Climate Change Solutions: Managing the Global Carbon Cycle
Thursday, Sept 17th 12pm – 1:30pm
Environmental Science, Policy & Management
Energy and Resources Group
Soil has a large capacity for carbon storage, yet the global soil carbon pool has degraded over many centuries. How can the degradation of soil from agricultural land management practices or the thawing of permafrost in the Arctic contribute to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere? At this Midday Science Café, you’ll learn about two projects that aim to increase understanding of the global carbon cycle. Allegra Mayer will discuss how managing agricultural land could provide a low-tech, negative emissions solution to draw down atmospheric carbon and increase soil carbon storage. Nancy Freitas will discuss how quantifying carbon dioxide and methane emissions released from deep lake sediments in the Arctic can improve Earth system models, advancing the quality of climate model projections.
Allegra Mayer is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy & Management at UC Berkeley, advised by Professor Whendee Silver. She is also a Graduate Research Scholar at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, working with Dr. Karis McFarlane at the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry. She is generally interested in the balance of biogeochemical fluxes of carbon at the soil-atmosphere interface. Her research has examined mechanisms and overall potential for carbon sequestration in soil at all scales, from global to molecular scale, with the motivation of understanding how managing landscapes can contribute to negative emissions and climate change mitigation. Her interest in soil carbon cycling stemmed from her undergraduate research in geochemistry at Northwestern, which led to a research fellowship on soil carbon persistence at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Germany. She hopes to continue working on solutions-focused science throughout her career.
Nancy Freitas grew up in Tucson, Arizona and received her B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Arizona (UA). She worked in environmental conservation with Peace Corps Paraguay and then helped run the Bio/Diversity Project, a STEM outreach and education program, at the UA. As a graduate student in the UC Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group, her research focuses on how a warming climate affects carbon cycling in the Arctic. She is working with the NGEE Arctic team at LBL to develop a larger picture of these processes, and uses a combination of field research, lab work, and data science to do so. Nancy also hopes to make connections between how to ask more inclusive research questions and how to better communicate research in ways that affect people’s understanding of environmental change.
Brought to you by UC Berkeley’s Science at Cal and Berkeley Lab’s Government & Community Relations Office, “Midday Science Cafe” is a new virtual series that highlights compelling and complementary scientific research from both institutions. Grab your lunch and join us for some great science and discussion; questions are encouraged! This webinar will be recorded. If you require captioning to access a pre-recorded event, please contact Dione Rossiter at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please expect 7-10 days for captioning to be provided.