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Todd Ontl
December 19, 2013 12:00 AM

Todd root core What do National Beer Day (April 7) and National Tortilla Chip Day (my personal favorite, Feb. 24) have in common? Neither would be possible without soil. Good thing Dec. 5 was World Soils Day!

I was recently reading an article in celebration of World Soils Day highlighting the numerous and awesome benefits of organic matter for healthy soils. Having spent the better part of the last five years thinking deeply about soil organic matter, I wasn’t surprised to read many of these amazing benefits. But I was a bit surprised to read this:

For each 1% increase in soil organic matter, soil can store an additional 20,000 gallons of water.”

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Dr. Lisa Schulte Moore
December 12, 2013 12:00 AM

esa science cafeBeing a native of Wisconsin -- land of beer, brats, and polkas -- I've always dreamed of delivering a science presentation with a drink in my hand. I'd like to tell you that the realization of that dream was the whole reason I volunteered for a Science Café, but that wouldn't be entirely true. The real reason has more to do with a serendipity: the email announcing the Ecological Society of America's sponsorship of a Science Café in conjunction with the 2013 Annual Meeting showed up in my in-box just as I was embarking on a new journey as a Leopold Leadership Fellow

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Rayma Cooley
November 18, 2013 12:00 AM

PeachesHi, my name is Rayma Cooley and I am fiercely passionate about where my food comes from.  I have been an on-again, off-again vegan for the last ten years.  I wish I could say that my initial decision to eat this way came from some kind of virtuous awakening I had over schmoozing with a cute cow, but in all honesty, I had a fervent hot dog addiction.  I was, what I will call, a monochromatic food addict.  In my mind, the only way to get off this slippery slope was to give up all meat and everything associated with it.  That’s just how my crazy mind works sometimes- go all in. 

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Can Chen
November 12, 2013 12:00 AM

Can and LisaAs a Chinese person who came to USA the first time, I am impressed by so many differences between the two cultures and environments. Here are a few of them:

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Emily Zimmerman
November 7, 2013 12:00 AM

HarvestingDuring the past month, millions of Americans disappointedly watched as our government failed to pass a spending plan for our Nation.  As a result, over 800,000 Americans were placed on immediate and indefinite furlough without pay.  Critical departments such as the Department of Energy and the Department of Health and Human Services furloughed over half of their employees.  Other departments, such as the Department of the Interior, and programs, such as the National Science Foundation, were slashed more severely and rendered fundamentally ineffective.  Thankfully, after 16 days, a spending plan was approved and the government re-opened. 

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The LESM Lab
October 17, 2013 12:00 AM

LESM at Lake LaVerne Hello world!  Collectively, the Landscape Ecology and Sustainable Ecosystem Management Lab has decided to start a lab blog.  In this, our first post, we outline a few reasons why we have elected to embark on this new adventure and form of communication.

Our primary reason is that we’d like to take our totally awesome science beyond scientists.  We realize that the traditional mechanisms for communicating science – academic journal papers – in all their wonder and glory, can be a touch limited in this regard.  Even though we think journal papers are important, beautiful, and fun to read, it’s telling when even our parents and spouses can’t make it through the first paragraph of the papers we write.  Simply, we want to write things they (and other non-scientists) want to read and can understand.  Some related reasons follow:

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