$10,000 winner

School: Oklahoma State University

PhD candidate in Natural Resources Ecology and Management

I am a dirt worshiper  If we do not care for the soil we will not be able to meet the food and nutrition needs of a growing population. Most of the world’s emerging croplands are in Brazil and Sub-Saharan Africa, and these soils are fragile. To best tackle this issue, I have been studying agriculture and ecology with an emphasis on international development and soil-plant interactions.

If we do not learn how to grow food in ways that regenerate and sustain the soil, wee face shrinking food supplies. The potential to restore and manage is modeled in nature. Natural ecosystems display stability because of the symbiotic interactions and other soil dynamics. Modern agricultural practices have tended to replace those ecological factors with chemicals and mechanics. We now have a system that depends on greater and greater inputs instead of harnessing and protecting the natural vitality of the soil.