USDA Scholars at Verde Elementary

Field Team for Soil Microbiome Project


CCC’s Biotechnology program has developed a partnership with a community group called Urban Tilth to study the soil as they develop it at their North Richmond Farm. Urban Tilth has been active in Richmond for over 10 years with a mission is to build a healthy, sustainable, and just food system. CCC’s biotechnology program will contribute microbiome information about the living organisms that Urban Tilth is nurturing in the soil to turn barren land into a really productive food source for the community!

Our Field team gathers samples from North Richmond farm and documents farm conditions so we can test ideas about how the soil micribiome relates to the development of a productive farm.

Short-term course:  One training afternoon and another afternoon sampling at the farm.  Write to for information about the Fall 2018 sampling project.

What will I be doing as a member of the Field Team?

  • Attend a 1-2 hour training session on CCC’s campus to learn techniques
  • Spend 3-4 hours on-site at Urban Tilth’s North Richmond farm on the sampling day
  • Collect and document samples in the field according to protocols developed by core lab team
  • Ecological observations of field site
  • Interviews with ‘client’ – Urban Tilth to document their observations
  • Opportunity to use and/or develop “apps” and digital workflows to help with this data collection
  • Prepare and present scientific communications about field observations to the core lab team
  • This is a much less intense experience than the core lab team, and could not be characterized as an internship experience. It is an introductory science-based activity that will help you explore your interest in science and community

A project of Contra Costa College’s Biotechnology Program with support from:  CCC, CA’s Strong Workforce Program funds, Deputy Sector Navigator

Developed and led by:  Dr. Katherine Krolikowski, Biotechnology Program Coordinator – In Partnership with:   Doria Robinson, Director of Urban Tilth, Dr. Rajnish Khanna, Founder and President of iCultiver, Dr. Devin Coleman-Derr, USDA-UC Berkeley PGEC, Brian Williams, Laboratory Technician, CCC Biotech Department


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