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From the Ground Up: How Soils Build Our Landscape

May 5, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Field and forest at Dyer Property

On Saturday, May 5, join us for a fascinating look at our local ecosystem from the ground up with five talented young scientists. The UMass Soils and Biogeochemistry Club will lead this soil and biogeochemistry themed hike at Kestrel’s own ecologically diverse property in Hadley. Each graduate student will share her specialized knowledge about how soil processes affect our entire ecosystem, from minerals to bacteria to plants and insects. You’ll learn about biogeochemical cycles, including soil formation, nutrient cycling, and microbial activity. The hike will take you through floodplains, agricultural fields, streams, wetlands, and forests to get a close look at the differences between these soils.

Space is limited to 20 participants, and registration is required. Meeting details will be provided when you register.

Please be prepared for hiking on a variety of terrain. Rain date, Sunday, May 6.

Kestrel thanks the North Hadley Sugar Shack and Porter Phelps Huntington Museum for providing support for this program.




About the Student LeadersUMass Soils Club outdoors

The Soils and Biogeochemistry Student Group provides an interdisciplinary space to share ideas and resources for biogeoscience research at UMass. As a central hub for soils and biogeochemistry researchers across many programs, we provide a space for both scientific collaboration and soils-related outreach events, such as scientist-led activities, visits to local K-12 classrooms, and community science talks.

Grace Pold is a PhD student in the Organismic and Evolutionary Biology graduate program at UMass, and studies how soil bacteria adapt to climate change. In her spare time, she continues to obsess over microbes, coaxing them into fermented goods, sewing them into clothes, and writing about them on the That’s [Life] Science blog.

Rachelle LaCroix is a MS student in the Plant and Soil Science graduate program at UMass. She studies soil organic matter cycling in local vernal pools and the implications of climate change on the carbon stored in wetlands. When she’s not wading around in wetlands, she enjoys painting soil-centered portraits and also competing in local Olympic weightlifting competitions.

Mariela Garcia Arredondo is a graduate student working to understand how plants affect deep soil carbon cycles and how this can feedback to climate change and affect other nutrient cycles. To do this she studies root weathering and its impacts on mineral associated carbon through pedogenic timescales. She enjoys cooking, drawing and swimming when she isn’t busy learning about soil biogeochemistry.

Alexandra (Alexa) Smychkovich graduated with a B.S. in Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences from UMass in 2015 and currently works for UMass Extension in the Crop, Dairy, Livestock, and Equine department. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking and reading.

Carolyn Anderson is a soil scientist and PhD student in Marco Keiluweit’s lab at UMass Amherst. She is interested in how soil microbes and minerals interact to control soil carbon cycling, and she studies these processes at the East River floodplain in Colorado. Carolyn received her MS from UC Davis, and recently worked at the Pacific Northwest National Lab examining soil carbon cycling in high latitude environments. Outside of science, she enjoys rock climbing and woodworking.


May 5, 2018
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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Hadley, MA 01035 United States + Google Map
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