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Steve Hodges

Steve Hodges
Smyth Hall, Rm 339, Virginia Tech
185 Ag Quad Lane
Blacksburg, VA 24061


After many years of working with farmers as an Extension Soils Specialist, I had the opportunity to redirect my interests to ecology and modeling within complex (human) managed ecosystems.  In support of these interests, I developed courses in agroecology, managed ecosystems, and system dynamic modeling in managed ecosystems. In 2017, I also began teaching soil fertility and management.  This course was redesigned using a project-centered focus on nutrient management within a "SEE-SMArT" (Social, Economic, and Environmental Sources, Methods, Amounts (rates), and Timing) framework. My interest in multidisciplinary research and system dynamics modeling has involved me  in participatory modeling projects in developing countries, regional food systems, small community-based farms, and most recently, silvopasture systems. Working with graduate students further expanded my involvement in projects ranging from soil respiration models, geospatial analysis of land change, urban agriculture, cover crops, waste management, plant production systems, and, most recently,  soil quality/health. I will be retiring at the end of 2020, and am no longer accepting new students.


  • System dynamics modeling in complex managed ecosystems
  • Soil Management, Soil Fertility, and Plant Nutrition


  • Ph.D., Agronomy (Soil Chemistry & Mineralogy), Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, 1980
  • M. S., Soil Science, (Soil Genesis & Classification), University of Florida, 1977
  • B. S., Forestry (Wildlife Ecology, minor Range Science), University of Florida, 1974

Current Projects

  • Modeling the impact of nutrient management practices affecting the fate of N in corn (NC1195)
  • The impact of practices on soil quality/health over time.
  • Manure application impacts on antibiotic resistance

Recent Modeling Projects

  • Small farm operations
  • Regional Food Systems in Appalachia
  • Animal-forage-tree performance in silvopastures systems

Current Courses

  • CSES 4214: Soil Fertility and Management
  • CSES 4444: Managed Ecosystems, Ecosystem Services, and Sustainability
  • CSES 5744: Advanced Managed Ecosystems, Ecosystem Services, and Sustainability
  • CSES 5044: Modeling Managed Ecosystems

Professor | 2008 - present
School of Plant and Environmental Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Professor & Head | 2002-2008
Crop & Soil Environmental Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Professor/Associate Professor - Extension Soils Specialist | 1993 – 2002
Department of Soil Science
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC.

Associate/Assistant Professor and
Extension Agronomist – Soils & Fertilizers
| 1987 – 1992
Agronomy Department
University of Georgia, Tifton, Ga.

Assistant Professor – Soil Chemistry | 1981 – 1987
Agronomy & Soils Department
Clemson University

  • Outstanding Senior Fellow 2019 - Honors Residential Commons, Virginia Tech, 2019
  • Fellow, American Society of Agronomy, 2002
  • Virginia Turf Council – VTC Award, 2007
  • USDA Secretary of Agriculture Honor Award –NC P-Loss Assessment Team, 2004
  • USDA Secretary of Agriculture Honor Award-Neuse Water Quality Team, 2000
  • Distinguished Service Award – North Carolina Ag. Consultants Association, 2002
  • Achievement Award for Water Quality – NC Soil & Water Conservation Soc., 2002

(49 Reviewed publications, 13 chapters, 6 computer programs, 22 manuals, 121 extension publications)

  1. Jian et al. 2018. Constraining estimates of global soil respiration by quantifying sources of variability. Global Change Biology:1-17. 
  2. Jian et al. 2018. Measurement strategies to account for soil respiration temporal heterogeneity across diverse regions. Soil Biol & Biochem 125:167-177.
  3. Longest, R., H. Frame, A.O. Abaye, and S. Hodges. 2018. Cotton Varietal Responses to Tillage Type in the Upper Southeastern U.S. Coastal Plain. Agron. J. 110:1157-1164.
  4. Kokkinindis, I, S.C. Hodges, and R. Wynn. 2018. Thematic accuracy of agriculture in land cover layers of select Virginia counties.  Photo. Eng. and Remote Sensing.
  5. Lynch, M. et al. 2016. Decomposition, nitrogen and carbon mineralization from food and cover crop residues in the central plateau of Haiti. SpringerPlus 5:973. 
  6. Kulesza, S., Maguire, R.  Thomason, W. and Hodges, S. 2014.  Effects of poultry litter injection on ammonia volatilization, nitrogen availability, and nutrient losses in runoff. Soil Science 179:190-196
  7. Stewart, Ryan E., et al. 2014. Rhizosphere phosphorus solubility and plant uptake as affected by crop in a clay soil from the Central Plateau Region of Haiti.  Commun. Soil Science and Plant Anal., 45:5, 703-712, DOI: 10.1080/00103624.2013.867047 
  8. Johnson J., J. Fike, W. Fike, J. Burger, J. Munsell, S. Hodges. 2013. Millwood honeylocust trees: seedpod nutritive value and yield characteristics. Agroforestry Systems. 87(4):849-856.
  9. Johnson J.*, J. Fike, W. Fike, J. Burger, J. Munsell, J. McKenna, S. Hodges. 2012. Millwood and wild type honeylocust seedpod digestibility, nutritive value, and mineral concentrations over winter. Crop Science. 52:2807-2816.
  10. Hodges, S.C. and G. Constable. 2010. Plant Responses to mineral nutrient deficiencies and toxicities.  In Stewart, J.M. et al. (ed.) Physiology of Cotton. Springer, New York. p. 142-161.
  11. Johnson A., D. Osmond and S. C. Hodges. 2005. Predicted Impact and Evaluation of North Carolina's Phosphorus Indexing Tool. JEQ. 34:1801-1810.
  12. NC PLAT Team.  2005. North Carolina Phosphorus Loss Assessment: I: Model Description and II: Scientific Basis and Supporting Literature. NC Agric. Exp. Stat. Tech. Bullet. 323. 90p