On Tuesday June 24, 2014, Congressman McNerney (D-CA) gave a floor speech on the research conducted in the Berhe Biogeochemistry lab at UC Merced.
The speech that the congressman gave included: “In the midst of California’s worst drought on record, researchers at UC Merced are studying the effects that drought, fire and global climate change are having on soil and water resources. One such researcher, Dr. Berhe is supported by the National Science Foundation to investigate the implications of fire, erosion, and climate change on soil processes. Catastrophic events, such as California’s Rim Fire which burned over 250,000 acres in the Sierra Nevada last year, can alter the soil carbon storage potential and water holding capacity. Additionally, changes in climate and drought also lower the water holding capacity of meadow soils and lead to high rates of surface runoff. These changes affect the ability of the soil to help regulate the climate and store water in the Sierra Nevada, California’s largest source of water storage. Research like Dr. Berhe’s is critical for addressing challenges to the soil’s ability to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide, water security and the health of the ecosystem.”
Previously, Asmeret also met and discussed research in our lab with Congressman Costa (D-CA); Congressman McNearney (D-CA); congressional staff from the offices of Congressmen Garamendi, McClintock, Denham, and Valadao; and staffers from Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer’s offices in Washington DC, on May 7, 2014.