Sustainability Lecture Series

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Date/Time:Monday, 10 Oct 2016 from 3:10 pm to 4:30 pm
Location:2432 Food Sciences
Channel:College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Categories:Lectures, Live Green
Actions:Download iCal/vCal | Email Reminder
"Climate-Smart Soils: Bringing Pie in the Sky Down to Earth," Keith Paustian of Colorado State University, Ft. Collins. A 4:30 p.m. reception will follow in the Agronomy Hall commons (second floor).

Co-sponsored by the CALS Sustainability Task Force and the John Pesek Colloquium on Sustainable Agriculture, a program of the Henry A. Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture in CALS.

Stabilizing atmospheric carbon dioxide at levels set in international climate agreements will require aggressive reductions in fossil fuel emissions, but also direct removal of some of the carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere. One of the few feasible removal strategies is to manage soils to increase, and then maintain, greater amounts of carbon in the form of soil organic matter. While the concept of soil carbon sequestration for climate change mitigation has been discussed and researched for nearly 30 years, there remain widely varying claims about how much sequestration can be achieved and how it should be done. In his presentation, Dr. Paustian will discuss the technical, socioeconomic and policy barriers that need to be overcome to achieve significant soil carbon sequestration rates and suggest ways that research can help lower these barriers and provide a greater role for agriculture in mitigating climate change.

Speaker bio
Dr. Keith Paustian is a professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and senior research scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University. A major focus of his work involves modeling, field measurement and development of assessment tools for soil carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions from soils. He has published more than 240 journal articles and book chapters. Current research activities include development of the inventory methodology used to estimate U.S. soil carbon and nitrous oxide emissions that are reported annually by EPA to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; development of a web-based tool, COMET-Farm, used by USDA for estimating on-farm greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration; and a project-scale system for greenhouse gas assessment of sustainable land management projects in developing countries. He also serves as project director for the Bioenergy Alliance Network of the Rockies, which is a consortium of universities, industries and the U.S. Forest Service, researching the potential for sustainable bioenergy production from beetle-killed trees and forest residues. Since 1995, he's served as a lead author and coordinating lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Greenhouse Gas Inventory Taskforce and has served on numerous other national and international committees involving climate and carbon cycle research. He is a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America and 2015 recipient of the SSSA Outstanding Research Award.

Watch the video ( of a previous CALS Sustainability Lecture by Elena Irwin, "Sustainability Science and Land-Grant Universities in the 21st Century," originally presented on April 4, 2016.