soil change, technogenic soils, engineered ecosystems, politics of radionuclide remediation, soils as complex adaptive systems, environmental sensor networks
Currently studying rates and qualities of soil change on engineered soil systems designed for 1,000 year containment of low level radioactive wastes. Looking to determine how human engineered soils, from the Department of Energy UMTRCA program, evolve over time and can naturally deviate towards unintended functional states that may act counter to human design intention (erosion control, limited radon flux, limited water percolation, and limited vegetation). Interested in the practice and concept of designing ‘ideal’ soil systems through pedomimicry and engineering, and the construction of functional taxonomies of technogenic soil systems. I’ve designed and commissioned a mobile soil lab (The S.S. Hilgard) to support rural field work in the desert southwest and to show that a PhD can also be quite fun.