Urban soils remain at the forefront of soil science, as Human Altered, Human Transported (HAHT) materials are increasingly characterized, mapped, and utilized.
SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF CONTAMINANTS AND URBAN SOIL PROPERTIES
Soil Lead Across Scales in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area
We have been documenting and investigating the spatial and depth variability of soil contaminants such as lead (Pb) in urban soils of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Area at multiple scales. Far from being static repositories of the urban lead inventory, soils represent a dynamic pool of lead that can be re-mobilized through anthropogenic activities, particularly with increasing interest for utilizing urban soils for food production.
Improving Interpretations in Urban Soil Survey
We are measuring soil organic carbon and saturated hydraulic conductivity metrics to develop a flexible and dynamic site evaluation for use in urban agriculture, urban forestry, and water management.
ECOSYSTEM SERVICES FROM URBAN AGRICULTURE
Collaborative Evaluation of Ecosystem Services from Urban Agriculture
In the Twin Cities, ongoing efforts to change policies and support for food production at local levels are targeted at lowering barriers to land access and the continued expansion of household and community activities. Because of the intimacy with which urban growers must participate in the communities in which they produce, the tradeoffs and ecosystem services (both real and perceived) of urban agricultural land use are often placed under a high degree of scrutiny. We have been quantifying the impacts of management strategies in urban agriculture on soil health parameters and ecosystem services at sites across Minneapolis-St Paul.
Community Engaged Scholarship in Urban Agriculture
In our urban agriculture research, we regularly engage with community partners outside of the context of our research project to build long-term relationships. This includes engaging with stakeholders outside of the context of research (as neighbors, not business partners), giving stakeholders the power to select soil management strategies and crops of interest to them and their communities, and regularly providing volunteer hours and work days to the partners involved in our project.