You are invited to experience the fascinating underworld of desert soils.
You won’t believe what is happening under your feet.
If we could see the intricate systems that hum along invisibly underground, we would likely fight harder to protect our desert landscapes from unnecessary disturbance.
Research around the world is showing that the biggest contributors to soil stability in deserts are the smallest of microorganisms. Tiny microbes are actually holding our vast desert landscapes together.
The valuable role of these hidden microorganisms in keeping our air cleaner, preventing dust storms, controlling erosion, and helping us reduce carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere is enormous, but that role is mostly overlooked and unappreciated when we make land-use decisions about our desert.
Our “Desert Underground” program shares the story of our hidden soil magicians that work together to physically connect all the plants in the landscape in order to share food, moisture, and information while capturing and storing carbon underground.
This critical partnership between desert microbes, plants, and soils protects the desert’s potential for carbon sequestration and storage, our air quality, our health, our economy, our landscape, our ecotourism, our property values, and our quality of life – if the soil is left intact and alive.
The Desert Underground
Book by Robin Kobaly
We have several ways for you to tour this fascinating underworld, including an engaging book with original art to depict the surprising happenings in desert soils, an illustrated lecture series, periodic special exhibits, and a documentary film that is currently under development.
The Desert Underground Book
This graphic book offers a virtual tour of the hidden but magnificent “Desert Underground,” a realm that silently works under our feet every day. This colorful book, created with original artwork, photography, and graphics, leads viewers along an illustrated tour through our desert soils, delving deeper and deeper into the underground. In pictures and text, this book reveals the amazing partnerships that connect every plant underground across the landscape. Readers can visually follow the interlocking biological and geological systems that work together to create a surprising carbon sponge, actually helping combat climate change wherever desert soils remain intact.
The Desert Underground Exhibit
We periodically present our “Desert Underground” program as a special walk-through exhibit that showcases dozens of display panels of original art and graphics that lead viewers on a virtual tour of the desert’s amazingly alive soils. A previous exhibit was featured at the 2019 Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition in September 2019 at the 29 Palms Inn in Twentynine Palms, CA.
For an overview of the hidden but magnificent realm that works silently underground every day, read the feature article, “The Desert Under Our Feet” written by Robin Kobaly in the March 2019 issue of The Desert Report.