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Cole D. Gross

Bio

My research focuses on carbon cycling in forests, grasslands, and agroecosystems in response to human land-use and management decisions and climate change. I am passionate about furthering our understanding of soil carbon cycling and applying soil science to help manage our land resources sustainably, mitigate climate change, and promote food security and ecosystem services by enhancing soil health. I am particularly interested in investigating the interdependence of soil properties, soil depth, microbes, and plants with respect to carbon protection and decomposition.

As a teacher, I strive to inspire future leaders and innovators by encouraging critical thinking and collaboration, as well as by facilitating an inclusive and resilient classroom environment in which students can question, learn, create, and share knowledge. My mentoring approach is based on the individual student's learning style and objectives. My primary goal is to enhance understanding through effective guidance while emphasizing creative problem solving, collection and synthesis of quality data, idea generation, and strong science communication.

I love sharing the joy of science, discovery, and soils within my local community, as well as more broadly with the global community. When I am not playing in the "dirt," you can find me enjoying nature, writing, or drawing.

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Education

I completed my PhD in Soil Science at the University of Alberta in 2022 under the supervision of Professors Scott Chang and Edward Bork. My research focused on increasing carbon sequestration and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in agroecosystems through practices such as agroforestry and adding organic amendments to croplands. 

 

I received my MSc from the University of Washington in Environmental and Forest Sciences in 2017 under the supervision of Professor Robert Harrison. My research focused on forest management effects on soil carbon storage and soil carbon measurement methods.

 

I received my BA from the University of West Florida in 2010 in Philosophy/Religious Studies with a concentration in environmental studies/natural science under the supervision of Professors Wilson Maina and Matthew Schwartz.

Past Employment

During my Postdoctoral Associate at the Forest School at the Yale School of the Environment, I worked within the Yale Applied Science Synthesis Program, leading two independent (but complimentary) projects. The first involved synthesizing available research on the impacts of agroforestry and silvopasture on carbon storage and sequestration, while the second entailed sourcing available data and designing a model structure for estimating carbon storage and sequestration for cranberry farm agroecosystems.

In addition to years of research and teaching experience, I was also the manager of a soils laboratory for over four years with duties that included calibrating and maintaining state-of-the-art analytical instruments, as well as creating protocols, training other personnel, and developing and ensuring safe operating procedures.

Community

I volunteer within my communities (for example, with local elementary schools and the University of Alberta U School and WISEST programs) to share the joy of science, discovery, and soils with underserved children and youth and to help mentor and empower young women to enter into scientific fields of study.

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