Oliver Chadwick Makes Cameo Appearance in Soil Documentary Feature Film


“Symphony of the Soil” is a 104-minute documentary feature film, produced and directed by Deborah Koons Garcia, that explores the complexity and mystery of soil. Filmed on four continents and sharing the voices of some of the world’s most esteemed soil scientists, farmers, and activists, the film portrays soil as a protagonist of our planetary story.

Using a captivating mix of art and science, the film shows that soil is a complex living organism, the foundation of life on earth. Yet most people are soil-blind and “treat soil like dirt.” Through the knowledge and wisdom revealed in this film, we can come to respect, even revere, this miraculous substance, and appreciate that treating the soil right can help solve some of our most pressing environmental problems. In addition to the feature film, there are several short films, Sonatas of the Soil, that delve deeply into soil-related topics, and several short clips that are available to stream on the film’s website (source).

UCSB Geography’s Oliver Chadwick is one of the “world’s most esteemed soil scientists” who makes a cameo appearance in the documentary. Check out the 2+ minute trailer at vimeo.com. (Editor’s note: Many thanks to Associate Specialist Seth Peterson for bringing this material to our attention.)

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Screen print of Oliver’s cameo appearance

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Oliver Chadwick’s Soil Science Group in the Department of Geography is currently involved with projects in Southern Spain (Bedrock Stream Incision), California (Predictive Soil Mapping and Soil-landscape Modeling), Hawaii (Silicon Isotope Geochemistry and Time-Climate Matrix), and the Amazon (Soil Biogeochemistry)—see http://www.geog.ucsb.edu/pedology/ for details.