Chunmei Chen

Soil solutions

UD doctoral student in soil science receives Dixon Award

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8:18 a.m., Nov. 30, 2011--Chunmei Chen, a University of Delaware doctoral student in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, was chosen to receive the Dixon Award for best graduate student presentation in soil mineralogy at the recent 2011 Soil Science Society of America meeting in San Antonio.

Chen received a $500 award for being recognized as having the best Division S-9 student presentation, with the selection based on quality of presentation and contribution of the research to advancing the state of knowledge of soil mineralogy.

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“I feel very happy and honored to receive the award,” Chen said. “It is encouraging and helpful for me because I would like to continue my career in research.”

Chen presented her research on the Christina River Basin Critical Zone Observatory (CRB-CZO), which specifically reports on the interaction of soil organic matter with soil minerals at the molecular scale along landscape redox gradients.

“The research will lead to better soil management strategies that maintain and enhance levels of soil organic matter, which has important implications in addressing soil carbon sequestration and climate change,” Chen said.

Division S-9 of the Soil Science Society of America established the Joe B. and Martha J. Dixon Soil Mineralogy Endowment to honor Joe Dixon’s career and contributions to soil mineralogy. Each year, two graduate students with projects relating to soil mineralogy are awarded the funding. 

Chen earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural resources and environment from the Nanjing Agricultural University and a master’s degree in environmental science from the Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences. 

Chen plans to submit a manuscript based on her presentation for publication. She hopes to finish her doctorate and eventually become a university faculty member. 

Article by Brittany Barkes

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