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Enrollment & Advancement Center • University of Maine at Fort Kent • 23 University Drive, Fort Kent, ME 04743

Seminar on Soils: The Living Skin of the Earth

March 31, 2015

Note: this is an archived news release. As such, the information provided may no longer apply.


Most people think of the stuff that makes up the surface of the Earth as just dirt, but it is much more. The University of Maine at Fort Kent will host a presentation by Maine's most northerly soil scientist and environmental specialist on Friday, April 17 at 11 a.m. in Nadeau Hall conference room.

Environmental speaker David Silver will provide a presentation entitled, “Soils: The Living Skin of the Earth, the Link Between Geology and Biology,” as part of the Environmental Studies Speaker Series on campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Silver will speak on the use of soils and sustainability in light of the State of Maine, USDA, and United Nations International Year of Soils, IYS2015 Healthy Soils initiatives. Civilization relies on that precious resource underfoot that provides food and fiber, clean water and land, wetlands and wildlife as well as enhancing cultural and recreational opportunities.

"Awareness of the nature and properties of soils provides a sound foundation for being able to predict the land's response to use and to minimize adverse impacts," said Silver. By knowing where to build a forest road, construct a building or septic system versus becoming stuck in a muddy quagmire, planners can save time and money or enhance profit. The ability to see beyond the appearance of simple dirt is one of the useful results of this awareness.

David Silver has worked with local, state, federal and tribal governments as an environmental specialist with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, as director of realty and assets with the Aroostook Band of Micmacs. Additionally, he has worked for private and commercial interests by providing environmental consulting and permitting services. He is a former adjunct instructor of environmental policy at the University of Maine in Orono.

He earned a bachelor of science degree in natural resource management and a master of science degree in resource economics at UMO. He is a licensed site evaluator, wastewater treatment operator and certified septic inspector. Silver is a member of the Maine Association of Professional Soil Scientists, Maine Association of Wetland Scientists, and Maine Association of Site Evaluators. He also is a commercial seaplane aircraft pilot.

The Environmental Studies Speaker Series presentations are open to the public and cover such topics as water quality, waste management, wind power, endangered species, forestry, and marine science. The program is offered in collaboration with the UMFK Environmental Studies degree program. Speakers are only scheduled during the academic year.

For more information on the Environmental Studies Speaker Series, contact Dave Hobbins at (207) 834-7614.