The Urban

SoiL Handbook:

FIELD AND LAB MANUAL

"My mission is to bring awareness to communities about the critical importance of soil health for growing nutritious food and medicine, for supporting healthy contaminant-free ecosystems, and for helping to safely store harmful greenhouse gases"

- Anna A. Paltseva, Ph.D

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Learn all about soil and the amazing world beneath your feet from award winning educator Dr. Anna A. Paltseva, The Soil Protector.

Dr. Paltseva’s book, DOWN and DIRTY - The Urban Soil Handbook: Field and Lab Manual, showcases 20 easily accomplished activities geared toward providing information you’ll want to understand about soil before you start planting an urban vegetable or medicinal herb garden. 

Soil structure, texture, water retention, acidity and metal contamination are legitimate factors to be considered when determining the best use and highest nutritional crops suitable for the soil available in urban environments. Each activity is a stand alone and does not require sequential completion. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Anna A. Paltseva received her first degree in Ecology and Nature Management from the North Caucasus Federal University in Russia. After she moved to the United States, she obtained a second B.S. degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Brooklyn College of The City University of New York. Recently, she received a Ph.D. degree from The Graduate Center of The City University of New York in Earth and Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Geology. Her dissertation thesis focused on understanding the levels of contamination and risks of consuming vegetables grown in soils with lead and arsenic. Dr. Paltseva was recently awarded the City of New York, 2019 Graduate Center Award for Excellence in Teaching

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ABOUT the author

When I was 8 years old, I was playing with dirt. I crushed bricks and rocks to make different dyes, squeezed juice from plants and added dry leaves into my mixtures. I had an assistant, my girlfriend who lived nearby, she was also a student in my virtual classroom and I liked to give her grades. Twenty years later, I conduct soil laboratory analyses in a real soil research lab with my undergraduate assistants and I teach students about soils.

I grew up in a beautiful country house in the south of Russia with a big garden and a stream running at the bottom of a hill. As I was learning about environmental issues growing up in this pollution- free setting, I was determined to pursue professional education in ecology. I received my first degree in Ecology and Nature Management from the North Caucasus Federal University in Russia. After I moved to the United States, I obtained a second B.S. degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Brooklyn College of The City University of New York. Recently, I have received a Ph.D. degree from The Graduate Center of The City University of New York in Earth and Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Geology. My dissertation thesis is focused on understanding the levels of contamination, and risks of consuming vegetables grown in soils with lead and arsenic.

My mission is to bring awareness to communities about the critical importance of soil health for growing nutritious food and medicine, for supporting healthy ecosystems, and for helping to safely store harmful greenhouse gases. My research addresses important basic and applied science questions associated with contaminants in urban soils, especially lead and arsenic. For the last five years, I have been teaching a wide range of students from college freshmen to continuing education adults at New York University (Environmental System Science), Brooklyn College of the City University of New York (Environmental Aspects of Urban Soils, Geology, Introduction to Environmental Sciences, Geographic Information Systems), the New York Botanical Garden (Soil Science, Plant Science), and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Soil Management, Environmental Science). My goal with this manual is to make soil science available and accessible to all who are motivated to make a difference from the ground up.

ABOUT the author

When I was 8 years old, I was playing with dirt. I crushed bricks and rocks to make different dyes, squeezed juice from plants and added dry leaves into my mixtures. I had an assistant, my girlfriend who lived nearby, she was also a student in my virtual classroom and I liked to give her grades. Twenty years later, I conduct soil laboratory analyses in a real soil research lab with my undergraduate assistants and I teach students about soils.

I grew up in a beautiful country house in the south of Russia with a big garden and a stream running at the bottom of a hill. As I was learning about environmental issues growing up in this pollution- free setting, I was determined to pursue professional education in ecology. I received my first degree in Ecology and Nature Management from the North Caucasus Federal University in Russia. After I moved to the United States, I obtained a second B.S. degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Brooklyn College of The City University of New York. Recently, I have received a Ph.D. degree from The Graduate Center of The City University of New York in Earth and Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Geology. My dissertation thesis is focused on understanding the levels of contamination, and risks of consuming vegetables grown in soils with lead and arsenic.

My mission is to bring awareness to communities about the critical importance of soil health for growing nutritious food and medicine, for supporting healthy ecosystems, and for helping to safely store harmful greenhouse gases. My research addresses important basic and applied science questions associated with contaminants in urban soils, especially lead and arsenic. For the last five years, I have been teaching a wide range of students from college freshmen to continuing education adults at New York University (Environmental System Science), Brooklyn College of the City University of New York (Environmental Aspects of Urban Soils, Geology, Introduction to Environmental Sciences, Geographic Information Systems), the New York Botanical Garden (Soil Science, Plant Science), and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Soil Management, Environmental Science). My goal with this manual is to make soil science available and accessible to all who are motivated to make a difference from the ground up.