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Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences

Contact Information:

Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2339
Moscow, Idaho 83844-2339

Phone: (208) 885-6274

Email: pses@uidaho.edu
AG student  working with plants

Current Research

Participate in a faculty research project or do your own independent study. Explore mustard seed meal as a biopesticide in farm soils. Measure different forms of selenium in mine run-off. Collect data on the role of volcanic ash in Idaho’s soil systems. Determine how carbon storage in soils affects global warming. Study the elusive giant Palouse earthworm. Paid positions are available.

Our faculty is also researching:

  • Heavy metal contamination of soil
  • Effect of fertilizers and pesticides on soil and water quality
  • Use of bacteria and fungi to fight soilborne plant diseases
  • Nutrient and organic matter cycling in soil


Plant and Soil Science Club: Grow plants for sales; take field trips.
International Society of Arboriculture: Join the student chapter for tree-related activities.
Soil Stewards: Work at the on-campus organic farm.

Hands-On Experience

Intern. Get practical experiences like these:

  • Natural Resources Conservation Service: Monitor soil erosion in the Flathead region of Montana.
  • U.S. Forest Service: Collect soil data in national forests.
  • Western Farm Service: Inspect farm fields and evaluate their water use.

Study abroad. Deepen your understanding of your major—and the world—in countries like these:
  • Taiwan: Study soils used in the commercial production of rice and tropical fruits.
  • Mexico: Study sustainable farming practices in the world center of agave production.
  • India: Observe 1,000-year-old farming practices on terraced hillsides.

Volunteer. Give back. Grow produce to donate to a local food bank. Teach 4-H youth groups about soil.


The department’s facilities include the largest collection of soil monoliths in the Western U.S., two plant science farms, and two state-of-the-art greenhouses.