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Soil Science


Nate Derby
Research Specialist

Office: 116 Walster Hall
Phone: 701-231-7555
Fax: 701-231-7861


  • 1988. B.S. Soil Science. North Dakota State University
  • 1997. M.S. Soil Science. North Dakota State University. Depression-focused recharge and solute transport to a shallow aquifer in southeastern North Dakota.

Research Activities and Interests:

  • Soil Health
  • Environmental Soil Physics
  • Water Quality
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Precision Agriculture

Past and Present Projects:

  • Soil Health and Land Management Initiative SHARE Farm
  • Reducing Sodification in High Risk Northern Great Plains Soils .
  • Best Management Practices for Improved Irrigation and Fertilizer Nitrogen Use Efficiencies
  • Depression-focused recharge and solute transport to a shallow aquifer in southeastern North Dakota
  • Remotely Sensing Impacts of Cropping Systems on Water Quality
  • Evaluation and Effectiveness of Nutrient Management Zone Determination Methods
  • Fate and Transport of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Soil-Water Systems


  1. Derby, N.E., F.X.M. Casey, and T.M. DeSutter. 2016. Effects of oil field brine wastewater on saturated hydraulic conductivity of smectitic loam soils. Can. J. Soil Sci. 96: 496–503 (2016)
  2. O’Brien, P.L., T.M. DeSutter, F.X.M. Casey, N.E. Derby, and A.F. Wick. 2016. Implications of using thermal desorption to remediate contaminated agricultural soil: physical characteristics and hydraulic processes.  J Environ. Qual. 45:1430-1436. doi:10.2134/jeq2015.12.0607
  3. Derby, N.E., S.F. Korom, and F.X.M. Casey. 2013. Field-scale relationships among soil properties and shallow groundwater quality. Groundwater. 51(3):373-384. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-6584.2012.00981.x.
  4. Derby, N.E., H. Hakk, F.X.M. Casey, and T.M. DeSutter. 2011. Effects of Composting Swine Manure on Nutrients and Estrogens. Soil Sci. 176: 91-98.
  5. Derby, N.E., Francis X. M. Casey, and Raymond E. Knighton, 2008. Long-Term Observations of Vadose Zone and Groundwater Nitrate Concentrations Under Irrigated Agriculture. Vadose Zone J. 8:290-300.
  6. Derby, N.E., Francis X. M. Casey, and David W. Franzen. 2007. Comparison of Nitrogen Management Zone Delineation Methods for Corn Grain Yield. Agron. J. 99:405–414.
  7. Derby, N.E., D.D. Steele, J. Terpstra, R.E. Knighton, and F.X.M. Casey. 2005. Interactions of nitrogen, weather, soil, and irrigation on corn yield. Agron. J. 97:1342-1351.
  8. Derby, N.E., F. X. M. Casey, R. E. Knighton, and D. D. Steele. 2004. Midseason Nitrogen Fertility Management for Corn Based on Weather and Yield Prediction. Agron J. 96: 494-501.
  9. Casey, F.X.M., N.E. Derby, R.E. Knighton, D.D. Steele, and E.C. Stegman. 2002. Initiation of irrigation effects on temporal nitrate leaching. Vadose Zone J. 1:300-309.
  10. Casey, F.X.M., and N.E. Derby. 2002. Improved design for automated tension infiltrometer. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 66: 64-67.
  11. Derby, N.E., Raymond E. Knighton, and Bruce R. Montgomery. 2002. Construction and Performance of Large Soil Core Lysimeters. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 66:1446-1453.
  12. Derby, N.E. and R.E. Knighton. 2001. Field-Scale Preferential Transport of Water and Chloride Tracer by Depression-Focused Recharge. J. Environ. Qual. 30:194-199.
  13. Derby, N.E. 1997. Depression-focused recharge and solute transport to a shallow aquifer in Southeastern North Dakota. M.S. thesis, North Dakota State University.
  14. Derby, N.E. and R.E. Knighton. 1997. Frozen soil effects on depression focused water and solute movement. P. 113-119. In I.K. Iskandar, E.A. Wright, J.K. Radke, B.S. Sharratt, P.H. Groenevelt, and L.D. Hinzman (ed.) International symposium on physics, chemistry, and ecology of seasonally frozen soils. Fairbanks, AK. June 10-12, 1997. CRREL, Hanover, NH, USA.
  15. Derby, N.E., R.E. Knighton, D.D. Steele, and B.R. Montgomery. 1997. Methods for Monitoring Leachate Losses Under Irrigated Corn Best Management Practices. P. 243-257. In J. Schaak, A.W. Freitag, and S.S. Anderson (ed). Best management practices for irrigated agriculture and the environment. Fargo, ND. July 16-19, 1997. USCID, Denver, CO, USA.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Soil Science Department
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8901 - Fax: (701) 231-7861
Campus address: Walster Hall 106
Mailing address: Dept 7680 PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Nathan.Derby@NDSU.EDU

Last Updated: Thursday, February 09, 2017 10:37:09 AM
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