Studying the impact of scaled agroecology on hydrology, carbon sequestration, biodiversity, and soil health.
In arid and semi-arid climates, water retention is the limiting factor in a landscape's ability to sequester carbon, support biodiversity, produce food, and perform other ecosystem services. Soil health is a key indicator of all of these ecosystem functions.
Tracking how effectively our landscapes accomplish each of these goals gives us deeper insights into how to become more effective designers and land stewards. By doing so, we can develop models for how to reverse desertification and combat climate change in arid and semi-arid lands, which represent 40% of earth’s land mass and support one third of all humans
Effective Metrics That Help Accomplish Our Goals
The metrics we track demonstrate how effectively our landscapes are accomplishing each of these goals.
Soil Organic Matter %
Soil Water Infiltration Rates
Soil Water Holding Capacity
Soil Bulk Density
Soil Microbiology Profile
Tree/Shrub Survival Rates
Tree/Shrub Growth Rates
Grassland Cover Percentages
Grassland Plant Diversity
Meet our Research Manager: Nelson Heider-Kuhn
Nelson's academically trained in soil health, ecological regeneration, and sustainable food systems such as agrivoltaics and agroforestry. He has dedicated his life to understanding how regenerative agriculture can serve as a catalyst for change in the face of climate change and believes that soil health is integral to this change. He lives in Longmont with his sweet cat, white German shepherd, and herbalist husband and strives to embody living in a reciprocal relationship with nature through his research
Organic matter is the amount of carbon-based material found in the top 8" of soil. Organic matter supports soil life, water retention and infiltration and nutrient cycling. It is a useful general indicator of soil health and its ability to support life.