our story

in 2015, graduate students at University of California, Davis were invited to a hearing on the state Healthy Soils Initiative. listening to the various stakeholders, they witnessed first hand the power of storytelling to captivate an audience, but also the challenges of communicating uncertainty and nuance regarding the dynamic nature of soil.

capitalizing on the momentum of the UN International Year of Soil, they started a seminar to discuss and develop science communication. the seminar evolved into a campaign to raise awareness about the value and importance of soil, which caught the attention of the Natural Resource Conservation Service and ultimately, led to a collaboration to produce this website and the tools housed within it.

we hope you dig it!

our mission


to inspire the next generation of soil explorers for the benefit of all


to educate that soils are living bodies that harbor a diversity of life, and support and sustain life as we know it


to empower young people with solutions to some of our greatest global challenges; solutions that lie right beneath our feet!

our vision

a world in which people love and protect the soil upon which we all depend; a world where consumers value products grown in healthy soils; where agriculture regenerates, rather than degrades, the soil, and businesses find profitable ways to source products without external environmental costs.

our values




the dirty truth


common ground






deep roots


explore new depths




organic growth

our team

jessica chiartas

founder, director

autumn ward

producer, animator

kabir zahangir

NRCS, soil health specialist

sinead santich


elisa massenzio

lead designer

stephanie lew

content development

anna gomes

content development

billy le

web development

contact us


We would like to acknowldege the following for their contributions:

Adapted Figures

The Nature and Property of Soils by Nyle Brady & Ray Weil

(Soil 101 - Nexus/Soil Forming Factors, Soil Processes; Soil 101/Diversity/Pedogenesis; Soil 101/Physics/Organic Matter)


Jim Richardson - National Geographic

(Home Page (Header Photo, Dig Deeper); Soil 101/Soil Diversity (Header Photo), Soil 101/Soil Health (Header Photo), Soils at Risk - Erosion, Salinization)

For the Love of Soil - Yamina Pressler

(Soil 101/Soil Physics/Structure - Wedge)

All other photos were licensed from Adobe Stock or sourced under creative commons. All content is protected under fair use, as this website is 'not-for-profit' and intended for educational purposes only.