Building Resilience to Drought through the Soil
A Workshop on the Importance of Soil Health in a Changing Climate
Jemez Pueblo, NM
Wednesday, May 8 | 9 am – 4 pm
With another hot and dry growing season upon us, the short- and long-term impacts of climate-induced drought on agriculture and natural resources is becoming more evident. Building resilience in our lands and communities is increasingly important as we continue to experience prolonged periods of drought. Join us for a day of soil health, landscape assessment, and building at Jemez Pueblo! This workshop will address the impacts of climate-induced drought on soil health—the foundation of agriculture and natural resources—and explore ways to build resilience to drought. All participants will leave this workshop understanding the crucial role of soil—one of the most overlooked natural resources—and how and why we must protect and conserve it to build resilience to drought.
The morning session of the workshop will take place indoors (location will be shared with registered attendees). In the afternoon session, we will visit a nearby site that’s eroding and give participants the opportunity to build simple, highly effective erosion control structures. Materials will be provided the day of the workshop. Lunch will not be provided; attendees need to bring their own or plan on visiting one of the local restaurants (a list of locations will be provided to registered attendees).
We are specifically encouraging the attendance of tribal farmers, ranchers, and natural resources managers for this workshop. Individuals who work for/with tribal communities are also encouraged to attend. Registrants who reflect this demographic will be prioritized.
This workshop is free! Register below.
Professor John Zak of Texas Tech University will kick off the workshop with a discussion of the impacts of global climate change on the function of arid ecosystems across the Southwest, and the importance of soil health in agriculture and natural resources management. He will also highlight the role of soil structure—the arrangement of the solid parts of the soil—in the health of agricultural fields, rangelands, and forests. In hands-on demonstrations, participants will learn how to assess and monitor soil health, understand different impacts that can alter soil structure, and learn how building soil structure in fields, rangelands, and forests can increase resilience to drought.
Aaron Kauffman of Southwest Urban Hydrology will introduce variables that influence soil hydrology, including the negative impacts of drought, overgrazing, fire, and roads, which can lead to reduced infiltration, increased runoff, and loss of topsoil. He will also focus on erosion processes and methods to conserve soil, and provide examples of basic structures that can be implemented by individuals. During this presentation in the field, participants will learn how to read the landscape to identify the origins of erosion, the best places to introduce structures aimed at preserving soil, and with hands-on instruction, build structures appropriate to the site.
Again, we are specifically encouraging the attendance of tribal farmers, ranchers, and natural resources managers for this workshop. Individuals who work for/with tribal communities are also encouraged to attend. Registrants who reflect this demographic will be prioritized.
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