Skip to main content

Kathryn White

Dr. Kathryn White is the ARS Fellow with the USDA Northeast Climate Hub. She is part of the Hub’s Economics of Soil Health project evaluating the costs and benefits of soil health practices in agriculture in the Northeast.

She is expanding on this project by working within long-term ARS cropping systems experiments to expand knowledge of agricultural management effects on closely linked soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics. In addition, she is conducting experimental research testing and validating process-based crop models using long-term ARS data.

Dr. White is also a soil scientist with the USDA ARS Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland where she conducts research at the long-term Farming Systems Project. Her research investigates the interacting effects of agroecosystem management, crop diversity, cover crops, and organic amendments on soil organic carbon and nitrogen cycling, storage and efficient use. She received a B.A. in Music from Washington College (1991) and both an M.S. in Agronomy (2002) and a Ph.D. in Soil Science (2015) from the University of Maryland College Park. While completing her Ph.D. she worked as an ARS Support Scientist contributing to diverse research projects including quantifying methane, nitrous oxide, and ammonia emissions during animal manure treatment, improving manure utilization and nutrient management practices, and assessing the fate of enteric pathogens in manure amended soils.


White, K.E., E.B. Brennan, M.A. Cavigelli, and R.F. Smith. 2022. Winter cover crops increased nitrogen availability and efficient use during eight years of intensive organic vegetable production. PLoS ONE 17(4): e0267757. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0267757.

White, K.E., M.A. Cavigelli, and G. Bagley. 2021. Legumes and nutrient management improve phosphorus and potassium balances in long‐term crop rotations. Agronomy Journal: 17. doi: 10.1002/agj2.20651.

White, K.E., E.B. Brennan, M.A. Cavigelli, and R.F. Smith. 2020. Winter cover crops increase readily decomposable soil carbon, but compost drives total soil carbon during eight years of intensive, organic vegetable production in California. PLoS ONE 15: e0228677. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0228677.

White, K.E., M.A. Cavigelli, A.E. Conklin, and C. Rasmann. 2019. Economic performance of long-term organic and conventional crop rotations in the mid-Atlantic. Agronomy Journal 111: 1358–1370. doi: 10.2134/agronj2018.09.0604.

White, K.E., F.J. Coale, and J.B. Reeves III. 2018. Degradation changes in plant root cell wall structural molecules during extended decomposition of important agricultural crop and forage species. Organic Geochemistry 115: 233–245. doi: 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2017.11.004.

White, K.E., J.B. Reeves III, and F.J. Coale. 2016. Cell wall compositional changes during incubation of plant roots measured by mid-infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and fiber analysis. Geoderma 264: 205–213. doi: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2015.10.018.

White, K.E., J.B. Reeves III, and F.J. Coale. 2011. Mid-infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy for the rapid analysis of plant root composition. Geoderma 167–168: 197–203. doi: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2011.08.009.

Kathryn White


  • ARS Fellow, USDA Northeast Climate Hub


USDA Agricultural Research Service, Sustainable Agricultural Systems Lab (SASL)


Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Building 001, Beltsville, MD 20705

Phone Number



Focus Area