Nobel Conference 54

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

All sessions will be live streamed and archived
8:30 a.m.

Doors Open

Lund Arena

9:15 a.m.

Musical Prelude - Gustavus Wind Orchestra

9:30 a.m.

Academic Procession and Opening Ceremony

Welcome, Rebecca M. Bergman, President of the College
Nobel Conference 54 Introduction to the Big Questions and Themes, 2018 Nobel Conference Co-Chair

10 a.m.

Lecture by David Montgomery, PhD

Dr. David Montgomery, Professor of Earth and Space Sciences,University of Washington, and MacArthur Fellow

Montgomery will lay the case for an agriculture that is profitable while also helping feed us all, cool the planet, and restore life to the land.

10:45 a.m.

Panel Discussion and Audience Q&A

The speakers will discuss and take question on the implications of the ways we have understood soil throughout history.

11:30 a.m.


Interactive exhibits open for high school attendees

12:45 p.m.

Musical Prelude - Gustavus Wind Symphony

1 p.m.

Lecture by Claire Chenu, PhD

Dr. Claire Chenu, Professor of Soil Science, AgroParisTech and United Nations Special Ambassador for the 2015 International Year of Soils.

Chenu will consider how organic matter helps increase the soil’s capacity to sequester carbon--and the limits to this capacity.

1:45 p.m.

Lecture by Rattan Lal, PhD

Dr. Rattan Lal, Professor of Soil Sciences, Ohio State University and member of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Lal’s research has shown how soil tillage practices can help reduce atmospheric CO2 concentration. Here, he will consider the roles soil plays in the global flow of carbon.


2:15 p.m.


2:30 p.m.

Panel Discussion and Audience Q & A

The speakers will discuss and take questions on the role of soil in carbon sequestration, and the global climate.

3:30 p.m.

Dirt Tours

Enhance your learning and get some fresh air by taking in one or all of these “dirt-related” tours on the Gustavus campus:

  • Big Hill Farm, a student-run garden
  • “Till Hill,” a display of antique and contemporary soil tilling equipment
  • Geology department museum
  • Linnaeus Arboretum tours
  • Soil pit tour
  • “Field” tour of corn and soybeans

Or take a tour of the Gustavus campus.
All tours depart from the Lund Center Forum (basketball court)

No ticket required and not live streamed.

5 p.m.

Dinner Break

6-8 p.m.

Hillstrom Museum of Art Opening Reception

Hillstrom Museum of Art, Jackson Campus Center, Reception
No ticket required and not live streamed.

6:30 p.m.

The Soil Experience

An up-close exploration of the science, art and symbolism of soil. You may even get dirt under your fingernails in these hands-on displays and activities.
Lund Forum
No ticket required and not live streamed.

8 p.m.

Music at the Nobel Conference

Bjorling Recital Hall
No ticket required

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

All sessions will be live streamed and archived
Time Event
8:30 a.m.

Doors Open

Lund Arena

9:15 a.m.

Music Prelude - Gustavus Symphony Orchestra

9:30 a.m.

Lecture by Frank Uekotter, PhD

Dr. Frank Uekotter, Reader in Environmental Humanities, University of Birmingham.

Soils are multidimensional, but we study and manage them in ways that can be described as “fundamentalistic.” Uekotter explores what fundamentalist practices like monocropping say about us as humans.

10:15 a.m.

Lecture by Ray Archuleta

Ray Archuleta, conservation agronomist at Soil Health Consulting and retired soil educator (“Ray the Soil Guy”), at the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Archuleta will discuss how agricultural producers can negotiate the sometimes-conflicting demands of the economy and the soil. How do farmers balance the economic realities of agriculture and their desire to care for the soil that sustains them?

11 a.m.


11:15 a.m.

Panel Discussion and Audience Q & A

The speakers will discuss and take questions on negotiating economics and environment.

12 p.m.


1:15 p.m.

Music Prelude - Gustavus Jazz Ensemble

1:30 p.m.

Lecture by Jack Gilbert, PhD

Dr. Jack Gilbert, Professor in Department of Surgery and Faculty Director, The Microbiome Center, University of Chicago.

Through the Earth Microbiome Project (EMP), Jack Gilbert and his colleagues are using crowdsourcing techniques to study the microbial makeup of the planet. The EMP is revealing vast diversity in the microbial communities in our soil. Gilbert explores what we can learn from this diversity, and what the variations in these communities mean for humans.

2:15 p.m.

Lecture by Suzanne Simard, PhD

Dr. Suzanne Simard, Professor of Forest Ecology, University of British Columbia, featured in the documentary “Intelligent Trees.”

Simard introduced the concept of a “mother tree,” the hub of a network of trees that communicate with each other through mycorrhizal relationships--connections facilitated by microscopic fungi in the soil. Simard will discuss her own scientific journey to understand how trees use these relationships to communicate about food sources, and about pests and other dangers.

3 p.m.


3:15 p.m.

Panel Discussion and Audience Q & A

The speakers will discuss and take questions on major scientific discoveries about life in the soil.

4 p.m.


5 p.m.

Nobel Conference Banquet Doors Open

Cec Eckhoff Alumni Hall, O.J. Johnson Student Union

5:30 p.m.

Nobel Conference Banquet 

Cec Eckhoff Alumni Hall, O.J. Johnson Student Union

Bring what we have learned about soil to what is served on the dinner plate. While dining on locally-sourced food, learn about the ways soil creates our food and drink.

Banquet ticket required.
This event will not be live streamed