Biography and Education
Dr. Presley is a soil scientist who works on a range of projects spanning both agricultural and suburban environments. Currently, most of her extension and applied research is on the topics of cover crops and the benefits that they provide, namely, on how cover crops affect soil health and crop production.
“By specializing in environmental soil science, I am able to work at the interface of agricultural production and the conservation of natural resources,” Dr. Presley said.
During her professional career Dr. Presley has learned the importance of keeping an open mind and being flexible. These skills have proved vital in her position. Dr. Presley not only trains individuals in Extension but also actively seeks their suggestions for research projects.
“I truly enjoy interacting with others, and Extension is definitely a two-way form of communication,” said Dr. Presley.
Ph.D. Agronomy, Kansas State University, 2007
M.S. Agronomy, Kansas State University, 2002
B.S. Agronomy, Iowa State University, 1999
My research and extension interests include soil and water conservation, erosion control in both agricultural systems and urban/suburban environments, tillage and residue management effects on soil properties, bioenergy and biofuels, composting and application of organic materials to soils, providing education for onsite wastewater treatment professionals, and basic soil science education for youth. Basic soil science education opportunities for youth that I have been involved with include elementary school students, 4-H groups including 4-H Range Youth Campers, and Envirothon. I coordinate land judging events for FFA and 4-H.
This departmental member does not currently have any course information available for review, or does not currently have a teaching appointment.
Staff and Students
I’m a pedologist by training, and I believe that an appreciation of soil resources is paramount for the utilization and protection of soil resources.
Soil management, quality, and conservation
My research program is predominantly applied in response to the needs of agricultural producers and managers of soil resources. Current research topics include the agronomic, soil-water relations, and environmental impacts of harvesting crop residue; agronomic and soil quality effects of vertical tillage on corn production; effects of tillage, crop rotation and/or nitrogen fertilizer rates on soil properties; and impacts of cover crops on both soil and grain quality.
I’m interested in human time-scale dynamic soil properties and impacts of humans on soil properties and processes. One new project will examine the effects of cedar expansion on Flint Hills prairie-derived soils and the subsequent shifts in physical properties and processes of soil genesis.
I remain interested in late Quaternary loess-paleosol sequences and the soils of the Flint Hills region of Kansas which I studied as Ph.D. student. I am also an investigator on an archaeological research project on buried sod block homes of Nicodemus, Kansas.
Additional Research Links
Blanco, H., R. Stephenson, N.O. Nelson, and D. Presley. 2009. Wheat and sorghum residue removal for expanded uses increases sediment and nutrient loss in runoff. J. Environ. Qual. 38:2365-2372.