Barret Wessel, Ph.D.

Barret Wessel

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Assistant Professor - Pedology
Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences



A.A., Howard Community College, Environmental Science, 2012
B.S., University of Maryland, Environmental Science and Technology (Minor in Soil Science), 2014
Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation, University of Maryland, 2020
Ph.D., University of Maryland, Soil and Watershed Science, 2020

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  • Current Program

 Dr. Wessel’s research generally focuses on the genesis, morphology, and management of soils. His specialty is wetland and subaqueous soils, but he maintains interests in other soils and landscapes including agricultural soils, as well as urban and anthropogenic soils. Michigan has a rich diversity of both native and invasive shellfish and aquatic plants; these organisms have preferences for the substrates that they inhabit, and they can alter those substrates in ways that impact water quality. By understanding those preferences and mechanisms of alteration, we can better use limited conservation and restoration resources to manage watersheds and aquatic ecosystems to improve water quality.

Dr. Wessel’s research also focuses on the science of teaching and learning (i.e., pedagogy) in the earth and environmental sciences. He is interested in evaluating the effectiveness of different teaching activities, including hands-on field experiences and professional development training, on student outcomes. He is committed to providing students with valuable learning experiences that they can apply to their lives and careers.

  • See also

USDA-NRCS in Michigan

Dr. Wessel's CV

National Cooperative Soil Survey