Soil, Not Dirt: A Digital Journey Connecting Soils, Plants, and Climate

I am a pedologist at The University of Arizona, which means that I study how soils form in the natural environment. During my master’s and PhD programs, I found myself constantly explaining why I was studying “dirt” in graduate school. While I always enthusiastically explained my decision to study soil, I also chose to pursue opportunities to improve my science communication skills through several outreach fellowships. One of my goals was to learn how to teach soil science to broader audiences using an exciting, first person perspective. I found video to be a dynamic avenue of communication and spent 2 years learning how to capture footage, write scripts, record narratives, edit video, and more.

My final product titled, “Soil, Not Dirt: A Digital Journey Connecting Soils, Plants, and Climate” is now available to watch and share on YouTube.

Join me on an exciting GoPro adventure to study soils in the desert, grasslands, and pine forests of Arizona. On this excursion, you will take an early morning drive, cross streams, dig soil pits, admire beautiful soils, and even learn about how fire impacts soil from the perspective of a firefighter!

This project was funded through an outreach fellowship from CLIMAS (Climate Assessment for the Southwest) at The University of Arizona.This video was also made possible through several programs at The University of Arizona including the Biosphere 2 Carson Scholars, the Flandrau Science Center, the Catalina Critical Zone Observatory (CZO), the Department of Soil and Water Science, and the School of Natural Resources and the Environment.



The views expressed here belong to the speaker and do not necessarily represent FAO’s views, positions, strategies or opinions.

Submitted by Rebecca Lybrand




erick musungu 11-07-15 22:28
its good to study soil, no soil no agriculture then resulting to desertification, soil in desert need alot of research to be made productive by irrigation to promote agriculture by planting dry areas resistant varieties, this may reduce desertification

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