Perspectives Online

Soil scientist Michael Vepraskas named AAAS Fellow

Dr. Michael Vepraskas, William Neal Reynolds Professor of Soil Science in N.C. State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has been elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Dr. Michael Vepraskas
He is among 486 scientists to be honored as fellow this year by AAAS, the world's largest scientific society and the publisher of the journal Science.

Vepraskas was honored for his distinguished contributions in soil science, particularly the definition and delineation of wetland soils, and for broadly disseminating this knowledge for practical applications in the field.

Vepraskas studies wetland soils and their interactions with the environment. His research discovered the unique color patterns created by soil-groundwater interactions that now form the basis for how all jurisdictional wetlands are identified in the United States and abroad.

His research also spawned a new field in soil science called "hydropedology." In this field, practical applications include using soil color to predict long-term soil hydrology, or water circulation; defining precise hydrologic requirements for wetland plants; and assessing soils for on-site wastewater treatment.

Each year, the AAAS Council – the policymaking body of the society – elects members whose "efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished." Fellows are nominated by their peers and undergo an extensive review process.

Vepraskas was recognized at the AAAS annual meeting in Chicago in February 2009.

—NCSU News Services