Supervisory Research Soil Scientist
Rocky Mountain Research Station
USDA Forest Service
1221 S. Main, Moscow, ID 83843
In 2009, Deborah installed the first field trials using biochar produced from fast pyrolysis on forested lands. This was followed by the installation of two more forested field sites (using similar protocols) and a grassland site. Fieldwork is backed by several laboratory studies evaluating the movement of biochar into the soil, application rate, and changes in soil physical, chemical, and biological properties. This work has allowed her to make general recommendations about the amount of biochar that will be effective based on site nutrient capital, soil texture, and soil moisture regime. As site Principal Investigator for several North American Long-Term Soil Productivity plots, Deborah is well-versed in the pre- and post-treatment sampling necessary to determine changes in above- and below-ground nutrient properties associated with harvesting, organic matter removal, and biochar additions. She is also the co-lead from the Rocky Mountain Research Station to the USDA Forest Service Bioenergy Research Centers. As co-lead, she is tasked with understanding and reporting bioenergy-related activities for both the Forest Service and the Agricultural Research Station in the Northwest.