Passion for Studying Soils & Teaching Leads Graduate Down A New Path
Studying soils at the University of Idaho was the last thing Daniel Nessly imagined doing. It is now impossible to see himself doing anything else.
With all the university has, Nessly is certain his choice was the smartest.
Nessly is in his third year of a doctorate program in soil and land resources that focuses on the diversification of crops and reducing the reliance on spring fallow on the Palouse. The goal is to improve soil health, which allows for farming methods to be improved. On top of hours spent on his funded research project, Nessly had been hired to take over the Soil 206 (the Soil Ecosystem and Lab), resulting in a busy schedule.
“I haven’t left this lab very much except for the field and probably home since February,” Nessly said.
Nessly attributes many of his successes at U of I to Eric Anderson at Career Services. Nessly was nominated for the graduate teaching award and assisted in the presentation of the Direct-C Conference and the Soil Science Society of America Conference. He said his biggest accomplishment was maintaining a 4.0 GPA which took perseverance since he hadn’t done that. Having completed his undergraduate and master’s degrees at Western Washington University, Nessly did not believe he would receive as much support as a graduate student as was provided.
Anderson’s time and commitment toward helping him arrange his academic career impacted Nessly and the respect he has for the university’s staff and resources that have helped him with his profession.
“When I think about the Vandal Pride — the Vandal Spirit — he is a great example of that,” Anderson said about Nessly. The fondest memory Anderson has of working with Nessly was how engaged he was when information was presented. Anderson also admired Nessly’s desire to help people.
Nessly has had such a great experience attending U of I that he hopes future students reap the same benefits of being a Vandal. He advises students to at least consider and visit the school because the university has all the resources and programs for students to reach their goals. Students should not be afraid to reach out for assistance, he said.
Looking ahead, Nessly would like to become a teaching professor either domestically or abroad. He also envisions owning a small farm where different farming concepts could be explored by future students and himself. His goal is to improve farming to ease working conditions.
“Whatever route he goes, he will get people excited about his field,” Anderson said.
Nessly said people should never be shy about their excitement of knowledge.
“Not everyone has a passion for discovery and, if you have it, let it shine,” he said.