close up of young wheat planted for winter covered with ice crystals and frost

Advancing DEI in Sharing Carbon & Ecosystems Services Information

Generating Soil Health Solutions

Program Contact

Lakisha Odom, PH.D.

Year Awarded   2022

FFAR award amount   $100,000

Total award amount   $200,000

Location   Madison, WI

Matching Funders   American Society of Agronomy (ASA), the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and the Soil Science Society of America

Carbon Markets Are Growing, But Trusted, Unbiased Information About Them Is Limited

Carbon credits, also known as carbon offsets, are permits that represent the equivalent of one ton of carbon dioxide removed and sequestered from the atmosphere. In the U.S., credits can be purchased or traded through carbon markets. Trusted, unbiased information about these markets and supporting programs are limited. In 2021, the Tri-Societies began building a source for science-based information to assist all populations working in agronomy, crops, soils and agriculture at large to understand and adopt carbon programs that curb climate change emissions and evaluate the science behind practices and markets. The Decode 6 website, launched Nov. 2022, is the result of this effort. FFAR has invested $100,000, with an equivalent match from Tri-Societies, to develop inclusivity and accessibility tools into the website so the information is understandable and accessible to everyone, especially within underserved communities.

This partnership between FFAR and Tri-Societies allows Decode 6 to reach underserved communities that are looking to better understand and leverage opportunities in carbon and ecosystem services markets. But it’s not just a one-way push of educational materials to these communities. Through this partnership, Decode 6 will work directly with individuals in underserved communities to co-create actionable education materials related to carbon, markets and economics, water, nutrients, biodiversity and habitat and climate. Chris Boomsma
Director of science & strategy for Decode 6

About the Decode 6 Website

The Decode 6 website provides free educational resources in carbon and ecosystem services and their respective markets for the agricultural and environmental sectors. It is named for carbon, the sixth element on the periodic table.

The website covers six key topic areas, including:

  1. Carbon
  2. Markets and economics,
  3. Water
  4. Nutrients
  5. Biodiversity and habitat
  6. Climate

The information is provided in bite-sized, science-based information question-and-answer format. Podcasts, videos and short articles seek to answer the key questions farmers, in-field advisers, agricultural retailers, conservationists, market providers and policymakers need to evaluate today’s opportunities in carbon and ecosystem services practices and markets.

Decode 6 website screenshot

Accessing science-based, unbiased information on emerging carbon markets and programs can often be challenging. FFAR is excited to support Decode 6 in providing equitable access to practical agricultural information and enabling more informed decision-making. LaKisha Odom, Ph.D.
Scientific Program Director Soil Health

Why Website Accessibility Is Important?

Website accessibility is the inclusive practice of ensuring there are no barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to, websites by people with physical disabilities, situational disabilities or other impairments or limitations. It ensures the information on a website is accessible to all.

The accessibility features FFAR is supporting for the Decode 6 website include:

  1. Closed captioning and transcripts for videos and podcasts for the visually and hearing impaired
  2. language translation services for Latino communities
  3. Collaboration with 1890s Land-Grant Universities for content development and focused outreach to people of color.

How This Research Contributes to Our Mission

FFAR’s Soil Health Challenge Area supports sustainable on-farm practices from the ground-up, creating innovative solutions to improve soil health from measurement to adoption. FFAR also values and integrates diversity, equity and inclusion into its efforts to ensure our work reaches everyone.

Matching Funders

Decode 6 was founded by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), collectively known as the Tri-Societies. FFAR has invested $100,000, with an equivalent match from Tri-Societies, to develop inclusivity and accessibility tools into Decode 6.

ASA is a progressive international scientific and professional society that empowers scientists, educators and practitioners in developing, disseminating and applying agronomic solutions to feed and sustain the world. Based in Madison, ASA is the professional home for over 7,000 members and over 12,000 certified professionals (Certified Crop Advisers) dedicated to advancing the field of agronomy.

CSSA is a progressive international scientific society that fosters the vision to improve the world through crop science. Based in Madison and founded in 1956, CSSA is the professional home for over 4,000 members dedicated to discovering and applying plant science solutions to improve the human condition and protect the planet.

SSSA is a progressive international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for over 6,000 members and over 800 certified professionals dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. The organization provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, forestry, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, urban uses, mining and reclamation, and across many closely related scientific disciplines and applied fields.

Due to their common interests, ASA, CSSA and SSSA share a cooperative relationship under the management and administrative support services of the Alliance of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science Societies (ACSESS). Each organization is autonomous with its own bylaws and governing boards of directors.

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