For Graduate Students

The Soil Health Lab is both a service and teaching laboratory at Oregon State University. We offer graduate students in the Crop and Soil Science (CSS) Department the opportunity to conduct their own analysis in our lab for a reduced price. For students outside of CSS, we do offer training for your own analysis, but not at a reduced price. 

Each summer we offer a two-week intensive field & laboratory course (SOIL 512/514). 

SOIL 512/514 Summer Tour

  • We offer two separate graduate-level courses each summer. We highly recommend taking these courses together. 
    • SOIL 512: Field analysis and soil collection
    • SOIL 514: Laboratory analysis and interpretation of samples collected in the field course
  • Upcoming Dates
    • SOIL 512: July 8 - 12, 2024
    • SOIL 514: July 15 - 19, 2024
  • Requirements & Disclaimers
    • The Field portion of this course involves tent and cabin camping throughout the week. The instructors will provide transportation and food with consideration for food allergies. We ask students to bring their own camping gear, but we can borrow gear upon request. For Summer 2022, we plan to visit the following locations to collect our soil: Sisters, Bend, Hermiston, and Pendleton.   
    • The Lab portion of this course requires completion of the OSU Laboratory Training Safety Program. 
  • For more information, please view the syllabus for each course from last year (2021):

SOIL 512 enjoying lunch and shade at the Hyslop Research Station just outside Corvallis (2021)

Working in the Soil Health Lab

The first step is to reach out to the lab via email (

Take some time before you reach out to identify the following. Include this information in your email to the lab: 

  • Lab/Department you are with 
  • Which analyses you'd like to conduct.
    • If applicable, create a priority list that we can work through. 
  • Have you performed any of these analyses before? 
  • Number of samples 
  • Your project timeline
  •  Have you completed OSU Laboratory Safety Training? 
  • Are there any undergraduates who will be helping you?

Before you can work in the Soil Health Lab, you must complete the following:

All scheduling is conducted through email communication with the Lab Manager or Faculty Research Assistant. If demand for equipment use in the lab rises, we will consider using other booking methods. 

Because we are also a service lab, please be aware that we also need to maintain a high-throughput lab. We'll do our best to work with your timeline while balancing both service and teaching missions. 

If you are providing your own labor for lab analyses and you are a CSS graduate student, then a 20% discount applies to all fees listed in the Fee Book. For all other departments, please refer to the non-stduent pricing. 

In addition to the cost of each analysis, there is a training fee per hour. This is also noted in the Fee Book

If you'd like a price estimate prior to beginning work in the lab, we are happy to provide a quote with training + analysis costs for your project at our first meeting. 

Yes, all students who work in our lab are trained in the analyses they'd like to complete. Even if you have done an analysis prior, we still like to show you how to do the analysis in our lab space as each lab is a little bit different.  Please note that there is a training fee per hour (See Pricing).

Digging a Soil Pit at the Hyslop Field Station
Discovering fox holes in a Soil Pit at the Organic Grower's Club in Corvallis.