Assessing Dynamic Soil Properties Across Multiple Urban Landscapes

Worksite Location
Brooklyn, NY
Project Dates
June 1 through August 11, 2020
Faculty Sponsor
Frank Rossi, SIPS/Horticulture
Other Campus-Based Mentors/Supervisors
Jenny Kao-Kniffen
Field Mentors/Supervisors
Samuel Anderson, Yolanda Gonzalez
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

Dynamic soil properties (DSP) or use-dependent, soil properties such as organic matter, bulk density, pH, EC and other chemical properties are influenced by land cover, land use, and land management. Very little research has been conducted to quantify these properties across urban landscapes especially more novel urban grasslands, green roofs, and urban farms. The objective of this project would be to survey existing urban soil resources and provide guidance on how to manage soil properties toward a desirable end point, either ideal conditions for a certain vegetative community and/or the optimization of certain ecosystem services, e.g., biological productivity, infiltration, carbon sequestration.

Roles and Responsibilities

The primary role of the student intern will be to conduct targeted soil sampling using remote sensing technology across multiple urban landscapes including grasslands, forests, green roofs, farms, etc. Communicate with landscape and property managers about the importance of DSP and ecosystem services of soils. Contribute to Urban Agricultural Extension efforts based in Brooklyn, NY

Qualifications and Previous Coursework

Strong science background. Soil and plant sciences preferred.

Benefits and Skills


  • will develop remote sensing, soil sampling, analysis and interpretation skills
  • will learn to assess dynamic soil properties across urban landscapes
  • will enhance science communication skills during interaction with professional landscape and property managers.