Kelly states, "This project will result in actionable strategies for bolstering the sustainability of California’s cropland and rangeland climate mitigation programs, and serve as a model for comprehensively assessing the social and ecological dimensions of proposed mitigation programs on working lands." She proposes to incorporate five working ranch field sites in Southern and Central California, where she will evaluate the variation in climate mitigation when low versus high nitrogen content compost and biochar (plus compost) is applied. Plant community composition and carbon sequestration will be measured. This project will recommend nitrogen thresholds in range lands, assess how this varies spatially, and determine where these practices are likely compatible with biodiversity conservation. In addition, she will assess what factors may limit the use of effective mitigation practices, and will investigate ways to make effective practices more attractive.
The Nature Conservancy and the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes are currently accepting applications for the NatureNet Science Fellows program, due on July 1, 2016.