Frank Henning (PhD ’10) in holding up a river mussel.

Down to Earth: How one alumnus found his passion in soil research

Frank Henning (PhD ’10) currently works as a senior scientist in the Duluth, Georgia, office of Woodard & Curran, an integrated engineering, science and operations company. Dr. Henning graduated from the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences with a PhD in Horticulture. He coordinates environmental field studies, scientific investigations, Clean Water Act (CWA) permitting, environmental policy (NEPA) studies, restoration projects and environmental construction management.

When asked, Dr. Henning says he chose to study soil because “soil is the ultimate recycling bin – it has the most amazing capacity to transform wastes into life.”

While many think of soil as critical in the agricultural realm, he said it is important to study soil for conservation as well.

His appreciation for soil grows with every project, he says. These include restoring native vegetation along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, developing geospatial tools to reduce erosion in fire stricken areas of California and monitoring changes in salinity along the coast of Georgia.

He has also worked on preventative projects to protect water resources from erosion during development and has designed urban landscapes that treat pollutants and infiltrate runoff.

If you’re interested in solving grand challenges that face our agricultural and environmental futures, consider giving to the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Fund.