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Soil Stories

Soil Stories was born out of a collaborative effort between the Earth Sciences and Resources Institute-University of SC and SC NRCS.

Dr. Buz Kloot, the film’s director, cinematographer, scriptwriter, and editor, worked with SC NRCS State Soil Scientist Pam Thomas to get all the information about soils across, but in a way that was engaging. “While facts came easy, it's not always easy to be engaging on this subject,” admitted Kloot. Until that is, when Kloot gained insight at a ScienceFilm workshop in Washington State. Someone suggested to him, "why don't you make a movie about people who have a relationship with the soil?" Well, the rest is history, and Soil Stories does just that.

In the production, our main character, Francine, embarks on a journey of discovery that begins with her realization that soil is alive and that without soil, life as we know it would not exist.

In her journey of discovery she meets with soil scientists who help her “see” beneath the surface of the soil and help her understand how diverse yet ordered soil bodies are in the landscape and how much work has been done in soil survey.

In the second half of the story, Francine meets with characters that help her take an up close and personal look at some physical and biological attributes of soils without which they would not function. In the final part of the video, a character from history, Mr. Hugh Hammond Bennett (“Big Hugh”) shares an epiphany about soils with Francine and translates this to modern terms.

Chapter 1 of 5: Discovery from SC-NRCS & ESRI-SC Partnership on Vimeo.