Forestry Hanover Seminar Series: Emily Scott, MSU Forestry & Teacher Education

Date: March 18, 2014
Location: 225 Natural Resources Bldg.

Forestry Hanover Seminar Series:

How Carbon Sticks to Soils and How Carbon Cycling Processes Stick in Students’ Minds

Presented by Emily Scott
MSU Forestry & Teacher Education

4 p.m. (Refreshments at 3:50 p.m.)

Carbon is central to issues of global climate change and as such is the focus of much scientific research. Yet the impacts of climate change extend beyond the scientific realm, with mitigation strategies often contingent upon the public’s understanding of these issues. Unfortunately, students in the United States continue to experience low levels of scientific readiness when they graduate from high school, potentially hampering their ability to make informed choices in social, economic, and political arenas that promote ecological sustainability. Therefore, increasing the scientific literacy of students will be critical for bridging the gap between scientific research and public response to climate change issues. In this talk, I will discuss carbon cycling research from both a science and education perspective, examining some of my current research into carbon biogeochemistry in forest soils as well as a project that I participate with in science education meant to increase students’ scientific readiness. Specifically, I will explore: 1) how carbon in dissolved organic matter is retained and lost in forest soils, and 2) how using the principles of matter and energy conservation can increase the scientific literacy of students around carbon-transforming processes.