Soil Carbon Symposium and Field Trip

Carbon appears in many forms in forest and agricultural systems. Photo credits: Julie Wilson and Hans Schreier

Part of the celebration of the UN 2015 International Year of Soils!

The UBC Soil Water & Sustainability Group, in partnership with the Pacific Regional Society of Soil Science (PRSSS), are hosting a symposium and field trip on Soil Carbon, as part of the celebration of the 2015 International Year of Soils, designated by the United Nations. One of the goals of IYS is to raise awareness and appreciation of the crucial roles that soil plays in food security, ecosystem services, and climate change adaptation. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.


Registration for this event is now closed.

SYMPOSIUM

Friday, September 25, 2015: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Location: UBC Botanical Garden & Plant Research Centre (6804 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6T 1Z4) Note: Parking is free for the first 3 hours, then costs up to $6.00. Visit the link above for information about “Getting Here”.

The symposium includes a day of presentations and discussions with various experts on their research in carbon sequestration, the role of soil organic matter in the management of BC’s forests and farms, mycorrhizae and soil carbon dynamics, carbon in bogs and wetlands, and more.

FIELD TRIP

Saturday, September 26, 2015: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

The meeting place for the field trip is our first stop at the Totem Field Research Station (2613 West Mall, Vancouver, BC) – we start at 9:00 am sharp on Saturday, so please plan to arrive a few minutes early. You can either park at UBC Botanical Garden (please note that the Gates close at 5:30 pm), or park in one of the many lots/parkades at UBC (https://parking.ubc.ca/find-parking). Click the Schedule Tab for more information.

The field trip will visit plantation, bog and agricultural sites in the Lower Mainland where we will see how soil carbon is measured and what it looks like in these different systems. Transportation and snacks will be provided.

We will be going rain or shine, so come prepared! Warm, waterproof clothes and boots are recommended (we will be walking through farmers’ fields!).

SYMPOSIUM

Friday, September 25, 2015: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: UBC Botanical Garden & Plant Research Centre (6804 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6T 1Z4)

8:30-9:00 am Registration Sign In

9:00 am Welcome and Introduction

9:15 am  KEYNOTE ADDRESS by Ed Gregorich (Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa): Soil – Carbon Repository or Mediator?

Live Webcast The Keynote can be viewed remotely (online meeting powered by BlueJeans). Instructions and link below:

Meeting Title: Soil Carbon Symposium - Keynote Address

Meeting Time: Friday September 25, 2015 • 9:00 a.m. PDT / 8 hrs

Presentation Duration: 9:15 am – 10:00 am (45 minutes)

Click the link below to access the meeting on your desktop browser, or on your mobile device (iPhone, Android). You may be prompted to download the free BlueJeans App or Plug-In. You should give yourself about 10 minutes of time to get set up.

 Join Meeting

Just want to dial in on your phone? You will only have access to the presentation audio.
1) Direct-dial with my iPhone or
+1.408.740.7256
+1.408.317.9253 (Alternate number)
+1.888.240.2560 (US Toll Free)
(all numbers)
2) Enter Meeting ID: 911670074

10:00 am  Andy Black (UBC Biometeorology Group): The Challenges of Measuring Soil Carbon Sequestration.

10:30-11:00 am  Coffee Break

11:00 am  Rachhpal Jassal (UBC Biometeorology Group): The Soil Carbon Sequestration Conundrum.

11:30 am  Les Lavkulich (UBC Soil-Water Systems Group): Soil Carbon, Arrangement Reactions, Composition & Elusions (SCARCE).

12:00 pm  Sean Smukler (UBC Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes Lab): Farming for more than Food – Growing Soil Organic Carbon for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation.

12:30-1:30 pm  Lunch Provided

1:30 pm  Cindy Prescott (UBC Belowground Ecosystem Group): How can we Sequester More Carbon in Forest Soils?

2:00 pm  Sandra Brown & Maria Cecilia Roa (UBC Soil-Water Systems Group): Carbon Accumulation in Small Wetlands of the Tropical Andes – Important Carbon Sinks?

