Steven Hodges


Ph.D., Agronomy (Soil Chemistry), Virginia Tech, 1980

M.S., Soil Science, University of Florida, 1977

B.S., Forestry and Wildlife Ecology, University of Florida, 1974


2008 - Present - Professor, Soil Science & Ecology of Managed Ecosystems, Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech

2002 - 2008 - Professor and Head, Crop & Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech

1993 - 2002 - Professor, Asssociate Prof., Department Extension Leader, and Nutrient Management Specialist, Department of Soil Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.

1987 - 1993 - Associate/Assistant Professor and Extension Agronomist, Agronomy Department, University of Georgia, Tifton, Ga.

1981 - 1987 - Assistant Professor, Soil Chemistry, Agronomy & Soils Department, Clemson University


Link to curriculum vita

Courses Taught

  • ALS 3404 - Ecological Agriculture (Lead teacher of collaborative team)
  • CSES 4214 - Soil Fertility and Management
  • CSES 4224 - Soil Fertility Laboratory
  • CSES 4444 - Managed Ecosystems, Ecosystem Services, and Sustainability
  • CSES 5744 - Advanced Managed Ecosystems, Ecosystem Services, and Sustainability
  • Special topics as time allows

Program Focus

My research program  centers on the benefits and services we as a society derive from managed ecosystems, and how our past, present, and future decisions, especially those dealing with land change, affect the supply of those services.  In addition to understanding the biophysical properties and constraints and developing improved good practices for managed ecoystems, I am very interested in the application of systems thinking/systems dynamics modeling to holistically understanding the complex, and often chaotic, systems through collaborative stakeholder driven processes, with an ultimate goal of improving their social, environmental, and economic functioning through well reasoned policy and practice interventions.

Role of Graduate Students 

With a fairly heavy teaching load, graduate students are critical to the functioning of my research program. I seek to work with students who enjoy learning and who are interested in working across disciplines to develop solutions and new approaches to significant problems and challenges for our world.

Future Research

Current and recently concluded projects include:

  • Enhancing food security in the Atlantic Appalachian Region
  • Virginia Beginning Farmers and Ranchers
  • Conservation Agriculture Production systems for the Central Plateau of Haiti
  • Soil Science Assistance Program – support for Environmental Health Specialists on soil-based ecosystem services for domestic and onsite wastes
  • CALS Bioenergy Collaborative Team
  • CALS Farm to Table Project
  • Nutrient Management Training for Certified Crop Advisors
  • South Sudan - Higher Education for Development

Extension Program

I have extensive Extension experience in nutrient management with agronomic crops, vegetables, forages, and turf, but do not carry a formal Extension appointment at this time.  I inform and guide extension programs as co-PI of the Virginia Beginning Farmers and Ranchers grant, deliver basic training on soil science for those seeking certification as crop advisors, and provide in-service/continuing education training for Extension Agents, Agribusiness, and other certified professionals.

Extension Philosophy

My extension programs are client focused and science-based.  Whenever possible, I believe recommendations and information I provide should be based on credible researcher managed or farmer conducted field trials (and preferably, personal experience) within similar agroecological conditions.


Steve Hodges
  • (540) 231-8801
  • 185 Ag Quad Lane
    339 Smyth Hall
    Blacksburg, Virginia