University of Kentucky College of Agriculture
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David Radcliffe, Crop and Soil Sciences Professor

photo of David Radcliffe“When I started graduate school at UK I only meant to get a masters. However, I found I really enjoyed learning new things, especially in math. I had excellent teachers and courses in the department and across campus. Now I'm on the other end of teaching, but I get the same exciting feeling when a course is going really well.”

Degrees

1971 - B.S. in Naval Science, US Naval Academy

1980 - M.S. in Soil Science, University of Kentucky

1984 - Ph.D. in Soil Science, University of Kentucky

Position

I have the soil physics position in the crop and soil sciences department at the University of Georgia. I have been here for my entire career and this has been a very rewarding job for me. Each fall semester I teach a split level (senior undergraduates and lower-level graduate students) soil physics course. In alternate spring semesters, I teach an advanced graduate level soil physics course. I also co-teach an introductory undergraduate course on water resources. My research over the years has focused on nonpoint source pollution. Much of this work has been on phosphorus losses from poultry litter and its effect on lake eutrophication. More recently, I've worked on identifying sources of sediment in streams. Currently, I'm working on nitrogen losses from septic systems. My work has always involved modeling systems and collecting the data to support the models.

Preparation at UK

When I started graduate school at UK I only meant to get a masters. However, I found I really enjoyed learning new things, especially in math. I had excellent teachers and courses in the department and across campus. Now I'm on the other end of teaching, but I get the same exciting feeling when a course is going really well.

Ron Phillips (soil physics) and Grant Thomas (soil chemistry) were big buds and working with them was a package deal. I gained an appreciation for interdisciplinary research from watching them together. Ron guided me to the right math courses and supported me as I took the long way to a graduate degree. From Grant I learned to take everything he said with a grain of salt and how to write and think in a direct and simple manner.

Best Experiences

Aside from my positive experiences with courses and advisors, the best part was sharing life with the other graduate students. It was a great group and we all worked and played hard. One of the nice things about being in academia is that you get to see some of these people again each year at annual meetings.

Supplementary Information

David's departmental profile, University of Georgia.

Awards
2000 - Soil Science Society of America Fellow