Dear all, we want to invite you to participate of the next training to conduct soil health surveys in Columbia. You can choose to attend the morning session or the afternoon session. A description of the project is at the bottom of this message.

When: Thursday, March 3rd. Morning session 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Afternoon session 1-4 pm.
Where: Room 322 Tucker Hall Building. GPS address: University of Missouri, Division of Biological Sciences, 105 Tucker Hall, Columbia, MO 65211
Parking: See the map attached. There are two options for parking:
1. Visitor parking lot west of the Tucker Hall building. It has parking meters that cost $1 per hour up to 8 hours. It is close to the Tucker Hall building but there is no guarantee that you will find a spot.
2. Virginia avenue parking garage south of the Tucker Hall building, which is a 5 minute walk from the building. You will be mailed a day pass to park anywhere in the garage. Send me your mailing address if you need the day pass.
Who: Adults and teenagers (educational leaders, teachers, students, landowners, etc.) interested in soil science.
What to bring: Paper, pen, positive energy, and a camera (optional). We will be outside for a short period of time to show you the setup of a survey site, so be prepared for the cold weather.
What you will get: Training on how to set up and conduct soil health surveys, and if you decide to join the project, you will receive a backpack with a soil kit, and a manual.
Cost: Free

Let us know if you are interested in the soil health surveys even if you cannot attend this training. We will be offering training across the state continuously. Please share this information with others.

Let me know if you are bringing another guest and if you have any questions. Below is the introduction to the project if you want to share it with other potential participants.

We hope you can join us!

Sandra

Sandra Arango-Caro, Ph.D.
Education Programs Facilitator
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
975 N. Warson Rd., St. Louis, MO 63132
Ph. 314.587.1412 | Fax. 314.587.1512
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Dear all, we want to invite you to join a new soil science project. MO DIRT - Missourians Doing Impact Research Together, has two main goals: (1) to further educate citizens on the societal importance of healthy soils and (2) to recruit as many individuals as possible to examine the current properties of our state soils and how these are being influenced by land use and management, as well as microclimate and climate change (see attached brochure). This project is funded by the National Science Foundation under the federal EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) initiative. Called “The Missouri Transect”, this working group of scientists, educators and community advocates will be generating data and models to better understand how climate influences agricultural and native plant systems, and how Missouri communities are affected and respond to this phenomenon over the course of five years. The leading institution for The Missouri Transect is the University of Missouri-Columbia, which is collaborating with eight other academic institutions including the Donald Danforth Plant Center, the Saint Louis Science Center, Saint Louis University, Lincoln University, Washington University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, and the University of Missouri at Kansas City and St. Louis.

Within MO DIRT we have a program on soil health surveys. This surveys are conducted by teenagers and adults, working as individuals or in small teams, in study sites of their choosing representative of natural systems (prairie, forest, woodland) or agricultural system (grassland, crop fields, animal fields). Urban or suburban gardens are not included. The sites are monitored monthly from February to November over the course of several years. You can join the soil surveys at any time. The data generated from the soil surveys include measurements of physical, chemical, and biological indicators of soil health. These data will provide baseline information to be shared through an open access on-line website. This electronic tool will allow participants to learn about data being deposited by others across the state, and how the data will be validated for use by scientists, as well as teachers for classroom learning, all for the endpoint of better tracking of how soil health is being affected across the state for long term prospects.

During the training, volunteer citizens (teachers, high school students, land owners, youth groups, etc.) will learn about soil science and how to monitor soil health by measuring soil physical, chemical, and biological indicators. Participants will also learn about data collection and data management. If you are a teacher, take into consideration that your high school students can attend the training to, even if you cannot attend.

The training last 3 hours and is free. If you decide to join the soil surveys project you will receive a manual and a soil kit.