Welcome to the Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University. With expertise ranging from ecosystems services and disease management, to plant breeding, genomics, and food safety, we provide leadership and deliver programs that are internationally recognized and respected and have impact at local, national, and international levels. To provide this leadership, we work in an interdisciplinary and collaborative manner to effectively address complex problems and emerging threats that challenge food production and security. Above all, we value our missions of teaching, extension/outreach, research, international, service, and stewardship.   We are home to 70 faculty, 100  graduate students, 86 post-docs and staff members, and 200 undergraduate and certificate students.

For more information see our mission statement.

Join the Department:

The department currently has an employment opportunity for a Potato Technician.   The Incumbent provides technical support for potato research; responsibilities include overseeing the carrying out of field and laboratory analyses and field management of potato research including outreach activities as required; field work includes oversight in the management of crops, preparation of seed and establishing plot plans for trials, collection and management of field trial data and collection of field samples; assisting in the management of operations at potato demonstration storages including maintenance, storage treatments, and tuber sampling; collection and analysis of well logger data; overseeing the collection and assembly of annual research report; overseeing website and presentation management, including generating tables and graphs.  Learn more about positions open in the department and elsewhere.   See our Jobs Page. 


Meet a Staff Member

IT Professional Cal Bricker sitting at desk.

Since 2003, IT Professional Cal Bricker has provided the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University technology support to faculty, staff and graduate students.

Bricker started his career at MSU as a research technician for soil fertility. His career as a researcher lasted for nearly 30 years before Bricker’s interest for computers turned into a career.

As a research technician, Bricker was introduced to the early age of computers.  With little previous experience, Bricker soon purchased his own computer and taught himself.

“I was the one in need of support at that time,” Bricker said.

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