More information about my doctoral research below.
To assess ecosystem services in organic production systems.
This project seeks to empower organic producers and buyers to evaluate the relative effects of different management practices on greenhouse gases (GHG) and other ecosystem services by developing more robust decision support tools that include realistic organic management scenarios.
We are focused on the following key organic practices: cover cropping, organic amendments, and management-intensive grazing.
Leveraging carbon and nitrogen inputs.
To increase carbon sequestration in beef production systems.
I am conducting on-farm field-based research to better understand above and belowground community responses to organic amendment applications (i.e., compost), and farm-level C cycling in improved and semi-native pastures in northern Colorado. Organic amendment applications to pastures demonstrates promise as a C sequestration strategy (Ryals and Silver, 2013), but the mechanisms behind increases in NPP and soil C stocks require further investigation.