23 Aug 2018
Next time you are out walking, spare a thought for the soil beneath your feet. It is full of minerals and nutrients, supports plant growth, teems with microscopic organisms, and is essential for the survival of life on earth. As Professor Keith Cameron of the Centre for Soil and Environmental Research at Lincoln University says, “It is the thin skin of the earth that we need to protect.”
Professor Cameron, along with his colleague Dr Ros Dodd, visited College on Tuesday 21 August to talk to the Year 10 students about soil, science, and science pathways.
From using apple peel to emphasise the fragile nature of soil, to showing how quickly cow’s urine sinks through different types of soil, to images of cows in nappies, to discussing how to protect against soil erosion, how to diversify pastures, and the technology being developed to mitigate problems … in his talk on the impacts of agriculture on the environment, Professor Cameron clearly demonstrated the importance of science.
“The expectation is that we should be able to achieve both sustainable production and environmental protection. We need to think smarter, and to think smarter we need science. Science is so important for the future.”
The primary industries, including agriculture, forestry and horticulture, play a key role in the New Zealand economy and advances in scientific research and understanding are vital to their continued success. Lincoln University is a specialist land-based university and much of its teaching and research focuses on delivering better outcomes in the primary sector.