April 5, 2015

E is for Earth

I am an environmental scientist after all. My focus is on plants, which grow in earth, soil. I am keenly aware of the interface between the atmosphere and soil and water, right where plants and associated microscopic animals and fungi interact. Earth (soil) takes centuries to make. A soil has form, peds. There are clumps of certain sizes and shapes created by the animals and roots within. My work in the oil sands involves proto-soils. This is an amalgamation of the overburden, or mineral layer beneath the active soil, and peat, or decomposed plant matter. It isn't soil. It has the makings of soil, if the plants, animals and fungi mix in a functioning system, eventually, it will be soil again. I won't live to see it, but I leave my work behind knowing the legacy is there. There will be earth again.

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