Infrastructure

In order to attend to the students’ needs, the Soils Department holds: 15 students’ rooms, 25 computers and 18 printers. It also has all the structure necessary to manage administrative issues such as: 3 offices, 1 room to the Academic Head of Department, 2 computer labs and 1 in-house library.

The Soils department is composed also by 5 classrooms that can accommodate 280 students, 26 amenities dedicated to support the Research process (labs, greenhouses etc), all of them with computers and a total 330 student capacity.

IN-HOUSE LIBRARY

The Library encloses dissertations and theses produced by the program, books and publications donated or bought by the Soils Department and everything is specially organized in order to provide all the support necessary to students and professors.

ACADEMIC SECRETARY’S OFFICE

The Academic Secretary’s office is composed by staff members responsible for academic affairs such as enrollments, selection process and grade reports besides dispatching official documents, supporting and providing information for the students. Optimizing and updating the IT system constantly has been a crucial goal to keep all the projects available on the web.

LABORATORIES

  • Cromatology Laboratory – Embrapa Agrobiologia

It consists of gas chromatographs with auto-injectors, equipped with electron capture detectors, Alkali Flame Detector and thermal condutivity, calibrated for greenhouse gas analysis (CO2, N2O and CH4) and also for quantifying the nitrogenase activity through the acetylene reduction method. The nitrogenase activity can also be measured by other equipment (Qubt system) which is composed by with an H2 sensor. Besides the chromatographs there are also “in situ” measurement systems to analyse the evolution of CO2 and the nitric oxide emissions from the soil.

  • Soil Physics Laboratory

The Soil Physic Laboratory develops Research related to soil functions and their interrelations with physical-hydrical attributes. The research includes: 1 – Development of modeling techniques and digital mapping of soils and the physical-hydrical attributes  associated with them; 2 – Development of evaluation methods of soil physical attributes; 3 – Water management in agro-ecological systems and estimation on value of water and soil services in ecosystems; 4 – Evaluation and mitigation of the processes of soil degradation (hydric erosion and salinization); 5 – Environmental education; The research activities are developed along with the postgraduate courses in the Agronomy Institute (CPGA-CS and CPGF) and in associatioin with EMBRAPA and PESAGRO. The laboratory develops research sponsored by FAPERJ, CAPES, CNPq and PETROBRÁS.

  • Soil Genesis and Classification Laboratory

This lab attends research projects of both undergraduate and graduate students in the area of Soil Morphology, Genesis and Classification and Soil Use and Management. The professors are leaders of these research groups: Pedology and Edapho-climatic indicators (não sei se está certo, foi só o que consegui encontrar que fizesse sentido). The lab has partnership with other departments of UFRRJ and with institutions such as EMBRAPA and other universities to improve the research that are developed in this lines: Integrity of the landscape in “Mar de Morros” environment; Environmental geoprocessing, Land aptitude and zoning; Nutrient cycling in primary and secondary forests and homogeneous farming; Soil Conservation and Management; Ethnopedology; Organic and “Tabuleiro” Soils; Soil Quality Indicators.

  • Geotechnologies applied to study of Natural Resources Laboratory

This lab is named Geoflora and is equipped with many devices and programs such as: laser scan, georadar, geodesic GPS, ARCGIS, ENVI and ERDAS packages, among other things, which, associated to modern computers allow the development of research in many areas.

  • Grass Laboratory – Embrapa Agrobiologia

This lab is speacialized in isolation and identification of diazotrophic bacteria that can be associated to non-leguminous plants for economic purposes. The Grass Lab is widely know due to work developed by the researchers in identifying and describing 7 species of diazotrophic bacteria, highlighting the Azospirillum brasilense, which is worldly used in commercial inoculants and in many grain productivity experiments.

The studies in this lab have also chosen the stipe Sp245 of A. brasilense to have its genome described. The stipes that compose the inoculant recently released by EMBRAPA, made of sugar cane, have also been developed in this laboratory. The research activities counts with 2 researchers sponsored by CNPq, scientists of Rio de Janeiro, 2 postdoctoral researchers, 2 technicians and 15 undergraduate and graduate students, besides collaborators from other areas.

  • Computer Laboratory

The network in the Soils Department is connected to EMBRAPA and other departments of the university. The service is provided by Rede Rio in a high-speed optical fiber system, which allows integration and fast communication to professors, students etc. All the other laboratories also are equipped with computers that are connected to the local net of the university and to the internet. The students also can use prepare the posters for presentations using the printers (including a plotter one) from this lab. The students from the Soil Genesis and Classification Lab can use 3 computers, 2 inkjet printers, 1 laser printer and a scanner. Optimizing the infrastructure in this lab along with the software programs and equipments is a constant process. All theses and dissertations are uploaded on our website and there is also a digital collection which can be accessed in the Department. The students also are able to access their academic data if desired. In 2006 the Digital Theses and Dissertations Database has been implemented in our own server and since then, all the academic research developed in CPGACS has been uploaded, being the first in UFRRJ in this matter. There are 2 rooms, used, specifically for classes, 2 for computers and a projector, also used for theses and dissertation defenses. There is Wi-Fi access all over the area, besides a Meeting room, equipped with computer, internet and Wi-Fi.

