Professor Tim Bowles Recognized for Climate Change Leadership
BFI’s Co-Associate Faculty Director receives the Climate Leadership Award at the California Climate and Agriculture Summit.
Today, the BFI staff is in Davis, California for the 7th California Climate and Agriculture Summit, organized by the California Climate & Agriculture Network (CalCAN). We are here alongside farmers, ranchers, researchers, food advocates, policymakers, and students to discuss the state’s climate plans, healthy soil practices, secure land tenure, and other issues and solutions from leaders working to curb the climate crisis through the food system.
This morning, CalCAN started the program by presenting the four awardees of this year’s Climate Leadership Award, including BFI’s own Co-Associate Faculty Director Tim Bowles.
CalCAN presents the Climate Leadership Awards to “individuals who have made outstanding contributions in their fields to accelerate a transition to a healthy, just and climate-resilient farming system.” The award also signifies leaders who have taken a cross-disciplinary, holistic approach.
This year, CalCAN recognized one person each in the categories of policymaker, farmer, technical assistance provider, and researcher. The first three awards were given to Assemblymemeber Robert Rivas, Ellee Igoe of Solidary Farm in San Diego County, and Sacha Lozano from the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County.
As an assistant professor of Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture Systems at UC Berkeley, Tim Bowles focuses his research on soil health, and how biodiversity and ecological processes on farms can help build resilient and productive agricultural systems through healthy soil. His work includes on-farm trials at the Oxford Tract at UC Berkeley as well as collaborations with farmers and other researchers throughout the UC system. He leads the Berkeley Agroecology Lab.
Overall, Bowles’s research is aimed at the goal of transitioning our food system from one built on synthetic inputs to one that works with the land and its ecological functions. This work is particularly important as researchers attempt to harness agriculture as a climate change solution rather than a primary contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
In California’s drought conditions, water efficiency via agroecological practices is another boon to a water insecure farming sector. Bowles recently co-authored a BFI policy brief with Alastair Iles and Joanna Ory that introduces healthy soils practices as an essential strategy for adapting to a state with less water.
Congratulations, Tim and other CalCAN Climate Leadership Award winners, and thank you for your timely and important work.
- Joanna Ory, Timothy Bowles, and Alastair Iles, “Connecting Soil Health and Water in California,” Berkeley Food Institute, May 2022.
- Renata Brillinger, “Agriculture Experts to be Recognized for their Leadership on Climate Change,” CalCAN blog, October, 2022.