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Pedology Laboratory

The Pedology Laboratory at the University of Idaho is housed in the Department of Soil and Water Systems.

Current research focuses on the environmental factors and processes that form soils and ultimately influence their use and management.

In addition to on-going research, the laboratory maintains an extensive database of the chemical, physical and mineralogical properties of over 5,000 analyzed pedons.

Maynard A. Fosberg Soil Monolith Collection

Maynard A. Fosberg, emeritus professor of soil science, founded the laboratory in 1960 to better understand Idaho’s soil resources, who began assembling the collection shortly after his arrival at the university in 1949.

The collection contains approximately 235 soils from the state of Idaho, the Pacific Northwest and the United States. It represents one of the most unique teaching resources at the University of Idaho, with the entire collection displayed on the walls of the first floor of the Agricultural Sciences building on the main campus in Moscow.

The collection has grown and now ranks as one of the largest in the U.S.

Renovations and additions

The monolith collection was completely renovated in 2004 with the help of Jason Jimenez. Anita Falen developed new cards and a database of information about each monolith.

In 2007, Ding Johnson, emeritus faculty and former department head, added railings to secure and protect the monolith collection.

The collection was officially dedicated in 1998 to Maynard A. Fosberg, professor emeritus of soil science, who began assembling the collection shortly after his arrival at the university in 1949.

For 28 years Paul McDaniel, emeritus faculty and former department head, was the lab's principal investigator. He also created a comprehensive source and very popular Twelve Soil Orders website that is used by educators and researchers nationally. 


University of Idaho

Physical Address:
E. J. Iddings Agricultural Science Laboratory, Rm 242
606 S Rayburn St

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2340
Moscow, ID 83844-2340