DelVal alumnus helps Team USA take first in soil judging

Nov 13, 2015

Team USA

Courtesy: International Field Course and Soil Judging Contest. Stephen Geib ’15 (far right), of Manheim, Pennsylvania, a Delaware Valley University alumnus, was part of Team USA (above), which took first overall in the international soil judging competition in Hungary.  

Stephen Geib ’15, a secondary education alumnus with a specialization in agriculture, participated in the International Field Course and Soil Judging Contest in Hungary Sept. 1 through Sept. 5 and helped Team USA take first place overall in the contest. Geib qualified for Team USA by placing second individually at the 2015 National Collegiate Soil Judging Contest in Arkansas. Soil judging is student activity available at DelVal based on courses within the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Sciences.

“Absolutely one of the best feelings of the entire trip was hearing Team USA called to the stage during the awards ceremony as the World Champion Overall Team,” said Geib. “However, aside from the competition, one of my favorite memories was simply sharing a love for soils with individuals from 28 countries around the world.”

The international competition provided an opportunity for students, researchers and people interested in soils from around the world to interact and experience the landscapes and soils of Hungary. Participants used their knowledge and practical skills to describe, understand and interpret soil characteristics in the field. Winners were selected based on their ability to correctly describe each soil, evaluate potential soil functions and interpret their capacity to perform under different land use and management practices. The competition included: team contest, individual contest and overall contest.

Team USA included: Geib, Kristen Pegues (Auburn University), Erin Bush (Kansas State University) and Adrienne Nottingham (West Virginia University). Dr. Joey Shaw, an Auburn University professor, served as their coach. Team USA took first place overall in the competition, Spain was second and Hungary took third. In the individual portion of the competition, Geib took seventh place. In the team portion of the competition Team USA took second place.

This year’s event was the second annual international competition. The 2014 competition was held in South Korea. The trophy is traveling to the different schools of the Team USA competitors. Geib will be honored at a ceremony on campus in March when the trophy will be displayed at DelVal.