehrmeyer, and D.C. White.  1995.  The functional significance of the microbial biomass in organic and conventionally managed soils.  Plant and Soil 170:87-97.
  • Shennan, C., S.R. Grattan, D.M. May, C.J. Hillhouse, D.P. Schactman, M. Wander, B. Roberts, S. Tafoya, R.G. Burau, C. McNeish, and L. Zelinski.  1995.  Feasibility of cyclic reuse of saline drainage in a tomato-cotton rotation.  Journal of Environmental Quality 24:476-486.
  • Wander, M.M., D.V. McCracken, L.M. Shuman, J.W. Johnson, and J.E. Box, Jr. 1995.  Anion-exchange membranes used to assess management impacts on soil nitrate.  Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 26:2383-2390.
  • Wander, M.M., L.M. Shuman, and R.B. Pitts.  1995.  Monitoring nitrate in soils with coated wire ion specific electrodes.  Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 26:2391-2401.
  • Shuman, L.M., M.M. Wander, and R.B. Pitts.  1996.  An inexpensive silver-silver chloride reference electrode.  Agronomy Journal 88:246-249.
  • Wander, M.M. and S.J. Traina.  1996.  Organic matter fractions from organically and conventionally managed soils:  I. Carbon and nitrogen distribution.  Soil Science Society of America Journal 60:1081-1087.
  • Wander, M.M. and S.J. Traina.  1996.  Organic matter fractions from organically and conventionally managed soils:  II.  Characterization of composition.  Soil Science Society of America Journal 60:1087-1094.
  • Wander, M.M., R.B. Dudley, S.J. Traina, D. Kaufman, B.R. Stinner, and G.K. Sims.  1996.  Acetate fate in organic and conventionally managed soils.  Soil Science Society of America Journal 60:1110-1116.
  • Walter, G., M.M. Wander, and G. Bollero.  1997.  A farmer-centered approach to developing information for soil resource management: The Illinois Soil Quality Initiative. American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 12:64-72.
  • Wander, M.M., M.G. Bidart, and S. Aref.  1998.  Tillage impacts on depth distribution of total and particulate organic matter in three Illinois soils.  Soil Science Society of America Journal 62:1704-1711.
  • Yang, X. and M.M. Wander.  1998.  Temporal changes in dry aggregate size and stability: tillage and crop effects on a silty loam Mollisol in Illinois.  Soil and Tillage Research 49:173-183.
  • Wander, M.M. and G.A. Bollero.  1999.  Soil quality assessment of tillage impacts in Illinois.  Soil Science Society of America Journal 63:961-971.
  • Hussain, I., K.R. Olson, M.M. Wander, and D.L. Karlen.  1999.  Adaptation of soil quality indices and application to three tillage systems in southern Illinois.  Soil and Tillage Research 50:237-249.
  • Needelman, B.A., M.M. Wander, G.A. Bollero, C.W. Boast, G.K. Sims, and D.G. Bullock.  1999.  Interaction of tillage and soil texture: biologically active soil organic matter in Illinois.  Soil Science Society of America Journal 63:1326-1334.
  • Yang, X.M. and M.M. Wander.  1999.  Tillage effects on soil organic carbon distribution and estimation of C storage.  Soil and Tillage Research 52:1-9.
  • Wander, M.M. and L.E. Drinkwater.  2000.  Fostering soil stewardship through soil quality assessment. Applied Soil Ecology. 15:61-73.
  • Wander, M.M. and X.M. Yang.  2000. Influence of tillage on the dynamics of loose-, occluded- particulate and humified organic matter fractions.  Soil Biology and Biochemistry 32:1151-1160.
  • Tor,  J.M., Xu, C., Stucki, J.M., Wander, M.M., and G.K. Sims.  2000.  Triflralin degradation under microbially induced nitrate and Fe(III) reducing conditions.  Environmental Science and Technology.  34:3148-3152.
  • Wander, M.M. and G.M Bidart.  2000.  Tillage practice influences on the physical protection, bioavailability and composition of particulate organic matter.  Biology and Fertility of Soils. 32:360-367.
  • Needelman, B.A., Wander, M.M., and G.S. Shi.  2001. Extraction Efficiency in the  Chloroform Fumigation-Extraction Method.  Soil Science Society of America.  65:1731-1733.
  • Wander, M.M., Walter, G., Nissen, T.M., Bollero, G.A., Andrews, S.S., and D. Cavanaugh-Grant. 2002. Soil quality: Science and process.  2001. Agronomy Journal. 96:23-33.
  • Bird, S.B., Herrick, J.E., Wander M.M, and S.F. Wright.  2002.  Spatial heterogeneity of aggregate stability and soil carbon in semi-arid range lands.  Environmental Pollution.  111:445-455.
