Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Agriculture - Soil Science


Earth and Soil Sciences


Dr. Hallock


The goal of this project is to design a feasible way to develop a protection plan for boron in the surface waters and groundwater of San Luis Obispo County. Boron is a micronutrient needed by all plants and animals but the threshold for toxicity in plants is narrow. As the need for water increases and the production of wastewater and irrigation water infiltrates the soil and waters of the County, an understanding of background soil and water concentrations, as well as anthropogenically produced sources of boron must be quantified and mapped so that intelligent planning decisions can be made.

Many parties have interests at stake in understanding the nature of the threat posed by high levels of boron in soil and water. Water quality, as a resource, is essential for human health and a viable economy, especially if agriculture is a major economic resource. Many local, state, and federal agencies work in partnership to study, regulate, and implement change to the best management practices that protect and ensure water quality. This project will help evaluate the potential threat of elevated concentrations of boron in the waters of San Luis Obispo County and provide a usable resource that interested parties can reference with regard to this threat.