Sep 21, 2013

SOIL not DIRT - Dr Elaine Ingham talks Soil Microbiology

Dr. Elaine Ingham talks about soil fertility and the role of soil microbial life.

Dr. Ingham is a world-renowned soil biologist who pioneered many of the currently used biological soil amendment techniques and pioneered the testing of soil microbial life as an indicator of soil and plant health. Dr. Ingham is the Chief Scientist at the Rodale Institute. She is the founder of the Sustainable Studies Institute and the Soil Foodweb Inc. soil testing labs. Dr. Ingham is the key author of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's Soil Biology Primer. She has been the mentor of numerous soil scientists and practitioners of ecologically balanced landscape design, and has helped farmers all over the world to grow more resilient crops by understanding and improving their soil life.
SOIL not DIRT - Dr Elaine Ingham talks Soil Microbiology

Sep 20, 2013

2013 Sustainable Ag Colloquium: Dirt - The Erosion of Civilizations | Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

September 10, 2013

AMES, Iowa – This fall, take part in a presentation and discussion of solutions to global soil erosion with geologist David R. Montgomery, who will present the 2013 Pesek Colloquium on Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University on September 23.

Montgomery, the author of Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations, will demonstrate how soil use and abuse has shaped societies from Mesopotamia to China to the American West. “There’s still time to live up to our name,” says Montgomery of human beings, the thinking ape, “if only we stop treating our soil like dirt.”

A MacArthur Genius Award recipient and professor at the University of Washington, Montgomery is the author of several books, including King of Fish: The Thousand-Year Run of Salmon and The Rocks Don’t Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah’s Flood. He studies the evolution of the earth’s topography and how this influences ecological systems and human societies.

This event is free and open to the public. It will be held at ISU’s Memorial Union in the Great Hall on September 23 at 8 p.m. Event details may be found at:

The Pesek Colloquium is coordinated by the Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture with a number of sponsors, including the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture; Agronomy, Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, and Geological and Atmospheric Sciences at ISU; Practical Farmers of Iowa, the Plant Sciences Institute, and the Committee on Lectures funded by the Government of the Student Body.

The colloquium has been presented since 2001 in honor of ISU Emeritus Professor of Agronomy John Pesek.

Listen to Montgomery discuss his book, The Rocks Don’t Lie, in a National Public Radio On Being interview with Krista Tippett:

- See more at:

Podcast --->
2013 Sustainable Ag Colloquium: Dirt - The Erosion of Civilizations | Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Sep 18, 2013

Michael Forsberg: America's Great Plains -

Michael Forsberg: America's Great Plains from California Academy of Sciences on

A nature photographer and Nebraska native, Michael Forsberg shares his work documenting this vast landscape, its lakes, prairies along with its plants and animals. The Great Plains are a dynamic but often forgotten landscape -- overlooked, undervalued, misunderstood, and in desperate need of conservation. Forsberg's book helps lead the way forward, informing and inspiring readers to recognize the wild spirit and splendor of this irreplaceable part of the planet.


Michael Forsberg Michael Forsberg is a Nebraska native and has focused much of his work in North America's Great Plains, once one of the greatest grassland ecosystems on Earth. His goal has been to try to capture the wild spirit that still survives in these wide-open spaces and put a face to the often overlooked native creatures and landscapes found there. His hope is that the images can build appreciation and go to work to inspire conservation efforts on the land far into the future. Forsberg received a degree in geography with an emphasis in environmental studies from the University of Nebraska, and worked briefly as a seasonal ranger in the National Park Service before accepting a job as a staff photographer and writer producing natural history stories for NEBRASKAland Magazine, the state's conservation publication. He worked at the magazine for six years before starting his own photography business and gallery. Forsberg's work has appeared in publications including Audubon, National Geographic, National Wildlife, and Natural History, and recognized in the Pictures of the Year and Wildlife Photographer of the Year competitions. In 2001, his image of a Nebraska tallgrass prairie was selected for an International Postage Stamp. In 2004, he was awarded a Conservation Education Award from The Wildlife Society. Recently, he was featured in the PBS documentary "Crane Song," and was the 2009 recipient of the North American Nature Photographer's Association Mission Award.

Sep 16, 2013

America warming up to new hydropower | Grist

A 46-megawatt hydroelectric facility is being built at Red Rock Lake in Iowa.

Flooding an area with a new reservoir to produce hydropower would seldom, if ever, be a popular idea with environmentalists. But what about the thousands of existing reservoirs that serve other purposes in America — the ones that control floods, entertain boaters, and store drinking water?

Funneling water from those reservoirs over newly installed turbines could be a relatively benign way of boosting zero-carbon hydroelectric power supplies.

That’s the logic that the Obama Administration has adopted as it’s worked with agencies and private utilities to tap underutilized hydropower generation potential, part of its “all of the above” approach to energy policy.

And it seems to be working.

The AP reports that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued 25 hydropower operating permits last year — the most since 2005. And it issued 125 preliminary permits last year, up from 95 the year before. There are 60,000 megawatts worth of preliminary permits and projects awaiting approval nationwide.

“I’ve never seen those kinds of numbers before,” said Linda Church Ciocci, executive director of the National Hydropower Association. “We’re seeing a significant change in attitude.” From the AP article:

The Department of Energy concluded last year that the U.S. could boost its hydropower capability by 15 percent by fitting nearly 600 existing dams with generators.

Most of the potential is concentrated in 100 dams largely owned by the federal government and operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. Many are navigation locks on the Ohio, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas rivers or their major tributaries.

The state with the most hydropower potential is Illinois, followed by Kentucky, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania. Rounding out the top 10 are Texas, Missouri, Indiana, and Iowa, the study concluded.

The AP reports that it costs more to build a hydropower plant than a natural gas-fired facility, but unlike natural gas, the kinetic energy in the flowing water that fuels a hydropower plant is basically free.

Source: Hydroelectric Power Makes Big Comeback at US Dams, The Associated Press
America warming up to new hydropower | Grist

Sep 15, 2013

Monsanto A Documentary on GMO a must watch

Published on Nov 6, 2012

This doco shows the power of Monsanto and how they treat farmers, how GMO seeds can destroy our food supply.,not what Monsanto promised from there GMO seed. The world needs to reject the use of GMO food for our own good.

Monsanto A Documentary on GMO a must watch - YouTube

Cool Planet Biochar Team Research and Development - YouTube

Published on Sep 13, 2013

And inside look at the Cool Planet Biochar Research and Development Team sharing advancements in agriculture using biochar in field trials they have done.
Cool Planet Biochar Team Research and Development - YouTube