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Soil and Crop Sustainability Fund

Soil and Crop Sustainability Fund

The Soil and Crop Sustainability Fund has two components. The first supports expanded research on soil health through the OSCIA/OAC Soil Health Graduate Scholarship in soil management; and the second is an Internal Fund that provides financial support to selected applied research and knowledge transfer projects.


Soil Health Graduate Scholarship

A ‘Soil Health Graduate Scholarship’ of $10,000 per year is available to graduate students focused on soil health or soil quality research. Recipient selection is completed internally by the University of Guelph. OSCIA will be involved in collaboration and communication of research where possible.

The Soil Health Graduate Scholarship was established by OSCIA in partnership with the University of Guelph and through the generous contributions of OSCIA Founding Partners to the Sustainability Fund.

The scholarship was launched in 2015 and will be available until at least 2024.


2021 Recipient: Samantha Earl-Goulet

Research Topic: Researching the relationship between soil nitrous oxide production and surface flux under freeze-thaw cycles as impacted by winter warming and cover crops.

This work is being completed under the supervision of Claudia Wagner-Riddle to determine how soil nitrous oxide production patterns are altered by environmental and management conditions. The aim of this research is to improve the modelling of nitrous oxide production and emissions during freeze-thaw cycles which will allow for improved greenhouse gas budgeting accuracy.


2020 Recipient: Jacob Coppolino

Research Topic: Jacob’s research looks to address the effect of freeze-thaw cycling on the biogeochemical dynamic of phosphorus in southern Ontario riparian buffer zones.

The Covid-19 pandemic slowed his initial progress, however, he qualified for a critical research permit and continued his work on campus during these unprecedented times.

Jacob completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph and was involved with many programs offered on campus. His undergraduate studies inspired him to further pursue graduate studies with the School of Environmental Sciences. In his words, “This led to one of most exciting times of my life, as I am passionate about the work I do and the potential to engage in environmental remediation research.”


2019 Recipient: Gordon Bell

Research Topic: Water conservation and how different farming practices specifically the crop rotation employed, can affect water dynamics in that particular field.

He hopes to show that by increasing the diversity of crops grown in a field and with careful management we can increase the amount of water available to plants.


2018 Recipient: Hannagala Jeewan Kumara

Research Topic: Formation of recalcitrant soil organic matter which is the largest terrestrial carbon pool. Looking specifically at the role of soil microorganisms in forming recalcitrant soil organic matter.  

2017 Recipient: Pedro Ferrari

Research Topic: Measuring nitrous oxide emissions from a corn field in response to adoption of nitrogen fertilization best management practices


2016 Recipient: Jordan Graham

Research Topic: Influence of herbaceous biomass crops on soil organic carbon levels in soils across Ontario.

2015 Recipient: Jaclyn Clark

Research Topic: Cover crop planting into standing corn.


OSCIA Internal Fund

The OSCIA Internal Fund will support on-farm applied research for soil health, as well as outreach and communication of results. The Executive Committee receives project proposals and makes decisions on how the funds are utilized.

Interested in donating to the OSCIA Sustainability Fund?

Complete the Pledge Form and forward the completed form to OSCIA. Donations to the Soil Health Graduate Scholarship will be provided with a charitable tax receipt from the University of Guelph.

Contact OSCIA directly to discuss a Gift Agreement, available for donations over $5,000, or a bequest or endowment.


Stay up-to-date on OSCIA research initiatives by visiting osciaresearch.org.