Researcher unearths soil’s impact on human health

Dean Hesterburg, right, studies coal ash samples with Rob Austin.

Dean Hesterburg, right, studies coal ash samples with Rob Austin.

On the door of Dr. Dean Hesterberg’s office in Williams Hall is a sticker that reads, “I heart soil.”

That simple phrase sums up the driving motivation behind his more than two decades of research: discovering principles of soil science that can be used to address agricultural and environmental challenges in North Carolina and beyond.

“Soil is the basis for all life,” Hesterberg said. “It holds nutrients for crops, is the main medium through which we grow the majority of our food and is what we rely on to remove contaminants from water.”

Read more about Hesterberg’s fascinating research bridging lab research and real-world soil management in Carla Davis’s article on the NC State Sustainability website.