Speaker: Dr. Chelsea Carey
Healthy riparian forests provide many critical services to humans and wildlife, including clean water, protection from flooding, wildlife habitat and refugia, and climate change mitigation. Unfortunately, the majority of riparian forest habitat across California has been lost or degraded. At Point Blue, we have a long history of restoring riparian forests throughout the bay area. We take a climate-smart approach to our restoration projects, which means that we make sure we plant a diverse array of local species and that we include ones that have ecological traits to help them withstand projected conditions at a site. This talk will review the carbon and soil health benefits of riparian restoration, explore climate-smart restoration principles and design, and discuss a recent technique Pt. Blue has experimented with called inoculant-supported restoration. This technique builds off our climate-smart approach by explicitly considering the microbial life belowground to enhance the climate mitigation and adaptation potential of restoration projects in a rapidly changing world.
Dr. Chelsea Carey is the Working Lands Research Director and Principal Soil Ecologist at Point Blue Conservation Science. In her role, Dr. Carey develops and leads priority research projects and partnerships that will help inform rangeland management across the state. Her current research generally focuses on characterizing soil properties that are relevant to rangeland soil health and climate change mitigation, determining how management influences these properties across space and time, and identifying ways that explicit consideration of the soil can improve success of conservation practices like riparian restoration. Prior to joining Point Blue, Dr. Carey received her PhD from the University of California Merced’s Environmental Systems Program and spent time as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California Riverside. Over the past decade, Dr. Carey has conducted research on plant-soil interactions across many systems, from California’s grasslands to giant sequoia groves in the Sierra Nevada.