Naturalist Nights: Soil Carbon in Agroecosystems

Dr. Courtland Kelly, Postdoctoral Researcher, Colorado State University, Department of Soil and Crop Science

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Soil has been getting a lot of attention recently for its potential to store carbon from the atmosphere. But what is the realistic potential for carbon sequestration in soils, how could we do it, and how does soil carbon work? In this talk, we will go in-depth on soil carbon: how it is formed, what controls it, how we can manage it, and how we measure it. Then, we will explore the potential of soil carbon sequestration in different Colorado ecosystems, including recent research conducted at Rock Bottom Ranch. Finally, we will discuss current efforts to better quantify soil carbon and look at the frameworks being developed to reward farmers for regenerative soil practices. 

About Dr. Courtland Kelly

Dr. Courtland Kelly is a researcher in Soil Health at Colorado State University. She completed her Ph.D. in Ecology and Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University in 2021, where she investigated the role of regenerative agricultural practices on soil health and soil organisms. Her work focuses mainly on the relationship between plants, soil, and soil organisms. Dr. Kelly completed her undergraduate degree in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. Before beginning her graduate degree, she worked at ACES as a summer and winter naturalist.

Note: This lecture will also be given on Wednesday, Jan. 26, at 6pm at the Third Street Center in Carbondale. To register for that session, click here.

About Naturalist Nights

Each winter, ACES partners with Wilderness Workshop and Roaring Fork Audubon to co-host the popular Naturalist Nights speaker series, bringing a great line-up of experts to explore topics of the natural world with our community. To learn more about this series and view previous lectures, click here. The presentations in January will be virtual via Zoom, YouTube, and Facebook Live. We hope the remaining presentations will be on Wednesdays at 6pm at the Third Street Center in Carbondale, CO, and Thursdays at 6pm at ACES at Hallam Lake, in Aspen, CO.

COVID-19 Protocols

To help keep our community healthy, attendees ages 13 and older will be required at check-in to show proof that they have received the complete Covid-19 vaccine or a negative Covid-19 test on a specimen taken no longer than 72 hours prior to the event. Photo ID will also be required for verification. No information will be stored or copied to ensure privacy is protected. 

For proof of vaccination you can use:

  • CDC Vaccination Card. A digital photo or photocopy of this card is also acceptable.
  • Vaccination Record or other official immunization record, including from your healthcare provider. A digital photo or photocopy of this card is also acceptable.

For proof of a negative test you can use:

  • Written proof of a negative Covid-19 test from a licensed healthcare provider that includes the date and time of the test as well as the result. A digital photo or photocopy is also acceptable.

Individuals who do not have proof of vaccination or a negative test result will not be permitted entrance. Masks are required regardless of vaccination status. All individuals age two and older are required to wear a mask indoors when within six feet of another person at all times except when temporarily eating and drinking. Mask wearing will be strictly enforced.

With questions or comments about this program, please contact Phebe Meyers, ACES Community Programs Senior Manager, at or call 970.925.5756.

Photo of Cap-K Cattle at Rock Bottom Ranch by Chris Cohen.

Naturalist Nights: Soil Carbon in Agroecosystems


Free for members, suggested $5 donation for non-members.

Watch on YouTube
January 27, 2022 from 6–7pm