Regenerating the Soil Carbon Sponge for Flood, Drought, and Wildfire Resilience

Five-Week Intensive on Whole Systems Landscape Function: December 5 - January 9

Enroll now!


Join us a live for a live, interactive online course with author and educator Didi Pershouse.

“This will be an incredible course. Didi Pershouse is one of the best educators around.”

— Nicole Masters, Integrity Soils

It's hard to watch communities and landscapes around the world struggling with flooding, drought, wildfires, and other extreme weather events. It felt especially hard for me when I had no idea how to change things, other than hoping that policy makers and experts would figure it out, come to agreement somehow, and do the right thing. That all changed for me when I understood the concept of the soil carbon sponge.

A healthy soil sponge can soak up rain, store and filter water, and provide resilience for farms, towns, and businesses. Simple changes in land management that promote the growth of the soil sponge can address interconnected issues like flooding, drought, algae blooms, and human health--at far less cost than we currently spend on fixing those problems.

I now know that flood and drought are actually two sides of the same issue: they both happen when the natural soil sponge becomes degraded. Learning how to effectively restore the function of a watershed can reduce risk, and save farmers, municipalities, insurers, and tax payers enormous amounts of money, while providing many co-benefits such as:
  • Abundant clean water
  • Reduced erosion, dredging, and road repairs
  • Prevention of algae blooms and dead zones
  • Improved local economies
  • Increased biodiversity
  • Healthier crops, animals, and people
  • Moderation of regional temperatures
  • Reduced conflicts over resources
This course will introduce you to inexpensive principles for land management that will help turn your yard, farm, or ranch back into an effective soil sponge to build flood and drought resilience in your neighborhood and region. These principles are already being used with success around the world.
This course is perfect for people interested in leading and supporting initiatives in their own regions--and who would like to have a community of people with whom they can discuss strategies. It serves as a grounding in land systems theory and as a prerequisite for joining our participant-driven strategy sessions with leading teachers in the soil health movement.

My teaching style is specifically geared towards creating “communities of practice,” working groups of closely-connected people with common goals. If you are committed to creating a world that works, and are ready to learn a new way of seeing landscapes, water, and people, then you are the right person to attend.


“I can’t speak highly enough of Didi’s work. If you’d like to understand soil health and regeneration: this is a must.”

— Gregory Landua, Regen Network

This isn't about using heavy equipment to move soil around. This isn't about buying products to spray on your lawn. This is about understanding the work of other species and collaborating with natural systems. When you understand these principles, you'll know how to make simple, strategic land-management decisions that create the conditions for soils to naturally regenerate their healthy, resilient, spongy structure underground--and begin to accept, store, and filter rainwater.

The soil carbon sponge is the basic infrastructure that supports life on land. Humans can't build it. Technology can't build it. Only plants, fungi, microbes, animals, and insects can build this infrastructure, but we can learn how to support them in that work by creating the right working conditions.

You don't have to wait for policy changes, or spend years in school. You can start to do something on your land, and in your region, right now and become a model of resilience to inspire other regions. Join us if you want to learn a blueprint for restoring the function of a watershed that can dramatically reduce the impact of extreme weather events.

SPACES ARE LIMITED to facilitate small group discussions. The last two courses filled up quickly with people literally from around the world, so if you are interested please do sign up soon. If the course overfills you can either be first in line for the next series, or get a refund.

You'll Gain:

  • The tools to make a convincing case for soil health and the regeneration of the soil carbon sponge, informed by an understanding of soil's central role in addressing current economic, social, and environmental pressures.
  • A new perspective on the living matrix of the soil carbon sponge, and its relationship to carbon, water, and nutrient cycles.
  • A deeper understanding of the soil health principles, and why focusing on principles first (before "Best Management Practices") will create dramatically different outcomes.
  • A community of people working towards similar goals.
  • Facilitation skills and materials to help you share this knowledge with others.

Course Schedule:

This course will occur from 7:00 - 9:00pm Eastern Time Zone (same as New York, USA) for five weeks, on the following Wednesdays: December 5, December 12, December 19, January 2, and January 9. (Please note that the class will not meet the week of December 24.)

Participants will come together on Zoom Video Conferencing for these interactive online classes. All of the classes will be recorded and made available to course participants. (Please note that this is a discussion-based participatory course, and topics may shift or expand somewhat.)

*If these dates or times don't work for you, please complete this online form, as we will be offering a second course if this one fills up, as well as additional courses on related topics.

*A few spots in every course are reserved for participants who need to pay less or cannot otherwise afford to attend. Contact us if this is you. We are particularly interested in saving spots for emerging leaders from the Global South.

If you have any questions, please email me at through my contact page by clicking here. Or at

Your Instructor

Didi Pershouse
Didi Pershouse

Didi Pershouse is the author of The Ecology of Care: Medicine, Agriculture, Money, and the Quiet Power of Human and Microbial Communities and Understanding Soil Health and Watershed Function. She is a lead author for the upcoming United Nations FAO Technical Manual on Soil Organic Carbon Management, and a contributing author to the upcoming volume: Health in the Anthropocene.

As the founder of the Center for Sustainable Medicine, she developed a practice and theoretical framework for systems-based ecological medicine—restoring the health of people as well as the environmental and social systems around them. After 22 years of clinical work, Pershouse now travels widely in North America and Europe as a speaker and teacher. Her participatory workshops engage farmers and ranchers, policy makers, investors, and environmentalists in deep listening, systems thinking, and emergent strategies.

Both online and in-person, Pershouse is a skilled facilitator, who can bring together conservatives and liberals into effective working groups with common goals: improving soil health, public health, water security, and climate resilience through simple changes in land management.

She is the president of the non-profit Soil Carbon Coalition, Strategic Director of Regenerate Earth, and a co-founder of the "Can we Rehydrate California?" Initiative. She was one of five speakers at the United Nations-FAO World Soil Day in 2017. You can learn more about her work at

Class Curriculum

Get started now!