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Assistant Professor of Soil Physics

I am a soil scientist at Oklahoma State University.

Tyson Ochsner
Assistant Professor of Soil Physics
Oklahoma State University

I consider myself a: Soil Scientist

My Highest Degree: Doctorate

I received my degrees from: BS, Oklahoma State University, Environmental Science MS and PhD, Iowa State University, Soil Science

Length of Career: I have been working as a soil scientist since 2003.

What was your career path to your current position?
After I finished my PhD at Iowa State University in 2003, I accepted a position as a soil scientist with the USDA-ARS in St. Paul, MN. I worked there in the Soil and Water Management Research Unit until I joined Oklahoma State University in 2008.

What projects are you working on now? What interesting projects have you worked on/led in the past?
Our soil physics group at Oklahoma State is involved with a diverse set of research projects. We are working to quantify and model the interactions between bioenergy feedstock production and water resources. That work is funded by the USDA and DOE. We also have several active projects in which we are developing and evaluating methods for large-scale soil moisture monitoring. Funding for those projects comes from USGS, USDA-ARS, and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board. One on our newest projects is focused on using soil moisture data to improve predictions of grassland fuelbed characteristics to drive models of fire behavior and fire danger.

What do you find most interesting about your work (either currently or a story of a past experience)?
Soil is fascinating. It is enormously variable across a broad range of spatial scales, and its roles in mediating the cycles of matter and energy in the terrestrial environment are not fully understood. These facts keep the subject engaging.

What do you like best about your job and/or what do you like best about being in your profession?
The best thing about my work is the opportunity to know and serve students and colleagues from around the world.

What would you say to someone thinking about entering the profession? What advice would you give for succeeding in this field?
Soil science is an important, engaging, challenging, and global field with wonderful career opportunities. To succeed in this field, study hard, read and listen well, think carefully and creatively, and learn to communicate effectively.

If you have more questions about my career, feel free to contact me at:

Tyson Ochsner
Associate Professor
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK
Oklahoma State University