Megan S. Candelaria
Topics for the Classroom:
Soil science: mineralogy, microbiology, pedology, biogeochemistry
Food science: chemistry, human nutrition, food safety, microbiology
Agriculture: gardening/crops, organic/sustainable farming
Currently I am investigating the influence of alternative amendments on the availability of soil phosphorus. In other words, the phosphorus found in Wyoming soils is in essence “stuck” to other soil minerals, making it difficult for plants to absorb enough phosphorus for proper growth. As a result, most farmers typically add phosphorus fertilizers to their fields in order to feed their plants because the soil won’t “share” its phosphorus. However, organic farmers are limited with respect to the types of fertilizers they may use, so my research is investigating how “organic friendly” amendments may improve the amount of phosphorus available to crops.
I was born and raised in central Minnesota but consider Sheridan, WY to be my hometown. I have been involved in some facet of our food system since my early college days. After graduating from university, I worked in consumer protection, inspecting food establishments; in food marketing, showcasing Wyoming products at tradeshows; in organic agriculture, inspecting organic production and processing operations; and in agricultural education, teaching food science courses. Now I’m back for more knowledge because I believe a degree in soil science will help me “close the loop,” so I may have a positive influence on food related issues literally from the ground up.