  • Organic Matter and soil Biology Laboratory

This lab attends research projects of both undergraduate and graduate students in the area of Soil Organic Matter Dynamics, Ontogeny of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, Soil biota and Soil use and management. The professors are leaders of Research projects in: Ecology of soil microorganisms and Agricultural Education, Ethics and Society. The laboratory has a partnership with Embrapa Soils and Agrobiology and other departments in the university in these lines: Physical-Chemical characterization of humic substances; Soil organic matter cycling with isotope techniques; Agriculture and Global Climate changes; Organic Fertilizers; Organic matter and soil biota; Management systems and organic matter; Approaches to teach soil organic matter dynamics. The professors Gabriel Araújo Santos and Ricardo L L Berbara are the responsible for this laboratory.

  • Organic Matter Laboratory

This lab is composed by two rooms, one of them equipped with scales, CN elemental analyzer, exhaust hood, spectrophotometers, conductivity meter, continuous flow analyzer, among others, to allow analyze the organic matter composition (physical and chemical carbon fractionation) and the forms of organic and mineral nutrients (N mineral, sap urethane abundance, soluble P) that do not belong to the routine in the Agricultural Chemistry Lab. The other room is prepared to develop analysis used in studies concerning the soil quality such as microbial biomass, enzymes etc.

  • Plants Nutrition Laboratory

This lab supports the educational and research activities to undergraduate and graduate courses of UFRRJ (CPGA-CS, CPGF e CPGQ) and also from other areas of UFRRJ (Veterinary medicine, Plant Physiology and Plant biochemistry). It is composed by three rooms, one of them is destinated for general use where scales, spectrophotometers, ammonium (or ammonia?) distiller, centrifugals, distillers and water purification system, among others.  The second room contains the ultrafreezer, the real-time thermal cyclers, and the photodocumentation system. There are also other thermal cyclers, electrophoresis equipments, laminar flow cabinets, centrifugal concentrator, electroporator, hybridization oven, transilluminator cross-linker, among other equipments. Two plant growth chambers are located in a different building, both contain photoperiod and temperature control, which allow the culture of plants in different climate conditions. This lab holds the certificate of quality in Biosafety – CQB (Diário Oficial da União – Secção 1, N° 73, página 14, extrato de parecer técnico n° 1.797/2009 e processo n° 01200.005374/1996-71), which allow us to work with these GMOs: Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Escherichia coli and plants: Arabidopsis thaliana, Zea mays e Oryza sativa which is level I of biological risk. At the moment, these research lines are being developed: a) nitrogen use efficiency in plants; b) effects of transcription factors on carbon and nitrogen metabolism; and c) high affinity nitrate and ammonium transporters.

  • Agricultural Chemistry Laboratory – Embrapa  Agrobiologia

It is equipped to hold chemical analysis of soils routine, macro and micronutrients in soil and plant tissues and analysis of stable isotopes. It is composed by eight rooms and designed to attend the BPL (Good Laboratory practices) rules. One of these rooms is the samples reception, register and archiving. The other is destined to weighing the samples and also to prepare the analysis of the soil routine extracts. The other room holds exhaust hoods to Kjeldahl digestion of soils and tissues to analysis of total nitrogen. The analysis of N is developed in another room, where auto-analyzers by distillation/titration can be found. In the other room the soil and tissues digestion for analysis of other macro and micronutrients, as well as the analysis of soil organic matter. The other room is reserved, exclusively to analysis through flame photometry and atomic absorption spectrometer with flame and graphite furnace.

The “John Day lab” of stable isotope is part of this laboratory, and holds elemental analyzers (C and N) attached to mass spectrometers for analysis of isotope causes.

  • Chemistry and Soil Pollution Laboratory

This laboratory develops research related to the functions of the soil and the interrelations with chemical attribute. The lines that are developed include:

1) Contamination of the soil by heavy metals originated in agricultural chemical substances;

2) Development of analytical methods in soils, plants and residues;

3) Contamination of the soil by heavy metals arisen from residues and radionuclides;

4) Agricultural potential and impacts due to industrial and agroindustrial application;

5) Remediation of places contaminated by heavy metals;

The research activities are developed along with the Graduate courses of the Agronomy Institute (CPGA-CS) and in partnership with EMBRAPA. The laboratory develops research sponsored by FAPERJ, CAPES, CNPq, PETROBRÁS and private companies.

  • Restoration of Degraded Lands Laboratory – Embrapa

The forest leguminous tree laboratory located in Embrapa attends projects that aim to recover degraded lands, forestry and agroforestry systems, also attending students who desire to study this area. The professors are leaders of these research groups: degraded lands recovery and nutrients cycling. The main partners are UFRRJ, Embrapa Soils and Forests, universities, PETROBRAS and Vale do Rio Doce. The restoration of degraded lands and the use of chemical, physical and biological indicators for monitoring soils are the most frequent themes in the team, that works on different biomes, highlighting the Atlantic forest, the Amazonian rainforest and scrubland.

  • Soil Fertility Laboratory

The Soil Fertility Laboratories are composed by three units:

1) Soil, plants and residues analysis (LABFER) which is destined to the use of students and professors. Plus, due to the lack of soils analysis labs in the state, it serves rural producers and whoever is interested, also to investigate environmental matters;

2) Soil-Plant 1 relationship-studies lab (LSP1), which is destined to preparing samples and collecting data with phenological information of the plants, aiming to achieve root parameters for digital analysis;

3) Soil-Plant 2 relationship-studies lab (LSP2), which, basically, contains the instrumentation, prepared to hold analysis of inorganic and organic elements of the soil, plants and residues, among other physical chemical parameters necessary to understanding the fertility of the soil.

The laboratories contain a Plant Growth chamber which measures 12 m2 with a microprocessor incubator unit that controls photoperiod, humidity and temperature, besides a vegetation house with temperature control.

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