The soil carbon monitoring workshop hosted by Peter Donovan (Soil Carbon Coalition)

On June 8th of this year, I helped host a soil carbon monitoring workshop delivered by Peter Donovan of the soil carbon coalition (http://soilcarboncoalition.org/). The soil carbon coalition is a non-profit organization with the main goal of increasing how much carbon is in the soil, and places its primary focus on grazing lands, as they can be extremely responsive to shifts in management practices. Peter was accompanied and assisted by his friend and associate, Didi Pershouse.
The workshop consisted of two parts, the first was theory based and was held at the TRU campus in Kamloops. This portion was about two and a half hours long and covered various social and environmental issues relating to carbon cycling, with focus on increasing carbon levels in ranchland soils. The second component of the workshop was a field sampling demonstration, with participation by those in attendance. The field portion was held at a nearby ranch (in Barnhartvale). The importance of simple yet consistent and effective sampling methods was emphasized, as it is necessary to accurately measure carbon changes over time (with the goal of increasing).
We were very lucky to be able to visit the ranch of a former TRU graduate, Percy Folkard, who has very recently purchased the ranch and has plans to implement Management-intensive Grazing practices and improve the health of the land.
The flyer was emailed to specific ranchers, posted on the BC Cattlemen’s website, shared on farming/ranching Facebook group webpage, as well as geography and Natural Resource Science (NRS) Facebook groups for Thompson Rivers University. I also reached out to TRU professors as well as other associates attending TRU.
Although several avenues were taken in advertising this workshop to the public, notice was relatively short, and many individuals who expressed interest were unable to make it. In total, there were 10 participants, which was quite conducive to group discussions relating to a variety of topics, including our understanding of the carbon cycle. The 10 individuals involved in the workshop ranged from working ranchers to academics as well as those merely interested in learning more about soil carbon.
All-in all, the workshop was a success and all in attendance were grateful to Peter and Didi for volunteering their time and knowledge to improving our understanding of the soil carbon cycle and what we can do to monitor and hopefully improve soil carbon locally.

Percy Folkard generously offered to let us sample on his ranch

Percy Folkard generously offered to let us sample on his ranch

Doing an infiltration test

Doing an infiltration test

Peter pounding a section of aluminum pipe into the soil for infiltration test

Peter pounding a section of aluminum pipe into the soil for infiltration test

Peter Donovan

Peter Donovan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s