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Preparing passionate leaders driving change in sustainability and stewardship of the environment.

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Dr. Chip Appel

Dr. AppelDr. Chip Appel

Phone: (805) 756-1691
Office: 180-515

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Areas of Focus

Soil and Water Chemistry · Tropical Soils

About Dr. Chip Appel

I earned a B.S. in Biochemistry (Cal Poly, 1995), an M.S. in Soil Science (Cal Poly, 1998), and a Ph.D. in Soil Chemistry (University of Florida, 2001). In between these degrees I lived in France for two years in order to learn and perfect my French language skills. I am a member of the Soil Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy and am a Certified Professional Soil Scientist (CPSS). My favorite parts of working at Cal Poly are teaching and teaching related activities. I perform research in soil chemistry, tropical soil chemistry/management, trace element biogeochemistry, vineyard soil management/fertility, environmental soil management, and soil nutrition. I consult regularly on vineyard soil fertility for Kesselring Vineyard Consulting Services, Inc. When I am not at Cal Poly, I really enjoy being with my family and surfing.

Student comments about Dr. Appel


Dr. Appel went above and beyond every class. He made sure every student understood the material. Everything that we needed to succeed in the class was given to us. The feedback on all the assignments were awesome!!!

Dr. Appel is a fantastic teacher who makes the subject interesting and engaging. Give him a raise!

This professor is excellent. His method of teaching is extremely effective and I feel I have learned a lot in this course that will be effective for my future.

Chip is BY FAR THE BEST teacher I have ever had at ANY level of schooling. His enthusiasm and pure love for soil coupled with his dynamic lecture style is a knockout. Chip…you are the man!

Awesome professor, very clear lectures and hilarious at times, makes learning fun and more engaging.


Selected Publications

Vaughan, K.L., F. Miller, N. Narvarro, and C. Appel. 2016. Development of a standard for visual sulfur reduction to identify hydric soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal 80:1114-1119.

Appel, C., K. Vaughan, B. Swan, M. Wallace, C. Stubler, and P. Verma. 2014. Effect of a soil microbial activity laboratory on student learning. NACTA Journal. 58:129-134.

Appel, C., D. Rhue, N. Kabengi and W. Harris. 2013. Calorimetric investigation of the nature of sulfate and phosphate sorption on amorphous aluminum hydroxide. Soil Sci. 178:180-188.

Ripley, C., T. Smith, and C. Appel. 2010. Changes in soil salinity levels with the use of recycled water on cool season vegetables. In CSU Graduate Student Research Competition Abstracts, SJSU, CA.

Appel, C., L.Q. Ma and R.D. Rhue. 2008. Sequential sorption of Pb and Cd in three tropical soils. Environ. Pollut. 156:278-289.

Hoffman, M., C. Appel, A. Davis, L. Grau, J. Becker and H. Baker. Static pile compost system for coffee farms in Northern Thailand. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting. Minneapolis, MN. 15 Nov. 15. Received First Place Award in National Undergraduate Student Research Competition.

Lehman, C., C. Appel, S. Stubler, F. Miller, N. Navarro and J. Sanchez. From soil to wine: Arsenic and selenium in soil and wine? ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting. Minneapolis, MN. 15 Nov. 15. Received Second Place Award in National Undergraduate Student Research Competition.

Miller, F., N. Navarro, K. Vaughan and C. Appel. Development of standard for visual S reduction to identify hydric soils. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting. Minneapolis, MN. 18 Nov. 15.

Michelsen, P.C., C. Appel, C.P. Stubler, I. Ainuddin, S. Kross, G. VanOosbre, S. Pensky, and A.M. Stapleton. Environmental ramifications of an 120 year old railroad bridge painted with lead paint. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting. Long Beach, CA. 2 Nov. 14. Received First Place Award in National Undergraduate Student Research Competition.

Pensky, S., C. Appel, C. Stubler, A. Bird, J. DeMoss, H. Douglas, M. Gormley, M. Hassett, J. Hernandez, A. Keyser, T Leacox, A. Namm and A. Ritenour. Comparing the efficacy of two acid digestion methods for analysis of Fe, Ca, Al, Mn, Cd, and Pb in Santa Cruz Mudstone. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting. Tampa, FL. 3 Nov. 13. Received Third Place Award in National Undergraduate Student Research Competition.

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