Dr. David Montgomery

Dr. David Montgomery PhotoDr. David Montgomery is the author of “Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations”. In his book, Montgomery says “we are running out of dirt, and it’s no laughing matter.” He sees “the recent rise of no-till farming as the hope for a new agricultural revolution that might help us avoid the fate of previous civilizations.”

A Case for Global Soil Restoration

In this session, Dr. Montgomery will offer an overview of how humanity has thought about and treated soils from the dawn of agriculture to the modern era. Soil degradation has plagued many ancient societies and although the problem remains significant today, it is perhaps the least appreciated environmental crisis that humanity faces in the coming century. David will discuss the need to and the potential for reversing the trend of soil degradation, drawing from restoring life to our urban lot in Seattle, to the experiences of  ancient societies and modern progressive farmers. While soil restoration, by itself, will not solve the world’s major environmental problems, it could significantly help address the pressing problems of climate change, feeding a post-oil world, and public health issues. Delegates will take away an enhanced appreciation for the potential benefits and feasibility of global soil restoration and its importance for humanity in the coming centuries.

About the Speaker

Dr. David Montgomery is the author of “Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations”. In his book, Montgomery states ‘we are running out of dirt, and it’s no laughing matter.’ He sees ‘the recent rise of no-till farming as the hope for a new agricultural revolution that might help us avoid the fate of previous civilizations.’

David is a MacArthur Fellow and a professor of geomorphology in the Department of Earth & Space Sciences at the University of Washington. His research interests involve the effects of geological processes on ecological systems and human societies, and interactions among climate, tectonics, and erosion in shaping topography on Earth and Mars.  He is a three-time winner of the Washington State Book Award, for The Rocks Don’t Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah’s Flood, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations, and King of Fish: The Thousand-Year Run of Salmon.

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