WSSS 2011 Meeting Information

Western Society of Soil Science
Western Society of Crop Science
Joint Annual Meetings

June 20-22, 2011
University of Wyoming
Laramie, WY


The Western Society of Crop Science (WSCS) and the Western Society of Soil Science (WSSS) met jointly on the main campus of the University of Wyoming in Laramie from June 20-22, 2011. The theme was “Fundamentals of Life: Soil, Crop and Environmental Sciences,” which is in keeping with the theme of the 2011 ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Meeting. The 2011 Western Societies program included a plenary session on Monday morning followed by volunteer oral and poster papers. 

An awards picnic-style barbeque banquet was held on Monday evening and a tour was conducted on Wednesday morning to highlight issues important to the local agriculture as well as sites of historic interest.


Student Competitions
The WSCS presents the A.K. Dobrenz Student Paper Awards with a cash award for the three best student presentations at its Society meetings. The WSSS also has student competitions for presentations and posters. 

Winners of the WSCS A.K. Dobrenz Student Oral Competition
First place: Emmanuel C. Omondi (presenter) and Andrew R. Kniss, University of Wyoming. Potential of Managing Iron Deficiency In Dry Beans with Interplantings of Annual Ryegrass.

Second place: Alanna Schlosser (presenter) and John Martin, Montana State University Dept. of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology. Leaf Starch Is Important to Maize Productivity Under Field Conditions.

Third place: Jared Unverzagt, University of Wyoming. Effect of Volunteer Corn Density On Sugarbeet Yield.

Winners of the WSSS Student Poster Competition
First place: Emi Kimura (presenter), James M. Krall, Bret W. Hess, and M. Anowarul Islam, University of Wyoming. Effect of Scarification Method and Storage Time On Hard Seed and Germination of Forage Legumes.

Second place: Amber Mason, University of Wyoming. First Year Soil Impacts of Well Pad Development and Reclamation On Wyoming's Sagebrush Steppe.

Third place: Nevin C. Lawrence (presenter) and Andrew Kniss, University of Wyoming. Weed Community and Competitive Load Following 12 Years In a Glyphosate-Resistant Cropping System.

Awards were $150, $125, and $100 for first, second, and third place, respectively, in each competition. First place winners also were awarded a $500 travel stipend to the ASA-CSSA-WSSA International Meeting in San Antonio. Because Emmanual Omondi could not attend that meeting, Alanna Schlosser received the stipend. 

branch winners

Individuals in the picture are, from left to right: Jay Norton (Univ. Wyoming), President of WSSS; Jared Unverzagt (Univ. Wyoming), 3rd place A.K. Dobrenz Student Oral Competition; Alanna Schlosser (Montana St. Univ.), 2nd place, A.K. Dobrenz Student Oral Competition; Emmanual Omondi (Univ. Wyoming), winner, A.K. Dobrenz Student Oral Competition; Nevin Lawrence (Univ. Wyoming), 3rd place, Student Poster Competition; Amber Mason (Univ. Wyoming), 2nd place, Student Poster Competition; Emi Kimura (Univ. Wyoming), winner, Student Poster Competition; and Leonard Lauriault (New Mexico St. Univ.), President of WSCS.


The agenda is available with abstracts - you may search for presentations and times online - searchable by day. 


A tour for Wednesday was held.  View detailed Field Trip Guide.  Wednesday’s field trip began in the western Laramie Basin on the X Bar Ranch where “wild flood” irrigation is used to irrigate Garrison creeping foxtail hay meadows. This is a typical agricultural practice in this 7500-foot elevation semiarid basin. The trip continues through Big Hollow; the largest deflation basin in North America, where high winds during the late Pleistocene turned a ridge of hills into a basin lower than the ancestral stream deposits around it. Participants examined rangeland aridisols and a highly developed petrocalcic horizon on one of these old stream terraces. Then they continued up Wyoming Highway 130 into the Snowy Range to observe soils of the Pinedale and Bull Lake glacial tills.  The trip proceeded up the snowmelt-swollen Libby Creek through the recently opened slot through record snowpack two to three meters deep to the summit at Libby Flats. After observing high-mountain landforms and processes, they traveled back to old mining town of Centennial and south to Wyoming Highway 230 and the last stop at a Mountain Pine Beetle ecological research site near Chimney Park. Here University of Wyoming scientists described research on how the massive forest mortality is impacting water, carbon, and nitrogen cycling.  View article on Pine Bark Beetle infestation.


For any questions please contact: Leonard Lauriault (, Stephen Machado (, Jay Norton (, or William Horwath (