Linnaeus Symposium

Soil Stewardship: The Ground We Stand On
Thursday, July 12, 2018

Spend the day learning about soil stewardship in Minnesota through a series of presentations focused on understanding soil as a living ecosystem, the history of how people of Minnesota have used this resource over time, the threats to soil and solutions from the perspective of communities, industry, and agriculture, and what an individual can do to care for the ground we stand on. End the day with "A Taste of the Minnesota River Valley" dinner featuring local foods.

Ticket Information

The dinner is now sold out. If you would like to still attend the speakers, you are welcome to attend. Please call 507-933-7520.

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Schedule of Events

Time Event
12:30 p.m.

Registrations Opens
Cec Eckhoff Alumni Hall, O.J. Johnson Student Union
Tickets will be held at the door for all attendees.

1 p.m.


Cec Eckhoff Alumni Hall, O.J. Johnson Student Union
Welcome and Symposium overview
Scott Moeller, Director of the Linnaeus Arboretum

1:15 p.m. 

What is Soil?Bryce Hoppie

An overview of the biological, chemical, and physical characteristics of soil. Through understanding these basics, we are better able to use and protect this valuable natural resource that many people simply call “dirt”.
Bryce Hoppie, PhD
Department of Geology, Minnesota State University Mankato

2 p.m.

Soil: From 400 B.C. to the Cutting Edge

Laura Triplett

What is the history of soil in Minnesota, compared to other parts of the United States? How have people used soil as a resource over time, and what are the new technologies emerging?

Laura Triplet, PhD
Department of Geology and co-chair of Nobel Conference 54 at Gustavus Adolphus College

2:45 p.m.


3 p.m.

Soil – Communities, Industry, and Agriculture in a Time of Changing Climate

Jessica Gutknecht

Management decisions by humans, in both urban and rural landscapes, dramatically alter soil properties and functions. In the face of environmental stressors and an increased awareness that environmental quality and resiliency must be at the forefront of our landscapes, how can we make decisions to improve the soil resource?

Jessica Gutknecht, PhD
Department of Soil, Water, and Climate,University of Minnesota

4 p.m.

Mimicking Mother Nature: Four “Simple” Steps to Improve Soil Health
Natural Resource Conservation Service

The easiest thing to do when faced with a problem is to do nothing at all. Learn from a “formerly conventional agricultural entomologist” how to stop procrastinating and improve the health of your soil by doing less yourself and letting Mother Nature, who knows how this works, do more.

Tom Petersen, Agricultural Conservation Experienced Service program staff contracted to the United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resource Conservation Service
Ann Journey,PhD, Agricultural Conservation Experienced Service program staff contracted to the United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resource Conservation Service
Dean Thomas, Soil Health Technician (Area 7) for the Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District


5 p.m.

Reception and Social Hour

C. Charles Jackson Campus Center Banquet Rooms
Visit display of local producers and soil and agricultrual organizations.
Cash bar available.
6 p.m.

Taste of the Minnesota River Valley Dinner

C. Charles Jackson Campus Center Banquet Rooms
We are blessed with some of the best soil in the world. The Taste of the Minnesota River Valley will feature local foods and opportunity to learn more about the this amazing soil, how it imacpts what is grown, and how what is produced here reaches around the world.
Dinner is sponsored by the County Farm Bureau of Organization of Brown, Blue Earth, LeSeuer, and Nicollet Counties.
7:30 p.m.

Optional Guided Tour of the Prairie in the Linnaeus Arboretum

Optional Field Trip at 10:30 a.m. - Noon
A Hundred Years of Landscape Change on Nicollet County Soils.

Led by Robert Moline, PhD, retired professor of geography at GustavusBob Moline

The 1860 landscape of south central Minnesota was wetter than it is today. Lakes, marshes, sloughs, potholes, were numerous and for a while farmers adjusted to these wetlands and harvested wild grasses, reeds, rushes, wild rice from some of them each fall. But the major transformation came with the introduction of land drainage systems beginning in the late 1800s. Today the landscape is drier. Even 1300+ acre Timber Lake was drained and cropped. This field trip will stop at Timber lake-bed and we’ll have some conversations about the conflicting perceptions of wetland.

Meet at the Lind Interpretive Center to depart together via bus.
No cost. SOLD OUT.

 The 2018 Lineaus Symposium is funded in part by a gift from Unimin and Prairie Restoration. Unimin Farm BureauPrairie Restoration