Working at the intersection of science and society
The majority of my work has focused on degraded land restoration efforts in the semi-arid western United States. During my time as the Executive Director of Flux Farm, I helped organize and manage coalitions of university, government, and private sector scientists to conduct research on sustainable bioenergy crops for arid lands and soil management systems for accelerated carbon sequestration and land rehabilitation. After several years of active research on soil management, our group formed Biochar Reclamation Labs and conducted the worlds first scaled biochar restoration project at The Hope Mine in Pitkin County, Colorado. The early success of the project led us to form Biochar Solutions Inc to further scale our research findings and convert them into tangible business through the manufacturing and distribution of industrial process equipment. Internationally, the company is now recognized as a leader in the industry, and our selection as 1 of 11 Global Pioneers in Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Earth Challenge, a $25M science prize to sustainably remove a gigaton of carbon from the atmosphere, is further evidence of our successes and dedication to early market growth. In the Fall of 2013, we merged Biochar Solutions' soil products business with The Biochar Company to accelerate market growth under the Soil Reef brand name. As of fall 2014, I've been focusing my entrepreneurial time on the development of embedded soil sensors with EDYN, an Oakland based start-up that uses networked hardware and data analytics to improve our ability to manage soils and crops with less nutrients and water.
I've been fortunate to present at professional and scientific conferences (in five countries) on renewable energy for rural agricultural development, biochar for land restoration and carbon sequestration, and the intersection of soil and society. I received my BSc in Biology with Honors from Warren Wilson College and have served on several boards and working groups for the USDA-ARS, Colorado State University, The Roaring Fork Biomass Consortium and The Western Colorado Carbon Neutral Bioenergy Consortium.
Motivated to better understand human-soil relations, I joined The Environmental Systems Dynamics Laboratory in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley to pursue a PhD under the direction of Dr. Laurel Larsen. My thesis "Pedogenic Process in Engineered Soils for Uranium Containment" is the result of 3 years of field work with the United States Department of Energy, Office of Legacy Management.
In my free time, you'll find me building things out of wood and metal, gardening, collecting coins (the history of mexican numismatics is awesome), planning my next snorkeling/diving trip, searching for birds with my girlfriend, trying to find a TV to watch NBA basketball, studying ethnobotany, or researching the perfect camper van on the internet. I actively read books about east African anthropology, think that tardigrades are the most amazing animals on the planet, and want to one day open a fly-fishing clubhouse in Central or South America with my friend Nick.