What do you see when you look at a wetland? You probably notice water puddled in spots on the surface, a wide variety of plant and animal life, and a clear cycle of decay and regrowth. What you might miss is the years of plant litter submerged amongst layers of sediment and the incredible processes happening right below your mud boots. What if I told you that part of the climate change battle was happening in those murky layers? This presentation will explore the roll that wetland soils play in the global carbon cycle, how humans have influenced the wetland landscape, and how we might harness the power of wetlands for natural climate solutions.
Faye Smith is an environmental scientist currently working with the USDA-ARS. Her interests include microbial ecology, soil sustainability, carbon and nutrient cycling, and trace gas emissions. Faye recently completed her PhD as a Distinguished Doctoral Fellow at the University of Arkansas, in the department of Environmental Dynamics. Her dissertation research explored how wetland restoration impacts soil microbial ecology and soil carbon cycling within a restored wetland in NW Arkansas. She also received a Master's of Science degree from the University of Arkansas, during which time Faye researched and published on the effects of alternative agricultural management practices on soil carbon cycling and soil stability.