Dr. Amanda Pennino
Amanda successfully defended in May of 2023 and is currenlty working a as Research Soil Scientist with the USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service in Nebraska.
Amanda joined Virginia Tech as a Ph.D. student in the department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. Her work focused on soil-water interactions in northeast hardwood forests, looking at how soil water chemistry changes across time, with depth, and along hillslopes. Her research site was located at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF), located in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire. Through the use of multiple sampling techniques, Amanda is explored what climatic and local environmental controls might influence shifts in soil water chemistry, particularly around precipitation events. She hopes that her work will contribute to long-term data records at HBEF, a Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network site, where her data will complement ongoing studies of mineral weathering rates, recovery of forests to acid deposition, and upslope controls on stream water chemistry.
Amanda obtained her undergraduate degree from Oregon State University in Soil Science, where she was a national soil judging competitor for three years. She then attended the University of Wyoming where she attained a Master’s degree in Soil Science, looking at soil recovery and reclamation at two reclaimed mine sites. Additionally, Amanda has contributed towards a multi-institutional effort in data collection and dissemination of highlighting the growing participation of women in soil science.
When Amanda is not out digging pits or chasing rain storms for water samples, she spends a lot of time in her garden, with her chickens, and on hikes with her dog Olive.