MSU Geography graduate student wins prestigious Birkeland Award

July 10, 2024

Chris BaishChristopher Baish, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Geography, Environmental, and Spatial Sciences, has been selected as the 2024 recipient of the Peter Birkeland Soil Geomorphology Award bestowed by the Geological Society of America's (GSA) Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division. Dr. Birkeland is widely known as one of the founders of the field of soil geomorphology, and authored the first three textbooks on the subject. The Birkeland Award is presented annually to a graduate student for their work on a soil geomorphology topic.

Baish's research proposal was entitled "Advancing and rewriting the theory of clay mobilization in forest soils: The role of Fe and organic acids." In this project, Baish uses new data (field and lab) to expand on his previous work, which challenged the long-held notion that acidification alone drives clay migration processes in soils. In giving this award, the GSA acknowledges the potential scholarly contributions of the project and that it has "significant scientific and societal interest." As part of the award, Baish received funding for additional field and laboratory work, as well as travel to this year's Annual Meeting of the GSA in Anaheim, CA, where his talk will be a featured presentation.

Congratulations, Chris!