GARY W. PETERSEN
Professor of Soil and Land Resources
The Pennsylvania State University
Department of Agronomy
116 Agricultural Sciences and Industries Bldg.
University Park, PA 16802
Telephone: (814) 865 1540 or 863 0291
Fax: (814) 865 3378
B.S.   Soils, University of Wisconsin, 1961
M.S.   Soil Chemistry, University of Wisconsin, 1963
Ph.D.   Soil Genesis and Morphology, University of Wisconsin, 1965
Areas of Specialization
Pedology, Landscape and Watershed Processes, Land Use, Remote Sensing,
Geographic Information System
Professional Accomplishments in Brief
Academic efforts have centered on the application of soil and agronomic sciences to planning the uses
and management of land. Major areas of focus have included landscape analysis, watershed modeling,
water quality, on-site waste disposal, precision agriculture, and rural/urban interfaces. Remote sensing
and geographic information systems have been used to increase our understanding of soil/landscape/
hydrologic processes at multiple scales. Interdisciplinary approaches have included scientists from other
disciplines as well as decision-makers from government and business. Research has been conducted
humid, semi-arid, arid, tropical and arctic regions. Involvement in international development and
research activities in Kenya, Tanzania, Mexico, China, and Australia. Authored or co-authored 150+
publications. Courses taught include introductory soils, soil morphology, soil mapping and land use,
soil characterization and classification, soil information systems, and geographic information system
Research Assistant, University of Wisconsin, 1961-64
Teaching Assistant, University of Wisconsin, 1964-65
Assistant Professor, Pennsylvania State University, 1965-70
Associate Professor, The Pennsylvania State University, 1970-76
Visiting Associate Professor, Water Resources Center, University of Wisconsin, 1974-75
Visiting Professor, Australian National University , 1994
Co-Director, Office for Remote Sensing of Earth Resources, 1970-present
Professor, The Pennsylvania State University, 1976-present
Contributions to Human Welfare Through Professional Activities:
Teaching and research contributed to a better understanding of the interrelatedness of soils and land use
with agriculture and environmental issues. Society has benefited by contributions which have provided a basis
for environmentally sound and economically desirable land use decisions. Statewide assessment and
quantification of nonpoint pollution problems have helped to protect surface and ground water and to evaluate
potential threats to drinking water supplies. Served on advisory panels and as consultant to over 50 US and
state agencies, businesses and industries. Interdisciplinary approaches have helped to build partnerships with
the academic community, business and governmental organizations. Promoted the role of soils in the ecosystem
and in land use through teaching, research, committee involvement, and outreach activities.
Petersen, G. W., E. Nizeyimana, and B. M. Evans. 1997. Application of GIS to soil degradation and
monitoring. Methodology for Assessment of Soil Degradation. Advances in Soil Science, CRC Press,
Boca Raton, FL. pp. 377-391.
Nizeyimana, E., and G. W. Petersen. 1997. Remote sensing applications to soil degradation assessments.
Methodology for Assessment of Soil Degradation. Advances in Soil Science, CRC Press,
Boca Raton, FL. pp. 393-405.
Nizeyimana, E., G. W. Petersen, E. D. Warner, Shi Xuenzheng, M. L. Imhoff, W. T. Lawrence and J. M.
Russo. 1997. An assessment of soil productivity loss caused by expanding urban land use using remote
sensing and soil productivity models. Proc. of The Space Technology and Applications International
Forum: lst Conference on Future Science and Earth Science Missions. Vol. 2: 165-171.
Nizeyimana, E., B. M. Evans, M. C. Anderson, G. W. Petersen, D. R. DeWalle, W. E. Sharpe, J. M.
Hamlett and B. R. Swistock. 1997. Quantification of nonpoint source pollution loads within
Pennsylvania watersheds. Final Report ER9708. Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection,
Bureau of Land and Water conservation. ER9708. Environmental Resources Research Institute,
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. 61pp.
Nizeyimana, E., G. W. Petersen, M. C. Anderson, B. M. Evans, J. M. Hamlett and G. M. Baumer. 1996.
Statewide GIS/census data assessment of nitrogen loadings from septic tank systems in Pennsylvania.
J. Environ. Qual. 25:346-354.
Petersen, G. W., J. M. Hamlett, S. Harrison, S. R. Messier, B. M. Evans, G. M. Baumer and M. C.
Anderson. 1996. GIS pesticide vulnerability assessment procedure for Pennsylvania public water
systems. Final Report ER9601. Environmental Resources Research Institute, The Penn. State Univ.,
University Park, PA. 56pp.
Hamlett, J. M., T. Mertz, and G. W. Petersen. 1995. GIS targets agricultural nonpoint source pollution.
Wetland and Environmental Engineering Applications of GIS. Eds. J. Lyon Lewis, and J. McCarthy,
Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL. pp. 159-172.
Hamlett, J. M., G.W. Petersen, S. Harrison, G. M. Baumer, L. A. Deichert, S.R. Messier, and M.C.
Anderson. 1994. Assessment of ground water pollution using a geographic information system. In
Transactions 15th World Congress of Soil Science (J. D. Etchevers, A. Aguilar, R. Nunez, G.
Alcantar, and P. Sanchez, eds.), 6b, pp. 335-336. Acapulco, Mexico.
Bliss, N. B., S. W. Waltman, and G. W. Petersen. 1995. Preparing a soil carbon inventory for the United
using states geographic information systems. Soils and Global Change. Advances in Soil Science. Lewis
Publishers, Boca Raton, FL. pp 275-295
Petersen, G. W., J. C. Bell, K. McSweeney, G. A. Nielsen, and P. C. Robert. 1995. Geographic
Information Systems in Agronomy. Advances in Agronomy 55:67-111.
McSweeney, K., Gessler, P. E., Slater, B. Hammer, R. D., Bell, J., and Petersen, G. W. 1994. Towards
a new framework for modeling the soil-landscape continuum. In Factors of Soil Formation: A Fiftieth
Anniversary Perspective. (R. G. Amundsen, M. J. Singer, and J. W. Hardin, eds.), SSSA Spec. Pub. 33,
pp. 127-145. Madison, WI.
Petersen, G. W., J. M. Russo, R. L. Day, C. T. Anthony, and J. Pollack. 1993. Importance of spatial
variability in agricultural decision support systems. Soil Specific Crop Management. ASA, Spec. Pub.
American Society of Agronomy, Madison, WI. pp. 167-179.
Hamlett, J. M., D. A. Miller, R. L. Day, G. W. Petersen, G. M. Baumer, and J. M. Russo. 1992.
Statewide GIS-based ranking of watersheds for agricultural pollution prevention.
J. Soil and Water Cons. 47(5):399-404.
Petersen, G.W., G.A. Nielsen and L.P. Wilding. 1991. Geographic information systems and remote
sensing in land resources analysis and management. Suelo y Planta 1:531-543.
Petersen, G. W., J. M. Hamlett, G. M. Baumer, D. A. Miller, R. L. Day, and J. M. Russo. 1991.
Evaluation of agricultural nonpoint pollution potential in Pennsylvania using a geographic
information system. Final report ER9105. Pennsylvania Department of
Environmental Resources. Harrisburg, PA. 60 pp.
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This document was last modified on July 13 1998.
Copyright © 1998 Gary W. Petersen. All Rights Reserved.