‘How do we keep ourselves properly soiled?’

Forbes writer Bruce Y. Lee featured the work of CFAES scientist Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science, in an April 14 article titled “Here Is a Major Soil Problem That Will Affect Health.”

“The dirt on soil,” Lee writes, “is that it may be playing a major role in climate change, food security, and thus human health.”

Lal and Ohio State President Michael V. Drake, MD, are both quoted in the story on how, around the world, erosion, depletion, and other problems caused by poor soil management are threatening people’s ability to grow enough food.

Read the story.

Lal received the 2019 Japan Prize, one of the most prestigious honors in science and technology, in an official ceremony on April 11 in Tokyo.

He speaks on the award and his work in the video above.

Visiting Secrest? You’re (even more) welcome

CFAES’ Secrest Arboretum in Wooster, a place that’s all about practicing, showing, and teaching ways to sustain healthy plant life, will soon have its first-ever visitor center. Called the Secrest Arboretum Welcome and Education Center (pictured), you can check it out plus buy some plants on Saturday, May 11.

Learn more. (Photo: Ken Chamberlain, CFAES.)

Grain that grows ‘like grass on the prairie’

A recent NPR story by Dan Charles featured the perennial grain called Kernza. Headlined “Can This Breakfast Cereal Save the Planet?” the story looked at Kernza’s benefits to the soil, which include preventing erosion and sequestering carbon; the scientists at the Salina, Kansas-based Land Institute who developed and are continuing to work with Kernza; and efforts by General Mills, the maker of Wheaties and Cheerios, to turn the new grain into cereal.

Kernza-wise, CFAES scientist Steve Culman and his colleagues are studying the grain as well, including as part of a multistate study. Read more on their work here and here.

‘So many snakes!’—and that’s a good thing

If you’ve been to the Lake Erie islands lately, you’ve probably seen Lake Erie watersnakes, which were brought back from the brink of extinction—to the benefit of the islands’ natural systems—by scientists and volunteers with CFAES’ Stone Laboratory.

Learn more in the video above and in our latest CFAES Story.

Stone Lab weekend? Check the weather

Update as of Friday afternoon from Ohio Sea Grant’s website: “Work weekend is still on but it has been shortened. Friday will still be as planned. Saturday will be shortened and there will be NO OVERNIGHT stays. Everyone will be transported off Gibraltar (Island) and be put on the 3:00 and 4:00pm Miller ferry. You will still be provided Friday night pizza, and Saturday breakfast and lunch.”

An update from Ohio Sea Grant’s website about this weekend’s Stone Laboratory volunteer work weekend at Lake Erie:

“There is an inclement weather warning for this weekend. Due to high wind and water levels it is possible that the ferries will not be running and Spring Work Weekend will be cancelled or shortened.”

Keep checking your email for updates, says the website, which promises a decision by 11 a.m. today, Friday, April 12.

Check out live webcams at Put-in-Bay harbor and several lab locations.

An eco-friendly replacement for plastic?

From an Ohio State story yesterday about a study done by scientists from CFAES:

“New research … has shown that combining natural rubber with bioplastic in a novel way results in a much stronger replacement for plastic, one that is already capturing the interest of companies looking to shrink their environmental footprints.”

Read the story.

Today in Tokyo

Watch the ceremony. Read about Rattan Lal receiving the Japan Prize.