Design and testing of a low-cost soil-drying oven

Martha P.L. Whitaker, Ty P.A. Ferré, Bart Nijssen, Jim Washburne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Measuring gravimetric soil water content is a relatively elementary laboratory procedure; however, the inaccessibility of a laboratory oven makes this activity impractical for K-12 students. The Soil Moisture Campaign (SMC) Project of the Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program was developed to use gravimetric water content measurement as an introduction to earth science research for K-12 students. We have designed and tested a low-budget, low-technology "light-bulb oven" that is affordable enough for use in a classroom. The light-bulb oven was tested by drying replicate samples of four different soil types in the light-bulb oven and in a traditional laboratory oven. The results showthat the performance of the light-bulb oven was comparable to that of a traditional laboratory oven.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)856-859
Number of pages4
JournalVadose Zone Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science


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