Professor Randy Dahlgren

Aug 20, 2013 admin
Dahlgren is the holder of the Russell L. Rustici Endowed Chair in Rangeland Watershed Sciences.

Since his childhood days on the family farm in Kennedy, Minnesota, Dahlgren has been “working the soil”.  As a graduate student at the University of Washington, he began studying volcanic ash from the recently erupted Mount St. Helens and its rejuvenation effects on soil.  You could say he became a volcano chaser after that experience, researching active volcanos in far-off places, such as Japan, New Zealand, Iceland and the Canary Islands. 

More recently, his research focuses on the nitrogen found in rock, “a natural source that’s been neglected”, Dahlgren says.  “Nitrogen out of rock is like a slow-release fertilizer”.  His current work is the convergence of his past research, looking at soil and water chemistry and the unexpected sources of nutrients – the kind of scientific exploration Russell Rustici would have wanted.  Income from an endowed faculty position allows the holder to take risks, often resulting in high impact findings that can be leveraged to secure additional extramural funding.

Ever the outdoorsman, Dahlgren continues a long UC Davis tradition of leading the annual soil science summer field study course of California ecosystems. His passion for exploration and teaching earned him the prestigious UC Davis Prize for Undergraduate Teaching and Scholarly Achievement in 2012. 

Student News

Helping hands

Apr 16, 2018 Student volunteers serve the community in Monterey County

Student News - More Student News…
Research News

UC Davis Receives Unique, $1.5 Million Gift from Aggie Couple

Jul 07, 2016 Michael and Joelle Hurlston have pledged $1.5 million to endow a first-of-its-kind chair position.

Research News - More Research News…
Outreach News

Summer Internships

Jul 28, 2015 CA&ES students and Salinas Valley employers find common ground.

Outreach News - More Outreach News…
Contact information

(530) 752-1639

Web Editors

Content in this section is managed by the Giving team & Mark Foncannon. If you have any suggestions or need something changed, please contact him at

Give now

Philanthropic investments amplify the impact the university can make through research, teaching, and outreach. Thank you for considering a gift to the College — it says that you believe in us and the opportunities we provide.