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

Five-Week Live Course with Didi Pershouse: December 3, 2019 - January 7, 2020

Enroll now!

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

Learn a blueprint for land management that can dramatically reduce the risk and impact of extreme weather events, while building a community of practice with other innovators.


“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 around the world struggling with flooding, drought, wildfires, heatwaves, forced migration, and other crises. 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.

Healthy soil acts like a sponge: it can soak up rain, store and filter water, and provide resilience for farms, towns, and businesses. Restoring healthy soil structure and function provides many interrelated benefits such as:

  • Abundant clean water
  • Reduction of wildfire risk
  • Resilience to flood and drought
  • Healthier crops, animals, and people
  • Cooler regional temperatures
  • Reduced conflicts over resources
  • Reduced erosion, dredging, and road repairs
  • Prevention of algae blooms and dead zones
  • Improved local economies
  • Increased biodiversity
  • Putting atmospheric carbon to work re-building the infrastructure that makes life on land possible.

This discussion-based participatory course will introduce you to a systems views of land function: why living landscapes become dysfunctional under most management, and how function can be restored by allowing the natural soil sponge to regrow.

You will learn principles for land management based on the intelligence of natural systems, to allow plants, fungi, and microbes to build a strong, porous, carbon-rich matrix underground--the "soil carbon sponge." This underground sponge infrastructure can soak up and filter water; maintain its structural integrity in the face of water and wind; and provide the slow release of water necessary to cool and rehydrate arid areas, and provide for the needs of all of life.

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 them, to create the conditions in which soils naturally regenerate their healthy, resilient, spongy structure underground--and begin to accept, store, and filter rainwater. These principles are essential to successful land management, and successful societies.


“If you want to learn how to make your farm more resilient to droughts and floods, then here is your chance! Didi is fantastic at explaining how to fix our broken water cycle.”
— Gail Fuller, Kansas Farmer

This course 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.

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.

ENROLL NOW.


“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

In this course, you'll gain:

  • Tools to make a convincing case for soil health and the regeneration of the soil carbon sponge
  • A clear picture of soil's central role in addressing current economic, social, and environmental pressures.
  • A scientific understanding of living matrix of the soil carbon sponge, and its relationship to carbon, water, and nutrient cycles.
  • A deeper view of the soil health principles, and why focusing on principles first (before "Best Management Practices") will create dramatically different outcomes.
  • A community of practice: discussions with people working towards similar goals.
  • Materials to help you share this knowledge with others.

SPACE IS LIMITED, so sign up soon.


Course Schedule:

This course will meet from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM Eastern Standard Time (same as New York, USA) for five weeks, on the following Tuesdays: December 3, December 10, December 17, December 31, and January 7. (Please note that we will skip Thursday, December 26.)

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.

*If these dates or times don't work for you, please complete this online form, as we will be offering additional courses in the future (additional iterations of this course, 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. Please do contact me if this is you. We are particularly interested in saving spots for emerging leaders from the Global South.

If you need financial assistance or have any questions, please email me through my contact page by clicking here. You may also email me directly at [email protected]

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.

I hope you will join us!


About the instructor:

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 from the University of Toronto.

As the founder of the Center for Sustainable Medicine, she developed a practice and theoretical framework for systems-based ecological medicine—that restores 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, listener, 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 conservatives and liberals together into effective working groups with shared aims: improving soil health, public health, water security, and community resilience to flood, drought and wildfires through simple changes in land management. She is the president of the non-profit Soil Carbon Coalition, founder of the Land and Leadership Initiative, 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 www.didipershouse.com


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 www.didipershouse.com


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