Assistant Professor of Soil Health-Research
Department of Soil Science
Walster Hall 249

Professional interests:

  • Soil ecology and aboveground-belowground linkages
  • Spatial and temporal analysis of soil properties, vegetation, and ecosystem processes
  • Restoration, reclamation, and monitoring of degraded soils

Research motivation:

  • Soil is complex and soil heterogeneity is well-recognized among soil scientists, but we largely lack an understanding of how to quantify it and incorporate that information into useful knowledge. Understanding sources and patterns of soil variability can be useful for identifying where and when soil health is compromised and enhanced. Applications of this research include decision support for efficient and representative soil sampling to assess soil health parameters and guidance for delineating and prescribing management zones and restoration plans.
  • Living components of the soil are powerful ecosystem engineers that can influence nearly all soil properties; yet, they are sensitive to co-occurring biota and the chemical and physical state of the soil. Understanding functional responses of soil biological activity to different soil conditions can be useful for identifying why soil health is compromised or enhanced. Applications of this research include identifying robust methods for assessing and monitoring biological components of soil health and decision support for selecting management strategies that use or promote soil biota to address soil health concerns.


  • Ph.D., Ecology; University of Wyoming, 2013
    • Dissertation title: Recovery of soil properties, sagebrush steppe community structure, and environmental heterogeneity following drastic disturbance and reclamation.
    • Minor: Statistics 
  • M.S., Agronomy; University of Wyoming, 2008
    • Thesis title: Comparison of vegetation, soil, and AM fungal activity in native and exotic annual brome-dominated Wyoming rangeland.
  • B.A., Biology; Western State Colorado University, 2005
    • Emphases: Cell & Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Biology & Ecology


  • Gasch, C.K., S.V. Huzurbazar, P.D. Stahl. 2016. Description of vegetation and soil properties in sagebrush steppe following pipeline burial, reclamation, and recovery time. Geoderma, 265: 19-26.
  • Gasch, C.K., S.V. Huzurbazar, A.F. Wick, P.D. Stahl. 2016. Assessing impacts of crested wheatgrass and native species establishment on soil characteristics in reclaimed land using Bayesian posterior predictive distributions. Land Degradation & Development, 27: 521-531.
  • Gasch, C.K., S.V. Huzurbazar, P.D. Stahl. 2015. Small-scale spatial heterogeneity of soil properties in undisturbed and reclaimed sagebrush steppe. Soil & Tillage Research, 153: 42-47.
  • Gasch, C.K., T. Hengl, B. Gräler, H. Meyer, T.S. Magney, D.J. Brown. 2015. Spatio-temporal interpolation of soil moisture, temperature, and electrical conductivity in 3D+T: the Cook Farm data set. Spatial Statistics, 14: 70-90.
  • Gasch, C., S. Huzurbazar, P. Stahl. 2014. Measuring soil disturbance effects and assessing soil restoration success by examining distributions of soil properties. Applied Soil Ecology, 76: 102-111.
  • Huzurbazar, S.V., A.F. Wick, C.K. Gasch, P.D. Stahl. 2013. Bayesian posterior predictive distributions for assessing soil aggregation in undisturbed semiarid grasslands. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 77: 1380-1390.
  • Gasch, C.K., S.F. Enloe, P.D. Stahl, S.E. Williams. 2013. An aboveground-belowground assessment of ecosystem properties associated with exotic annual brome invasion. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 49: 919-928.
  • Nie, M., E. Pendall, C. Bell, C.K. Gasch, S. Raut, S. Tamang, M.D. Wallenstein. 2012. Positive climate feedbacks of soil microbial communities in a semi-arid grassland. Ecology Letters, 16: 234-241.
  • Gasch, C., T. Collier, S. Enloe, S. Prager. 2011. A GIS-based method for analysis of digital rhizotron images. Plant Root, 5: 69-78.
  • Gasch, C., R. Bingham.  2006.  A study of Bromus tectorum L. seed germination in the Gunnison Basin, Colorado.  BIOS, 77: 7-12.
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