Buz, a University of Cape Town alum and former chemical engineer, shifted to the U.S. for an MBA at the University of South Carolina. Initially struggling with his environmental consulting firm, he later joined USC as a research assistant professor, focusing on water quality. Inspired by Ray Archuleta in 2010, Buz pivoted to advocating for soil health as a key to improving water quality, using storytelling and collaborative farming research. He is a Research Associate Professor at USC with degrees in Chemical Engineering, an MBA, and a PhD.
Gabe, originally from Omaha, Nebraska, joined as a research professor after completing his PhD with Buz at the University of South Carolina. With a background in agriculture and food safety, influenced by his family's farming history and his father's USDA career, Gabe's expertise lies in molecular biology. He holds a Biology degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, a Master of Public Health from Kansas State University, and a PhD in Environmental Health Sciences. His current work focuses on promoting sustainable agricultural practices and exploring nutrient cycling potential and plant-soil microbe interactions in healthy soil systems.
Barrett, who attended the University of South Carolina and earned an Occupational Technology degree from Midlands Technical Institute, ventured into the audio/video field before transitioning to graphic design in 2011. He has developed brand identities for numerous small businesses and provided graphic content for major sports media, including Bleacher Report, Athlon Sports, and ESPN affiliates. Expanding his skills, Barrett also delved into copywriting and social media management, offering global clients a range of services from graphic design to videography and photography since 2016.
Joe, a Virginia native who spent 10 years in Utah, is now a gardener and educator in South Carolina. He developed an interest in soil health while working on a permaculture farm in Utah. Joe holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural education, a master's in applied economics, and is pursuing a PhD in environmental health science. His expertise includes community gardens, vegetable production, and urban agriculture. A significant experience was studying medicinal plants and community gardens in Peruvian refugee communities, which deepened his understanding of the link between environmental and human health. He actively works in community gardens, particularly with refugees.
Michael Sausen, born in Minnesota and raised in Montana, brings a diverse skill set to the Soil Health Labs team, including video production, marketing, SEO, and website design. His background in video production laid the groundwork for his later focus on digital marketing and SEO, enhancing online visibility for various projects. His upbringing in Montana's natural landscapes influences his commitment to environmental sustainability, a key aspect of his role in the team.
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