2:30 pm  Shabtai Bittman, Derek Hunt & Hongjie Zhang (Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, Agassiz): Managing Nutrients and Carbon in a Rural-Urban Nexus.

3:00 pm  Mark Johnson & Eduardo Couto (UBC Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability and the Federal University of Mato Grosso): Recent Experiences with Biochar as a Soil Amendment in Agricultural and Forest Soils in British Columbia and in Tropical Agricultural Systems.

3:30-4:00 pm  Coffee Break

4:00 pm  Andreas Christen, Sung-Ching (Nick) Lee, Andy Black, Nick Grant, Iain Hawthorne, Rachhpal Jassal, Mark Johnson, Rick Ketler, Markus Merkens & Zoran Nesic (UBC Biometeorology Group & Department of Geography): Balancing Carbon Sequestration and Methane Emissions during Restoration of a Disturbed Peat Bog.

4:30 pm  Suzanne Simard (UBC Belowground Ecosystem Group): Carbon and the Language of Trees. Cancelled.

4:30 pm  Closing Remarks


FIELD TRIP

Please note that the field trip is FULL.

Saturday, September 26, 2015: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
The meeting place for the field trip is our first stop at the Totem Field Research Station (2613 West Mall, Vancouver, BC) – we start at 9:00 am sharp on Saturday, so please plan to arrive a few minutes early. You can either park at UBC Botanical Garden (please note that the Gates close at 5:30 pm), or park in one of the many lots/parkades at UBC (https://parking.ubc.ca/find-parking). Give yourself lots of walking time.

Important: We will be going rain or shine, so come prepared! Warm, waterproof clothes and boots are recommended (we will be walking through farmers’ fields!).

Stop 1: UBC Totem Field Research Site (2613 West Mall, Vancouver, BC)

Stop 2: Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust Research Areas

LUNCH (Bring own bag lunch, some snacks provided)

Stop 3: Burns Bog Nature Reserve

Stop 4: Cranberry Research Farm (Delta, BC)

We plan to return to UBC campus by 5:00 pm.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Gregorich
EDWARD GREGORICH – Soil: Carbon Repository or Mediator?

Synopsis:
Storing carbon in soils is laudable, but viewed from a systems perspective it may be more important to manage carbon flows rather than storage to sustain multiple ecosystem functions. This perspective views soil as a mediator of energy flows – a reactor or a regulator, rather than a repository of carbon.

Bio:
Research scientist with Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (Ottawa), Ed Gregorich studies carbon and nitrogen cycling in soil. A fellow of the Canadian and American soil science societies and adjunct professor at Carleton University, he served on the UN International Panel on Climate Change, and is currently editor-in-chief of the Journal of Environmental Quality.

Live Webcast The Keynote can be viewed remotely (online meeting powered by BlueJeans). Instructions below:

Meeting Title: Soil Carbon Symposium - Keynote Address

Meeting Time: Friday September 25, 2015 • 9:00 a.m. PDT / 8 hrs

Presentation Duration: 9:15 am – 10:00 am (45 minutes)

Click the link below to access the meeting on your desktop browser, or on your mobile device (iPhone, Android). You may be prompted to download the free BlueJeans App or Plug-In. You should give yourself about 10 minutes of time to get set up.

 Join Meeting

Just want to dial in on your phone? You will only have access to the presentation audio.
1) Direct-dial with my iPhone or
+1.408.740.7256
+1.408.317.9253 (Alternate number)
+1.888.240.2560 (US Toll Free)
(all numbers)
2) Enter Meeting ID: 911670074


ANDY BLACK – The challenges of measuring soil carbon sequestration.
cropped-Andy_Black.jpg

Synopsis: This presentation will cover direct and indirect methods of quantifying soil carbon sequestration. With direct methods, the issues of sampling design, spatial variability, measurement depth and frequency will be discussed. Indirect methods require the measurement of ecosystem carbon inputs and outputs and involve the use of chamber, eddy-covariance, and isotope techniques. 

