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Biological Sciences

July 2017

Soil ‘as a Living Thing’

Vanessa Bailey, PNNL

Microbiologist Vanessa Bailey was among scientists quoted in a July 12 feature on the recent Ecology of Soil Health Summit in Fort Collins, Colo., a gathering supported by the North Carolina-based Soil Health Institute. The summit was held in conjunction with the biannual meeting of the Soil Ecology Society.

Bailey is an advocate of broadening the message of soil's foundational ecological importance beyond the soil ecology community. "It's important that we create this conceptualization of soil as a living thing," she said, and praised the idea of a soil health initiative because of its "visceral" appeal.

The feature, from the Colorado State University online magazine Source, also related the story of the university's post-summit Summer Soil Institute. With the 70-acre Borden Memorial Forest as a backdrop, the annual two-week intensive course uses the region's three separate ecosystems - steppe, farm, and mountain forest - to illustrate modern methods and topics in soil ecology, soil science, and the chemistry and physics of soil.

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