This summer Baltimore hosted the 26th International Congress for Conservation Biology. Kathy Szlavecz and Rich Pouyat, BES Co-PIs, organized a workshop entitled, The Soil Ecology of Urban Areas: Establishment of a Global Research and Education Network (http://www.conbio.org/mini-sites/iccb-2013/program-and-special-events/workshops).
The goal of this workshop was to formulate meaningful science questions related to urban soil ecology on a global scale. There were four presentations:
1) Dispersed experimental networks – Rich Pouyat, US Forest Service
2) Soil biodiversity and redundancy – their relevance in urban environments – Heikki Setälä, University of Helsinki
3) Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative - Diana Wall, Colorado State University
4) Biotic homogenization – Katalin Szlavecz, Johns Hopkins University
The short presentations were followed by discussion. The ultimate goal is to develop protocols that are simple to adopt across many habitat types and soil conditions in urban areas across the world. Some of these experiments will be suitable for students (grades 6-12, undergraduate) and citizen scientists.
Submitted by Kathy Szlavecz, Johns Hopkins University