Understanding Soil Health and Watershed Function – The Soil Sponge as Essential Infrastructure

In this 4-part virtual workshop series led by Didi Pershouse, we will deepen Soil for Water Network member’s understanding of whole-systems landscape function and effective land management, with a focus on water and the soil sponge. This will be a highly participatory discussion course geared toward building working relationships and a trusted “community of practice” to facilitate ongoing peer-to-peer learning among our growing network. We will feature examples from and address specific concerns regarding managing soil to hold more water within each of the four states in the Soil for Water Network: Colorado, Texas, California, and New Mexico.

This series is exclusively for network members and participation in all four workshops is requested. This course follows an introductory public event that will be held on Sept. 20th from 5-7 PM titled Landscapes that Work for All of Life: Growing Community and Climate Resilience by Regenerating the Soil Sponge. Registration for  this workshop series automatically registers you for that event as well.

Collaborating with the Essential Workforce of Other Species – Monday, Sept. 27th 5-7 PM CST
We will do a quick refresher of the first workshop, then dive into the work of other species. What is the essential work of other species, and what are the job descriptions in a functional landscape? How does biological work drive the water cycle and carbon cycle? What ‘currencies’ does this natural workforce use in its ‘economy’ and how can we help facilitate this process?

Measuring Change for Long Term Success – Thursday, Sept. 30th 5-7 PM CST
How do you know if your land’s “soil sponge” structure and function is improving? What tests are useful and affordable? When should a project use monitoring, and when is it safe to trust in computer-simulated models of landscape function?

Money, Life, and Land – Monday, Oct. 4th 5-7 PM CST
How can we deepen our understanding of the relationship between functioning ecosystems and economies? Where will the money for regeneration come from? What are the costs of degraded land and who is paying those costs? Can we redirect those funds toward land regeneration? Are the emerging Soil Carbon markets, Payment for Ecosystem Services programs, and Climate Smart farming initiatives actually regenerative and working from a living systems perspective? If not, how can we improve them?

The Power of Networks, Frameworks, and Holistic Decision Making – Thursday, Oct. 7th 5-7 PM CST
Why are some regenerative land projects gaining enormous momentum while others are stalling? What role do human relationships play in effective projects? When do “experts” and research studies help make change, and when do they disempower people from taking action? How do we design projects and policies that grow human and ecological capability, and engage people for the long haul?

Didi Pershouse is the author of  The Ecology of Care: Medicine, Agriculture, Money, and the Quiet Power of Human and Microbial Communities and Understanding Soil Health and Watershed Function. She teaches participatory workshops both in person and online, helping to show the nested relationships between soil health, human health, water cycles, and climate resiliency.  She is the founder of the Land and Leadership Initiative and the Center for Sustainable Medicine, and a co-founder of the “Can we Rehydrate California?” Initiative. She is an independent trainer and curriculum developer for the UN-FAO Farmer Field School Program and the Andhra Pradesh Community Managed Natural Farming Initiative in India. She was one of five speakers at the United Nations-FAO World Soil Day in 2017.

She is a Planning Commissioner for her town, a member of the Vermont State-appointed Payment For Ecosystem Services and Soil Health Working Group and is on the board of directors of the Soil Carbon Coalition, the Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition and Regenerate Earth. She led a successful effort to conserve the Zebedee Headwaters Wetlands while serving as a Vermont Conservation Commissioner.

2021-09-27 17:00 2021-09-27 19:00 America/Chicago Understanding Soil Health and Watershed Function – The Soil Sponge as Essential Infrastructure

In this 4-part virtual workshop series led by Didi Pershouse, we will deepen Soil for Water Network member’s understanding of whole-systems landscape function and effective land management, with a focus on water and the soil sponge. This will be a highly participatory discussion course geared toward building working relationships and a trusted “community of practice” […]

johne@ncat.org