Bio: Andy Black is a Soil Science Professor in the Faculty of Land & Food Systems at UBC. For more information, visit: http://www.landfood.ubc.ca/person/andrew-black/


RACHHPAL JASSAL – The Soil Carbon Sequestration Conundrum.
cropped-rachhpal-jassal.jpg

Synopsis:
This talk will introduce soil carbon with a special reference to historic soil C loss and present different means of increasing soil carbon sequestration (SCS). The scope of SCS in agriculture, forestry and fast-growing plantations is explored, including SCS feasibility and constraints.

Bio: Rachhpal Jassal is a Research Associate in Soil Science and Biometeorology in the Faculty of Land & Food Systems at UBC. For more information, visit: http://biomet.landfood.ubc.ca/people/rachpal-jassal/


LES LAVKULICH – Soil Carbon, Arrangement Reactions, Composition & Elusions (SCARCE).
les_lavkulich

Synopsis:
Carbon, of all the elements, is unique as a result of its electronic configuration and propensity for catenation. Carbon compounds occur as gases, liquids and solids and these dominantly biogenic agents provide nature with vital nutrients, toxicants and intoxicants. All these compounds occur naturally in soil. Thus, in order to begin to understand the role of the soil in carbon sequestration and dynamics and the effects of management, it is imperative that a continuum from the element to its plethora of compounds, as the result of catalysis by biochemical processes, is elucidated.

Bio:
L. M. (Les) Lavkulich joined the Department of Soil Science at UBC in 1966, and has offered courses in introductory soil science, soil chemistry and mineralogy, land classification and pedology. He was Head of Soil Science, Director of the Resource Management and Environmental Studies graduate program and the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability. His academic focus is the application of natural science to land issues to facilitate informed debate to further human equity and societal welfare.


SEAN SMUKLER – Farming for more than food: Growing soil organic carbon for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
cropped-sean-smukler.jpg

Synopsis:
Increasing soil organic carbon has the potential to sequester carbon from the atmosphere to help mitigate climate change while at the same time improves the capacity of the farmer to adapt to the environmental perturbations that are likely to occur with climate change. Evidence of farmers achieving this win-win outcome will be presented.

Bio:
Sean Smukler is an Assistant Professor in Applied Biology & Soil Science and the Junior Chair, Agriculture and the Environment for the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia. His research currently focuses on quantifying biodiversity and ecosystem services in agricultural landscape across a wide range of agroecological and socioeconomic conditions. For more information, visit: http://www.landfood.ubc.ca/person/sean-smukler/


CINDY PRESCOTT – How can we Sequester More Carbon in Forest Soils?
cindy-prescott

Synopsis:
Recent advances in our understanding of decomposition processes suggest that carbon sequestration in forest soils could be increased by adding nitrogen, altering plant root:shoot ratios, or encouraging broadleaves and N-fixing plants. I will discuss the evidence for each of these and recommend future directions for research.

Bio:
Cindy Prescott is a Professor in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences in the Faculty of Forestry at UBC. Her research focuses on forest soils, particularly soil ecology, nutrient cycling and soil restoration. For more information, visit: http://profiles.forestry.ubc.ca/person/cindy-prescott/


SANDRA BROWN – Carbon Accumulation in Small Wetlands of the Tropical Andes – Important Carbon Sinks?
Brown

Synopsis:
Wetlands hold the highest carbon content of all ecosystems globally, with the majority of this carbon in the soil. Pocket wetlands are considered to be important locally for hydrological regulation, biodiversity conservation and water quality, but little is known about their contribution to carbon storage; our research demonstrates their importance in carbon accumulation.

Bio:
Sandra Brown is a lecturer and research associate in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems UBC, with expertise in soil and water resources. Sandra’s current research includes characterization of soil–water properties of Andean soils, and developing indicators for water quantity and access to water resources. For more information, visit: http://www.landfood.ubc.ca/person/sandra-brown/


SHABTAI BITTMAN – Managing Nutrients and Carbon in a Rural-Urban Nexus.

