Learning Resources for Schools and Communities

Welcome! Our new learning resources include step-by-step instructions for facilitators to lead groups of participants through a series of activities to engage students, farmers, policy makers and others in seeing new possibilities related to soil health, water and carbon cycles, and systems-based land management. (Check back often as we are loading new ones every few days.) They are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards for ease of use in U.S. schools, but can be used and adapted by anyone interested. You don't need special training to use these, though we do offer professional development workshops for teachers, and Land Listeners Workshops for those who would like to go deeper. Please contact Didi Pershouse at landlisteners@gmail.com for more information, comments/questions on the materials, or to schedule a workshop.

The investigations and accompanying worksheets are designed to show how soil biology creates the infrastructure our civilization depends on for abundant clean water, food security, healthy people, thriving local economies, resilience in the face of extreme weather events, and more. Participating in these exercises also helps people:

  • frame new and better questions about what is happening with water, climate, and health issues around the world
  • see why monitoring changes in local landscape function is both interesting and important, and
  • come up with relevant and practical ideas for local land restoration, watershed-cleanup and monitoring projects.

The Field Methods Guide is designed to be used along with our new data collection and mapping app https://atlasbiowork.com/

Available pdfs:

NEW: Understanding Soil Health and Watershed Function (Workbook that includes investigations and worksheets listed below. Reviewers edition, August 2017)

Field methods for monitoring soil health and watershed function (current version May 2017)

Investigation: What changes are people noticing in the water cycle?

  Worksheet: What changes are people noticing in the water cycle?

Investigation: Flour vs. bread--how soil aggregate structure influences water flows

  Worksheet: Why does water move differently into flour than into bread?

Investigation: Creating a map of carbon flows (that includes soil ecology)

Investigation: "A Nation that Destroys Its Soil ..." A letter from FDR

  Worksheet: "A Nation that Destroys Its Soil ..." A letter from FDR

Investigation: A fenceline contrast

Investigation: How does nature grow food?
Principles of soil health and landscape function

  Worksheet: How does nature grow food? Principles of soil health

Additional learning resources, articles and links

These resources have been created with the help of donations from the Sustainable Future Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, the Wellborn Ecology Fund, the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation, the New Hampshire Entrepreneur's Foundation, the Dixon Water Foundation, the Southern Plains Climate Hub, and many individuals. Thank you!