Experience Healthy Soil, Healthy Planet with Jean Eells at Hitchcock Nature Center
Join Pottawattamie County Conservation in welcoming Jean Eells Ph.D., founder of the eResource Group for her interesting & informative presentation “Healthy Soil, Healthy Planet” coming up on July 13th at 4:00 p.m. at Hitchcock Nature Center. This event is free with park admission or an annual membership & it is open to anyone age 14 & over.
Jean was kind enough to chat with our Naturalist Michelle to give you all an idea of what to expect & help you get to know her & her important work.
My family, particularly my brother, Lloyd Crim, was instrumental in me learning about prairie when I was in high school and that set me on a course of study in botany that has served me well throughout the years. Burning part of Kalsow Prairie as a sophomore in High School was an amazing experience.
What are some highlights we can expect at your July 13th presentation, “Healthy Soil, Healthy Planet”?
Learning to read the soil and water in an agricultural setting has some new twists that are worth learning for everyone. I’ll be sharing soil “tests” that anyone can do whether you own farmland or not. I have a slightly different take on the role of agriculture in the soil and water story in Iowa. There is a story about soil in Iowa and the Midwest that will help you “see” with new eyes as you drive around the area that everyone should know, whether you farm or not.
What is your favorite part of the work that you do?
I love sharing the unexpected information, helping people develop their own insights into a situation and maybe polish their understandings just a bit. Taking something complicated and explaining it so that anyone can understand it is a real joy.
When you were just starting to become a professional what was one of your most frustrating challenges and how did you keep yourself motivated?
I did find it challenging to break into a traditionally male dominated field, but the work has always been so interesting and fun overall I never really looked back. Finding places to contribute my energies and skills has been challenging from time to time, but I feel lucky to be where I’m at today.
If you only had a minute or two to inspire or encourage people to care about conservation, what would you tell them?
Everything is connected, including you. Your choices and actions have consequences and you can have fun discovering all the linkages for your entire life!
Do you have any books or publications that you recommend for participants who are interested in learning more before your July 13th event?
One of the new interesting stories to read is Gabe Brown’s book “Dirt to Soil” Come and see me, or stay home and read that book!