Alumni Change Lives featuring Adolfo Calero

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Adolfo Calero is a graduate student in SES advised by Berry Lyons. Here, he shares how Friends of Orton Hall helped him further his studies.

Adolfo Calero kneeling in a riverbed

Modern agricultural practices are continuing to evolve in order to supply the needs of a growing global population and have resulted in increases in the flux of agricultural chemicals and compounds to natural waters and soils. Among the most studied of these fluxes are the additions of nitrogen and phosphorus to environments through chemical fertilizer application, which often cause eutrophication in natural waters through surface runoff. Uranium is a trace element that is associated with phosphorus fertilizer use due to its natural occurrence in phosphate rock deposits and has the potential to accumulate in soils. My research investigates the chemistry of soils treated with P-fertilizer and compares them to both the chemistry of agricultural soils and non-agricultural soils under different management practices. In addition, I have taken older soil data from the USGS and produced maps of uranium and phosphorus distribution in Ohio that relates the soil chemistry to the underlying geology and land use/land cover.

The funding I received from Friends of Orton Hall has assisted in covering the costs of lab materials and instrument time for sample processing and analysis. By making this possible, I was able to present my preliminary findings at the 2019 SACNAS conference in Honolulu, Hawai’i, where I was also able to connect with a diverse group of students and scientists from all over the US. I am very grateful for the experiences and opportunities that FOH has provided me.

The School of Earth Sciences relies on the generous support of our alumni and friends to provide programs, scholarships and facilities that enrich the experience of our students, provide life-changing opportunities, and enable world-changing discoveries. The Friends of Orton Hall gifts are distributed to students in support of degree research work. If you are interested in giving to support the Friends of Orton Hall or other funds, please visit our giving page.