Session Description: Soil Ecology is a highly interdisciplinary field of study intersecting with many socio-ecological challenges including: climate change, land degradation, and waste systems (IPBES 2018, IPCC 2019). These challenges often drive researchers at a personal and professional level, inspiring research agendas and innovative solutions. The knowledge gaps and priority topics in our field include but are not limited to: soil biodiversity and biogeography, interactions among soil organisms and the functioning of ecosystems, global change, and soil management (Eisenhauer et al., 2018; Adewopo et al. 2014; Guerra et al. 2020). These proposed research agendas require a diverse and collaborative community of scientists, each with unique identities, motivations, skills, and goals.
In an effort to bolster individual contributions and envision a diverse, equitable, and collaborative future for soil ecology, this workshop will investigate the existing research agendas in our field alongside personal development. Participants will identify identities, skills, and environments/communities to which they feel belonging (Fig. 1). This workshop style comes from an identity activity by Pattie Gonia and adapted by Rachel Watson at the University of Wyoming (personal communication). We will then present soil ecology research agendas and participants will determine their unique contributions (center Fig. 1). We will discuss alignment between our unique contributions and soil ecology research agendas. We aim to hire a storyboard artist to document the session’s conversations, to be made available online.
Figure 1. Fostering desired futures in soil ecology