I am an interdisciplinary scientist working to understand how grazing management can sequester carbon (C) in soils to help mitigate climate change and build more resilient rangeland ecosystems. With a B.S. in Biology and Economics (Georgia College), M.S. in Animal Science (Michigan State University), and PhD in Environmental Science (University of California, Berkeley), I draw on a wide range of disciplines including soil biogeochemistry, grazing and rangeland ecology, agroecology, rancher sociology, and political ecology to approach research questions holistically.
My work focuses on the impact of grazing management on soil C sequestration and stabilization as well as other rangeland ecosystem functions such as water infiltration. I am particularly interested in the use of “regenerative grazing” (or adaptive multi-paddock grazing) by ranchers on rangelands -- a form of high-intensity, short duration grazing with potential for increasing soil C sequestration.
I do my best to use the most rigorous research methods available to ensure that results are reliable and help to advance understanding. I’ve worked to optimize methods of measurement and monitoring of soil C to reduce uncertainties in our understanding of its climate change mitigation potential, particularly on rangelands. This includes deep and high density soil sampling, the use of equivalent soil mass, and highly precise analytical methods. I prioritize on-ranch soil science work rather than highly controlled grazing experiments to ensure that my research captures soil C changes on real-life ranches, including from adaptive grazing management on large scales and long timeframes.
Core to my work is centering ranchers throughout the research process, ensuring that my research contributes to solving their on-the-ground challenges. Additionally, understanding the biophysical potential of soil C sequestration from grazing is only one piece of the puzzle; ultimately climate change mitigation relies on widespread adoption by ranchers. To greatly improve real world applicability, I incorporate social science methods to understand rancher mental models, including drivers and barriers of adoption for regenerative grazing.
I strongly believe in policy as a theory of change, and my ultimate goal is help create science informed policy for working rangelands.
Department of Soil & Crop Science, Colorado State University
1231 Libbie Coy Way
Fort Collins, CO
Fort Collins, Colorado, United States