We Proudly Present GISW 2020

Getting into Soil and Water 2020

In its eleventh year, Getting into Soil and Water remains dedicated to educating a broader audience on soil and water conservation and the preservation of environmental quality. Soil and water affect our lives in hidden and not-so-hidden ways, providing a medium for food production, delivering ecosystem services, and sequestering carbon dioxide to mitigate global climate change. As co-editors of the 2020 edition, we have had the special opportunity to explore these issues and trends in soil and water, and to create a publication to share others’ insights and research findings with you. Our team of three co-editors is made up of Jacob Wright, Shannon Breja, and Justin Hunter. We wanted to share with you a little bit about ourselves and what soil and water conservation means to us.


Jacob Wright: I am a senior in agronomy and environmental studies and joined the Soil and Water Conservation Club in the spring of 2017. Growing up on a dairy farm in Virginia, I always saw numerous articles and heard discussion about nutrient contamination in the Chesapeake Bay. This peaked my interest for soil and water conservation, and being a part of this club and publication has allowed me to learn more about current research and issues in this field of study. I have learned a lot from co-editing through reading different research studies and seeing the diverse perspectives and ideas that came together to showcase the variety of opportunities in soil and water conservation.

Shannon Breja: I am a junior studying agronomy and seed science, and I became a member of the Soil and Water Conservation Club in the fall of 2017. Although I grew up surrounded by agriculture, I did not realize the urgency of conservation until coming to college. With the environmental impacts of agriculture becoming increasingly prevalent, the club has allowed me to learn about current conservation issues. The club has also allowed me to be co-editor of this publication to share some of these relevant issues and provide different perspectives about them. My hope for all of you is that Getting into Soil and Water will increase your knowledge of conservation and strengthen your interests in it.

Justin Hunter: I am a senior in agronomy and joined the Soil and Water Conservation Club in the fall of 2017. My interest in conservation started my freshman year of college. Learning about the effects of soil erosion and water contamination motivated me to always try to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. This club has allowed me to connect with people who share the same motivation as myself and to gain additional knowledge on agricultural conservation practices. Being a co- editor on this year’s publication has brought great opportunities in networking with authors and learning more about the current conservation practices that are working today. I hope this publication gets the readers thinking about conservation and how these practices can improve both agriculture and the environment.


This publication would not be possible without the great help of our committee members. We would like to thank them for their dedication to making this publication unique and informative. We would also like to thank our advisors, Dr. Rick Cruse, Dr. Bradley Miller, Hanna Bates, and Heidi Ackerman for their knowledge and support throughout the publication process. They have been essential to this publication, and we are so thankful for them.

Finally, we need to send a huge thanks to you, our readers. Your support has given us the opportunity to create the eleventh edition of Getting into Soil and Water, and we are excited to continue these publications for years to come.

Visit the full publication on the ISU Soil and Water Conservation Club page.