Lauren Hale graduated with a Bachelors of Science from North Carolina State University in 2007. During her time there she studied the use of bacteria to degrade pollutants such as gasoline additives and chlorinated solvents. In 2009 she began a Ph.D. program at the University of California, Riverside where she currently researches the suitability of biochar to deliver plant growth-promoting bacteria into agricultural soils. When she completes her Ph.D. she hopes to continue to work with biochar and beneficial microorganisms and microbial generated enzymes of environmental significance.

About TEDx:
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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Biochar – the future of sustainable agriculture: Lauren Hale at TEDxUCR

About The Author


  • Charina Razon

    very informative and educational video Ms. Lauren Hale… more biochar topics please.. What is Teripreta? please elaborate

  • Colin Ely

    WTF, a COMPLETE IDIOT! Ocean Acidification? Our Oceans are decidedly Alkaline, pH may change by a point or two but no way can you talk about Acidification. You just lost me with this talk and its not yet Two Minutes into the video!

  • Colin Ely

    How was this idiot allowed to present a public talk. Global CO2 levels have been both higher and lower in Earths past. Cut the CAGW BULLSHIT! No Global warming for 18 years. just concentrate on Biochar's horticultural benefits.

  • mycameraview

    A typical 1870-present view on carbon emissions. How about doing some research and study what the geological record is telling us?

  • vmwindustries

    Low oxygen burn. Biochar is teaching people to cover their burn. They can learn how to make their earth produce more instead of burning to ash, and putting more into the air. That's what I got out of it at least. They are going to burn the turf anyway.

  • vmwindustries

    Poor woman has the sound technologists mess everything up! Lol, horrible, but she took it live, like a champion! Kept pushing through! Good on her!

  • Phil Rowe

    🙂 ALL BOGUS, and don't get me started with this deceitful "sustainable agriculture" business, or I'll flood this page with REAL SCIENTIFIC FACTS, not bogus ted x talks to boneheads who're so full of your gmo and other crud, they can't think straight :(

  • Dipak M Pandya

    Good Talking ABout Biochar Very true and future all about climate change and here we have available Carbon Negative soooo Go for Biochar ….. Green Future Waiting for Us when we use Biochar Superb Amazing
    And Amazing Presentation
    Thank You Lauren Hale

  • Neil Blanchard

    Biochar means that we do not need artificial chemical fertilizers.  And since the plants are stronger, they are able to resist pests, so we do not need pesticides.  Biochar stops erosion, and stops fertilizer runoff.

  • Luis Sarmento

    'Biochar' is charcoal used as fertiliser.

    It seems, to me, a waste to use charcoal as fertiliser when biogas (bio-methane) can be produced from the same organic waste. The bi product resulting from this process is a high nutrient fertiliser with the added value of producing natural gas with a reduced carbon footprint. Thus, to use charcoal as fertiliser misses out on one other potential use of the biomass pre carbon capturing.

    Furthermore, there is a growing industry focusing on the concept of cascading, reusing organic waste from other industries as input. This concept would reduce the biomass available for this industries.

    Good idea but it does not seem to be a long term solution.

  • hcmwed

    So you heat the material to very hot temperatures while starving it of oxygen to make char, I understand that, but you forgot to mention how it is heated. How much carbon dioxide are you releasing into the atmosphere to produce this piece of carbon that you put in the ground? Sounds like a hoax to me just like the wind generators that  use more power to build and maintain than they will ever produce. This liberal logic makes no sense.

  • Natural Ponds Lakes & Streams by Spring Creek Aquatic Concepts

    First, this may just be me, but unnecessary new names for old materials like CHARCOAL are just annoying.  

    Second, one of the benefits for rerecognizing the benefits of CHARCOAL will be that it can be better valued in the ecology of wetlands.  It also supports our ecological ( the science, not the social phenomenon ) position that marshes need to burn!  We are over a century behind on burning marshes to restore their health.  Excavating most natural wetlands will reveal buried layers of charcoal which can now be recognized for their important ecological value ( yes, the science again ).  

    Now before the emotionally driven start whining about the perception of atmospheric carbon, there is a way to restore marshes without directly burning.  You will all have to come to terms with heavy equipment removing peat soils to simulate the burning process.  Then charcoal can be placed to fill the function of the naturally occurring charcoal.  For the carbon-sensitive, this still keeps carbon in soils since the peat soils would be removed and utilized in other soils that need augmentation.  

    To those who are up in arms about peat moss, guess what,  those marshes are also suppose to burn.   None of this is as simple as your local environmental group likes to claim.  

    If anyone needs a few hundred train loads of peat soil, I know a dying 10,000 acre marsh that could use your help!  A century ago it was one of the most productive ecosystems in North America.

  • Green Infrastructure Buffalo NY Buffalo NY

    "No Idea" about the Real World…… ! 
    Thats what. 
    Yes, there is climate "disruption" but all this has much more to do with that these "kids" learn in school. 
    Farming – traditional agriculture – is the #1 leading cause of "GHGs". Yes. I said it. Check it out. Carbon is stored in soils – about 35%. When farmers plow, they release CO2 in to the atmosphere. Address this issue – BEYONF Biochar. There is no Silver Bullet or Panacea as these kids are taught. No. 
    It is a process and management method that changes it all. Biochar is great, but it is NOT – NOT – the answer. Sure, it is great and has been around for millenia…. but these "kids" in college are somehow inspired to think that Biochar and Terra Preta is the Silver Bullet. There are those of us out there that have been working with soils and ecology and the global environment for a long, long time – and not just for our thesis. 

    What the hell are we teaching these kids? Sure, a lot of it is good and these kids are no dummies; but, there is FAR more out there that is relevant than what they convey here on some TEDx video!

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