Urban Soils: The role of soils in urban ecology, conservation, and sustainable development
Speaker: George Lozefski, Laboratory Manager and Field & Education/Outreach Coordinator, Urban Soils Institute
Soil is the subsurface foundation of all natural ecosystems such as forests, as well as human developed areas like farms. But soil also exists beneath all cities and urban areas. For humans, birds, and trees alike, these “urban soils” provide many of the same functions in cities. Soils embody the complex workings of nature that sustain ecosystems and biodiversity in cities. Soil is a dynamic living matrix of flora and fauna, of the myriad microbes and earth materials that can simultaneously reduce flooding, break down hydrocarbon pollution, sequester toxic metals and sustain robust harvests from local community gardens year after year. This talk will explore the characteristics of urban soils, some of the issues and challenges in sustainable use, and the connections between “urban soils” and the many “ecosystem services” we rely upon every day.
About the Speaker
George Lozefski is the Laboratory Manager and Field & Education/Outreach Coordinator at the NYC Urban Soils Institute. At USI, George manages soil testing services. He designs and conducts soil science education and testing workshops and provides training in soil quality evaluation for academic and community settings. He manages technical and consulting services for soil restoration/remediation projects.
George also collaborates on research in soil quality, biogeochemistry and green infrastructure. He has conducted environmental research at Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory for over ten years and has been teaching geosciences courses for over ten years at CUNY – Brooklyn College. George teaches soil science courses at the New York Botanical Garden’s School of Professional Horticulture. He received his B.S. in Geology at CUNY–Queens College and M.A. in Environmental Science at CUNY–Brooklyn College.