Blog contributors


Weenta Girmay

Weenta Girmay is a multimedia journalist who recently moved to New Orleans and is excited to take part in documenting the city's people, culture and history. She is a proud member of Slow Food New Orleans and participates in their events centered around urban agriculture, local food and sustainability. Her work has previously been featured on NPR and in The Nation.

Esteban Alarcón

Mi nombre es Esteban Alarcón, soy estudiante de la Universidad EARTH y actualmente me encuentro cursando el tercer año de la carrera. Soy ecuatoriano y vengo dela ciudad de Quito, la capital de mi país. Mi ciudad se encuentra a 2.800 metros sobre el nivel del mar. El clima es frio y seco, sin embargo mi pasión hacia el campo y la naturaleza no difiere por las diferencias climáticas, por lo tanto me considero un hombre muy afortunado al poder realizar mis estudios en una universidad tan prestigiosa  como  la Universidad EARTH en el trópico húmedo de Costa Rica. El hecho de estudiar en el extranjero no solamente me ha dado la oportunidad de conocer otro pías sino de conocer magnificas personas de todas partes del mundo y de aprender de ellos y sus distintas culturas. La Universidad EARTH me ha abierto muchas puertas en cuanto la parte académica y me encantaría poner en práctica todo lo que he aprendido en mi país.

Graham Bell

Graham Bell and his wife Nancy have a twenty three year old Forest Garden in the Scottish Borders. Having taught permaculture to groups around the world, Graham is an inspiration to many. He continues to teach sustainable design and has written two books on the subject; The Permaculture Way and The Permaculture Garden. 

Find out more from his website,

Cassi Wattenburger 

Cassi Wattenburger is a PhD student at Iowa State University. She is just starting her graduate studies in soil microbial ecology in agroecosystems and is very interested in engaging the public and farmers in her research.

Kate Buckeridge

Kate Buckeridge is an ecosystem ecologist specializing in Arctic and boreal soil nutrient cycling and soil microbial dynamics in response to global change. Kate is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Kansas, where she is investigating nitrogen cycling in northern forests. She earned her B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the University of Toronto, her Ph.D. in biology from Queen’s University, Canada, and completed a postdoctoral NSERC fellowship at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Catherine De Long

Catherine, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, received a Scottish Masters in International Relations from the University of St. Andrews, and recently completed a second Masters’ degree in Soil Science and Environmental Science at Iowa State University. While at Iowa State University, Catherine quantified the soil carbon content of the university’s land and used a novel equation to pinpoint the land parcels where conservation practices would be the most effective. She is currently applying to Science Writing programs in the US in the hopes of communicating the wonder of science to a broad audience.

Ines Fritz

Ines is senior microbiologist in environmental biotechnology at the University for Agriculture and Life Sciences, Department IFA-Tulln, Austria. Applied research projects over the last years have focused on different topics and methodology needs including conventional microbiology, ecotoxicology, allelopathy and soil microbial ecology. During a series of public events, starting in 2013, a group of scientists from 11 disciplines, including Ines, joined forces to explain to the public the geological, chemical and biological background of humus in soil and its meaning for agriculture and food production. 

Ron Nichols 

Ron Nichols is a public affairs officer with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. He’s the architect of NRCS’s “Unlock the Secrets in the Soil” communications campaign and has received regional and national industry awards for campaign planning, writing and directing – including the 2014 PRSA Silver Anvil Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Spokane Regional MarCom Association.


Jacqueline Hannam

Jacqueline (Jack) Hannam is a senior research fellow in Pedology at Cranfield University UK. Her research is focused on national and landscape scale soil data including digital soil mapping, deriving mapped soil functions and expertise in decision support tools. She a council member of the British Society of Soil Science and through the society delivers training courses for professional soil scientists. She teaches postgraduate soil science at Cranfield University but also engages in science communication at public events and schools.


Rebecca Lybrand

Rebecca is a pedologist at The University of Arizona, where she works as a postdoctoral research scientist in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment. Her research interests include soil biogeochemistry, soil carbon stabilization, and mineral transformation in the deserts and forests of the southwestern United States. She has studied soils in Death Valley, Arizona, Colorado, Iceland, and Australia. Rebecca earned a Ph.D. from the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science at The University of Arizona, where she examined soil carbon preservation and mineral weathering in the semi-arid Catalina Critical Zone Observatory just outside of Tucson. She graduated with a M.S. in Soil and Water Science from UC Riverside and completed a B.A. in Biology at Whittier College. Rebecca enjoys science communication, teaching, and soils outreach work, all of which she plans to integrate into her future career path.

Masaru Mizoguchi

Masaru Mizoguchi (Mizo) is a soil physicist at The University of Tokyo, Japan. He earned a Ph.D. on simultaneous heat, water and salt movement in freezing soil. His research is focused on soil informatics including data integration and analysis through internet since field survey in Siberian permafrost region. He is a good advisor for young Japanese researchers based on his career at the Cabinet Office as a deputy director of science and technology policy. Since the big earthquake on 2011.3.11, he is working on the development of decontamination technology of farmland and the resurrection of agriculture in Fukushima.

Risa Nagura

Risa Nagura works at a construction consultancy company in Japan. Her interests are on revitalizing regional communities to utilize unused natural resources. She completed her M.S. and B.A. in Agronomy at Meiji University, Japan. She studied water movement in soil under microgravity and sodium ions transfer from soil to shoot in rice. 

Yuki Kojima

Yuki Kojima is a soil physicist at the University of Tokyo, where he is working as a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Global Agricultural Sciences. His research interests are on mass and heat transfer in soils involving water phase change and on developing sensors to quantify soil properties. Yuki recently earned his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University, where he studied heat transfer in partially frozen soils and rates of soil freezing and thawing. He completed a M.S. in Agronomy at the University of Tokyo and a B.A. in Agronomy at Meiji University, Japan.

Share this page