A hard deadline, such as your advisor leaving the country on sabbatical leave, is a reliable incentive for productive bursts. Two Crow lab students, Hannah Hubanks and Daniel Richardson, defended their theses late last year.
Hannah deduced parameters to comprise a future soil heath assessment for Hawaii’s range of cropland, grassland, and forested landscapes. Daniel measured the biological indicators of soil health four years after a heavily degraded agricultural soil converted to zero tillage management of tropical perennial grasses cultivated for biofuel production. The legacy of past intensive cultivation is evident in soil health even after long periods of abandonment and/or conservation management practices. Recognition and understanding of the unique challenges posed by the reclamation, reforestation, or improved management of previously intensively cultivated lands is critical for realistic expectations of carbon drawdown and productivity and provision of adequate support for those willing to invest in improving degraded lands.