Aaron lee M. Daigh, PhD
Associate Professor of Soil Physics and Hydrology 
Department of Soil Science
Walster Hall 147




90% Research – Agricultural Experiment Station

10% Teaching – College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources

Professional Interests

Soil physics, Vadose zone hydrology, Remediation, Reclamation, and Agronomy


Ph.D., Soil Science and Environmental Science. Iowa State University. 2013

M.S., Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences. University of Arkansas. 2009

B.S., Environmental, Soil and Water Science. University of Arkansas. 2007 


7/2020 – Present      Associate Professor of Soil Physics and Hydrology, North Dakota State University

12/2013 – 6/2020     Assistant Professor of Soil Physics, North Dakota State University

5/2013 – 11/2013     Post-doc Research Associate of Drainage Water Quality, Ag & Biosystems                                                     Engineering, Iowa State University


  •  Soil Ecohydrology and Physics (SOIL 433/633), Fall of odd years.
    • This class introduces how things move in the soil and how that movement changes in time. Physical, chemical, and biological feedback mechanisms are discussed. All assignments provide students with real-world examples and case studies of how to use the concepts and computations as a professional practitioner working in the private sector. An introduction to Hydrus-1D with example problem sets is provided.
  • Advanced Soil Hydrology and Physics (SOIL 763), Spring of even years.
    • This class covers the theoretical and philosophical arguments that have been developed in the discipline, including the yet-to-be-resolved issues. The purpose of the class is to challenge students to deduce what is correct and what is complete in the mathematical-based theories of water flows in the vadose zone. In doing so, student will be able to discern the shape of the scientific community’s current knowledge. All assignments provide students practice with articulating these arguments.

Ongoing research projects

  • Remote sensing of soil moisture to extend weather mesonet stations representation
  • Plant survival in harsh storm-water systems such as rain gardens
  • Agricultural water management via tillage and cover crop systems
  • Slope failures in North Dakota
  • Natural, hydrophobic capillary barriers
  • Plant and soil responses to hexacycanoferrate
  • Occurrence and economic costs of deep wheel-traffic compaction

Past research projects

  • Brine spill remediation
  • Coalmine reclamation
  • Conservation tillage
  • Subsurface drainage and water quality
  • Crops and cover crop effects on soil water
  • Salinity and sodicity effects on soil hydraulic properties
  • Spatial and temporal dynamics of soil carbon dioxide emissions
  • Flipped-classroom modes of bolstering calculus skills in soil physics classes

Select Early Career Advice Columns

  • Daigh, A.L.M. 2020. Mentor or mentee? An early career perspective. CSA News Magazine, August issue. 65(8): In Press
  • Daigh, A.L.M. 2019. Diversity and inclusion: Building a vibrant workplace. CSA News Magazine, June issue. 64(6):26-31
  • Daigh, A.L.M. 2018. Useful tips to define, communicate and maintain your values in and out of the workplace. CSA News Magazine, November issue. 63(11):44-46
  • Daigh, A.L.M. and J.M.D. Motschenbacher. 2017. Breaking tradition to create self-motivated, collaborative students. CSA News Magazine, October issue. 62(10):33-34
  • Daigh, A.L.M. 2016. Steps for effective teaching in the classroom. CSA News Magazine, November issue. 61(11):32-34
  • Daigh, A.L.M. 2015. How do you manage your time in the mist of chaos? An Introduction to Covey’s Grid. CSA News magazine, June Issue. 60(6):34-35
  • Daigh, A.L.M. 2014. Surviving the interview and your first year in academic research. CSA News, December Issue. 59(12):37-38

Select Production and Remediation Guides/Circulars

  • Daigh, A.L.M. and A. Bly. 2020. Compaction reaction: Soil compaction and ruts following a wet harvest. Crops & Soils Magazine, May-June Issue. 53(3):2-6
  • Ransom et al. 2019. Basics of corn production in North Dakota. North Dakota State University Extension Publication A834 (revised July 2019).
  • NAICO (Nasho Irrigation Cooperative – Rwanda, Africa) Farmer’s guide. Copyrighted by the Howard G. Buffett foundation. Produced in English and translated to Kinyarwanda.
  • DeJong-Hughes, J. and A.L.M. Daigh. 2017. Upper Midwest Tillage Guide. University of Minnesota Extension Service and North Dakota State University.
  • Meehan et al. 2017. Environmental impacts of brine (produced water). North Dakota State University Extension Service Pub. R1850
  • Sedivec et al. 2014. Successful reclamation of lands disturbed by oil and gas development and infrastructure construction. North Dakota State University Extension Service Pub. R1728

Simple Statistics (as of July 2021)

  • 55 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles
  • 8 peer-reviewed extension publications
  • 19 popular press magazine articles
  • 47 technical reports and manuals
  • 96 conference abstracts
  • 183 manuscript reviews for 44 peer-review scientific journals
  • 390 lectures in 21 courses at three land grant universities
  • 102 invited outreach presentations and demonstrations to the general public
  • 134 news articles and radio interviews featuring research and presentations
  • 66 competitive grants awarded for over US$6.2 million
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