RSE awarded Graham Foundation Grant to extend research.
The global challenge of rapidly declining vegetative cover is being addressed by massive replanting projects that cross territorial, political, and cultural boundaries. The impulse to cultivate arid land is based on the requisite of combating the effects of desertification. Cultivating Scale proposes to reveal the elements that are essential to planting as a defense, to raise awareness of how these projects are transforming the environment. The tension between engineering infrastructure and cultivating healthy ecosystems is at the root of this topic, as projects span continents and range in the tens of millions of hectares. The varying frameworks and techniques that allow new plant cover to be introduced will be studied to form a critical perspective of each project, using historical, current, and future procedures. Because planting is the necessary foundation, Cultivating Scale will telescope across stages that consider the role of individual species from innovative seed mechanics to bionetworks.