Training citizen scientists to fight climate change
In disturbed meadows, soil carbon can be decomposed by microbes, producing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. To find out if restoring meadows increases their ability to retain and store carbon, Ben Sullivan recruited about 75 volunteers from northern California and the Reno area, including a student organization at Hug High School in Reno; students in a University of Nevada, Reno English composition class on "Science and Society;" and students from the University of California, Berkeley Forestry Camp. Together, they studied four meadows in the Truckee River watershed. This increased scientific literacy of area students and residents, engaged citizens in the scientific method and improved our understanding of how carbon stocks in meadow vegetation change from the forest to the stream.