509: Dr. Elise Gornish on Seed Balls.
Giving nature a helping hand by restoring vegetation.
In This Podcast:
How can we revitalize arid areas in a logistically feasible way? Dr. Elise Gornish walks us through the process of working with land and stakeholders to restore their land using seed balls. Learn about seed balls: making them, how they work, and strategies for small or large scale production. She also gives tips on creating invasion resilience and deterring invasive weeds while encouraging native plants. Full of great info for teachers, parents, and environmental enthusiasts!
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Elise is a Cooperative Extension Specialist in Ecological Restoration at the University of Arizona. Her research and outreach program largely focuses on identifying strategies for successful restoration in arid land systems and integration of restoration approaches into weed management.
Originally from New York, she received her MS and PhD from Florida State University in 2013. She then completed two years of a post doc at the University of California, Davis before becoming a Cooperative Extension Specialist in Ecological Restoration at UC Davis. Then in 2017 she moved to Tucson AZ!
Seed ball super hero Elise is an early career leader in the fields of arid land restoration and weed management, and has published over 40 papers and has presented over 150 times at various venues.
Listen in and learn about:
- How she went from not enjoying science to becoming a Cooperative Extension Specialist in Ecological Restoration
- Seed balls what they look like, are made of, and how they work
- How to restore arid areas
- The process for working with landholders and stakeholders to restore land
- Designing strategies that are logistically feasible and cost effective
- How to make seed balls at home
- Equipment for making large amounts of seed balls
- The kinds of seeds you should use with seed balls
- Arizona’s invasion of the stinknet weed (globe chamomile) and creating invasion resilience
- Shading out invasive plants to allow the native plants to move in
- When to restore using non-native plants
As well as:
Her failure – Failing to interview the stakeholder and collaborating with them.
Her success – Figuring out the balance between work and motherhood.
Her drive – Knowing you are helping people in their livelihood and making science inclusive and diverse.
Her advice – Everyone has the capacity to make change in the environment when we act collectively.
Elise’s post on our Blog:
“How seed balls can save the world” – an article
Elise’s Book recommendations*:
How to reach Elise: