You can celebrate the complexity and mystery of soil at the Iowa premieres of a new documentary film, Symphony of the Soil. Screenings and a panel discussion with the filmmaker will take place on Tuesday, March 27 at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls and on Wednesday, March 28 at Iowa State University in Ames.
The UNI event will begin at 7 p.m. in Lang Auditorium. The ISU event will begin at 6 p.m. in Coover Hall Auditorium. Both events are free and open to the public.
Filmed on four continents, Symphony of the Soil explores the miraculous living organism that sustains all life on Earth. With a skillful mix of art and science, the film describes how soil forms, its life cycle, and its role in global issues like climate change, dead zones and the future of our food supply. Farmers, scientists and others speak about ways we can learn to respect, even revere, the earth beneath our feet.
Leopold Center sustainable ag expert is one of people interviewed in this film
Fred Kirschenmann, Distinguished Fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at ISU and a host for the Iowa screenings, is one of the experts interviewed in the film. He included a clip from the documentary in his recent TEDx talk about soil science, a talk that has had more than 4,300 online views in the past month.
"Restoring the biological health of our soil throughout the planet will be the most important goal confronting the human species in the decade ahead," Kirschenmann said. "Healthy soil is our most important resource for meeting the challenges of increased energy costs, depleting mineral and fresh water resources, and more unstable climates. Symphony of the Soil will awaken a public that now largely sees soil as dirt rather than our lifeline to the future."
Iowa screenings of this film will feature panel discussions following presentation
Symphony of the Soil will have its worldwide debut this month in Washington, D.C. at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum during one of the world's largest environmental film festivals. Filmmaker Deborah Koons Garcia runs her own production company, Lily Films, and has received accolades for her 2004 documentary, The Future of Food. She also has developed several short films, "Sonatas of the Soil," available for download at www.symphonyofthesoil.com.
Garcia will be present at both Iowa screenings to talk about her film project and participate in panel discussions. In Ames, the event is part of ISU Soils Week organized by the Department of Agronomy. The panel discussion on March 28 will feature comments by Garcia, Ames-based soil scientists Cindy Cambardella (USDA-ARS) and Michael Thompson (ISU Agronomy), and will be moderated by Kirschenmann.
The Ames event is sponsored by the Leopold Center, ISU Department of Agronomy, Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture, Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, UNI Center for Energy and Environmental Education, World Affairs, and Committee on Lectures (funded by GSB). Coover Hall is on the west side of campus across the street from the College of Design and the Armory. Parking is available near the Armory and west of the College of Design.
The Cedar Falls event is sponsored by UNI Center for Energy and Environmental Education, UNI Department of Communication Studies, UNI College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences and the Leopold Center.To find more information and maps of the locations, go to http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/news/calendar/2012-03-28/symphony-soil-iowa-screening. To view Kirschenmann's TEDx talk, go to: http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/news/calendar/2012-01-21/changing-way-we-eat