1-DSC_0243

Synopsis:
Agriculture is little more than the fixation of atmospheric carbon into crops and transformation of crop carbon to other products like meat and organic residues. The art of agriculture is to skilfully manage the processes so we can continue to eat ad infinitum, and finessing nutrients to this end is one of the great and never-ending challenges of agriculture. Here we will offer local examples to illustrate some of the perplexing challenges and opportunities for co-managing nutrients and carbon in the complex agro-human ecosystem of the Lower Fraser Valley.

Bio:
Dr. Shabtai Bittman is a research scientist with agriculture and Agri-Food Canada working at the Pacific Agriculture Research Centre in Agassiz, BC. He leads a team dedicated to reducing the environmental foot print of food production, particularly in the Lower Fraser Valley, with special interest in multi-level system integration.


MARK JOHNSON & EDUARDO GUIMARAES COUTO – Recent Experiences with Biochar as a Soil Amendment in Agricultural and Forest Soils in British Columbia and in Tropical Agricultural Systems.

Synopsis:
Biochar is a stable form of carbon produced by pyrolysis of biomass from waste materials. There has been growing interest in biochar due to its potential to improve agricultural productivity while enhancing soil carbon sequestration. However, due to the broad range of materials from which biochar can be produced, the physicochemical properties of biochar can differ widely, as can agroecological and environmental results from biochar additions to soil. In this presentation we will review results from biochar research conducted in British Columbia and Mato Grosso, Brazil.

Mark Johnson Bio:
Johnson
Dr. Mark Johnson is an ecohydrologist with a background in watershed science coupled with a commitment to understand and engage with human dimensions of water resources management. He investigates interactions between the water cycle and the carbon cycle in temperate, tropical and boreal climates, and in forested, agricultural, and mixed land use watersheds. For more information, visit: http://ecohydro.ires.ubc.ca/

Eduardo Guimarães Couto Bio:
Couto
Dr. Eduardo Guimarães Couto is Professor of Soil Science at the Federal University of Mato Grosso. He holds a fellowship award for research productivity from the Brazilian National Science and Technology Research Council (CNPq, equivalent to NSERC). He currently leads several international interdisciplinary research projects related to sustainable land management practices. For more information, visit: http://solos.ufmt.br/


ANDREAS CHRISTEN – Balancing Carbon Sequestration and Methane Emissions during Restoration of a Disturbed Peat Bog.
cropped-christen_andreas

Synopsis:
Rewetting of disturbed bogs can promote ecological recovery of degraded peatland ecosystems. Rewetting re-establishes favorable hydrological conditions and biophysical processes necessary for the functioning of distinctive bog vegetation communities and related biodiversity, and may help to revert these ecosystems to carbon sinks. This study quantified summertime emissions of long-lived greenhouse gases (GHGs), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), from soils at different stages of recovery in the Burns Bog Ecological Conservancy Area (BBECA) located in Delta, British Columbia, Canada. We show that the net carbon sequestered is offset by in part substantial CH4 emissions in rewetted areas, although emissions vary with changing soil and plant community conditions. We discuss how we can monitor and consider GHG emissions in the long-term management plan of the BBECA.

Bio:
Visit: http://www.geog.ubc.ca/persons/andreas-christen/


CANCELLED

SUZANNE SIMARD – Carbon and the Language of Trees.
suzanne-simard

Synopsis:
The trading of carbon among trees through belowground mycorrhizal fungal linkages affects the behaviour of the senders and receivers, and thus is similar to how language serves as a means for communication. This talk explores the idea that trees can communicate with each other, affecting their performance, fitness and role in their community.

Bio:
Suzanne Simard is a Professor of Forest Ecology in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences in the Faculty of Forestry at UBC. For more information, visit: http://profiles.forestry.ubc.ca/person/suzanne-simard/


Registration Fees:

  • Regular $70.00
  • Students $35.00

Price includes:

  • Refreshments and lunch at the symposium,
  • Transportation on the field trip
  • Annual membership to the Pacific Regional Society of Soil Science

Click here to register now!

Please note that Registration is now closed.

For more information, please contact Julie Wilson

julie.wilson@ubc.ca

604-822-6360

Thank you to our partners: