2005 Lecturer | Dr. Ray R. Weil

About the Lecturer

Ray R. Weil is Professor of Soil Science in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences and Landscape Architecture at the University of Maryland, USA. He earned his BS, MS and Ph.D. degrees at Michigan State, Purdue and Virginia Tech Universities. He began his career in the early 1970s, first as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia and later as a farm manager developing a 500 acre organic farming training center in North Carolina. He has since become a leader in researching and promoting sustainable agricultural systems in both industrial and developing countries.

His research integrates organic matter management for enhanced soil quality, nutrient cycling for water quality and sustainability and alternative cropping systems designed to improve both the farmer’s soil and bottom line. During the past decade much of his research has benefited from collaboration with dozens of innovative farmers. Ray also has an active university teaching program that includes five undergraduate and graduate courses.

He is a Fellow of both the Soil Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy and has twice been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to work in developing countries in Africa. During 2001 he served as a World Bank sponsored ombudsman for the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization. However, perhaps his greatest impact has been as coauthor with Nyle Brady of the most widely used textbook of soil science, The Nature and Properties of Soils.

Ray lives with his wife, Trish, in Hyattsville, Maryland where he enjoys gardening, helping the town to protect its urban forest and commuting by bicycle to the University of Maryland in nearby College Park.