  • Sims, G.K. and M.M. Wander. 2002.  Proteolytic activity under nitrogen and sulfur limitation. Applied Soil Ecology. 568:1-5.
  • Nissen, T.M. and M.M.Wander.  2003. Management and soil-quality effects on fertilizer-use efficiency and leaching.  Soil Science Society of America Journal.  67:1524-1532.
  • Wander, M.M. and T.M. Nissen.  2004.  Value of soil organic carbon in agricultural lands.  Mitigation and Adaptation for Global Climate Change. 9:417-431.
  • Yoo, G. and M.M. Wander . 2006. Influence of conventional and no tillage practices on soil structural controls over C mineralization.  Soil Science Society of America Journal. 70:651-659.
  • Yoo, G., Nissen, T.M., and M.M. Wander. 2006. Use of physical properties to predict the effects of tillage practices on organic matter dynamics in three Illinois soils.  Journal of Environmental Quality. 35:576-583.
  • Yoo, G., Spomer L.A. and M.M. Wander. 2006. Regulation of carbon mineralization rates by soil structure and moisture.  2006. Geoderma. 135: 16-25.
  • Marriott, M.E. and M.M. Wander.  2006. Total and labile soil organic matter in organic farming systems.  Soil Science Society of America Journal.  70:950-959.
  • Marriott, M.E. and M.M. Wander. 2006. Using qualitative and quantitative differences in particulate organic matter to assess fertility in organic and conventional farming systems Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 38:1527-1536.
  • Wander M.M., Yun W., Goldstein W.A., Aref, S., and S.A. Khan. 2007. Organic N and particulate organic matter fractions in organic and conventional farming systems with a history of manure application.  Plant and Soil. 291:311-321
  • Yoo G. and M.M. Wander. 2008.  Aggregate turnover and sequestration of particulate and humified organic carbon in tilled and non-tilled systems.  Soil Science Society of America Journal. 72:670-676.
  • Peralta A.L. and M.M. Wander. 2008. Soil organic matter dynamics under soybean exposed to elevated [CO2]. Plant and Soil. 303:69-81.
  • Jeong S., Werth C.J., Wander, M.M., Kleineidam, S., Grathwohl, P. and B. Ligouis.  2008. The role of condensed carbonaceous materials on the sorption of hydrophobic organic contaminants in subsurface sediments.  Environmental Science and Technology. 48:1458-1462.
  • Nissen T., Rodriguez, V., and M. Wander. 2008 Sampling soybean roots: A comparison of excavation and coring methods.  Communications in Soil and Plant Analysis. 39:1875-1883.
  • Yang, X-M, Drury, C.F., Wander, M.M., and B.D. Kay. 2008. Evaluating the effect of tillage on carbon sequestration using the minimum detectable difference concept.  Pedosphere. 18:421–430.
  • Robertson G.P., Dale V.H., Doering O.C., Hamburg S.P., Melillo J.M., Wander M.M., Parton W., Adler P.R., Barney J.N., Cruse R.M., Duke C.S., Fearnside P.M., Follett R.F., Goldemberg J., Mladenoff D.J., Ojima D., Palmer M.W., Sharpley A., Wallace L., Weathers K.C., Wiens J.A., and W.W. Wilhelm.  2008.  Agriculture- sustainable biofuels redux. Science. 322:5898:49-50.
  • Coulter J.A., Nafziger E.D. and M.M. Wander. 2009. Soil organic matter response to crop rotation and nitrogen fertilization.  Agronomy Journal. 101:592-599.
  • Khanna, M. Önal H., Dhungana B., and M. Wander. 2010.  Economics of bioenergy crops for electricity generation: Implications for land use and greenhouse gases. Biomass and Bioenergy. doi:10.1016/j.biombioe.2010.11.031.
  • Witzling, L., M.Wander, and E. Phillips. 2011. Testing and educating on urban soil lead: A case of Chicago community gardens. The Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development . doi:10.5304/jafscd.2010.012.015.
  • Yoo, G., Yang X. and M. Wander. 2011. Influence of soil aggregation on soil organic carbon sequestration: A preliminary model of SOC protection by aggregate dynamics.  Ecological Engineering.  In press.




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Spring Semester Highlights 2011

Highlights this spring include the recent Earthweek visit to campus by Nancy Creamer, Director of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, and by Matt Liebman, Wallace Chair of Sustainable Agriculture.  Nancy shared the story of how North Carolina is building a local food system and the launch of their  10 percent campaign.  Matt’s talk on the Impacts of Biodiversity on Agricultural Systems packed the NRES seminar.