Mountains, Dartmouth, Simon Ellis
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Simons Small Garden

In one of my last three classes at Dartmouth (maybe ever), I am taking a course on Carbon Sequestration with recently-awarded Guggenheim fellow and Dartmouth Professor Mukul Sharma. Professor Sharma studies (and, luckily for us, teaches) how we might rethink the global carbon cycle and begin to reduce some of the human-induced climate change and carbon output that is affecting the environment we live in. We were briefly discussing the existence of large basalt flats on earth — areas of recent or old volcanic activity in which high amounts of basalt makes the soil very fertile (and also happens to make the soil also very good at storing carbon)! Little did Professor Sharma know, I am from a rather small but pretty famous volcanic region (Hawai'i) with some pretty significant basalt deposits, and am currently living with some family in Washington State, home of the largest American basalt region: the Columbia River Basin! He was very familiar with both and I got to send him photos of the garden I am growing here in Washington (it's really taken off). We decided that for my final paper I am going to try and do something related to how we might better study or understand these regions to increase the Earth's carbon capture capacity. Pretty nerdy, pretty awesome, and an experience that really grounded me while I am learning through a laptop screen.

Basalt Flats Washington
Here you can see the rolling hills and all the soft black rock covering the landscape, its all basalt!

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