Meagan Schipanski is an Associate Professor in the Department of Soil and Crops at Colorado State University and director of the USDA-NIFA supported Ogallala Water Coordinated Agriculture Project. Her research applies concepts from ecology and biogeochemistry to study how plant-soil interactions mediate nutrient cycling and organic matter dynamics, with a focus on placing this research within broader social and economic contexts. Her research group’s projects include:
- Plant mediation of nitrogen mineralization through shifts in belowground carbon allocation
- Utilizing plant diversity to improve nutrient use efficiency and cropping system resilience
- Dryland crop rotation strategies and their impacts on soil conservation and water holding capacity
- Understanding cropping system intensity impacts on soil erodibility.
Increased climate variability requires the development of resilient, regionally adapted, sustainable production systems. Through the work of the Ogallala Water CAP, Dr. Schipanski hopes to support grower and rural community based networks to foster bottom-up solutions to the challenges of future water scarcity and climate change. Working closely with other collaborators in KS and TX in particular, Dr. Schipanski is focused on communicating successful strategies and useful information related to the role of soil health for improving yield stability in limited and dryland cropping systems.
"Success for our project means demonstrating innovative approaches to adaptive management and fostering increased civic engagement by producers and communities across the Ogallala aquifer region. ”