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Agroecosystems, Illustrated

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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I didn’t set out to draw science comics; I wanted to be an all-around science communicator. I just happened to find my voice with comics. But lately I’ve been wanting to do more–I want to explain current research in my Beatrice-y way. I took to Twitter to gauge interest in a science comic/illustrator/weirdo such as myself helping researchers with outreach.

One professor who was willing to experiment with such a collaboration was Christopher Smith from Earlham College. He’s working on a large project comparing the soil ecosystems across varied agricultural lands: ones that grow corn, ones that grow soy; soil that is tilled, soil that is not tilled. Part of the project is making educational modules using the data, which will all be publicly available (I’ll post an update when the data is accessible). You can also contact Professor Smith with questions:

And so, behold: an illustrated introduction to this project!

Click the image to view it larger, or download the pdf.

Katie McKissick About the Author: Katie McKissick is a former high school biology teacher turned science writer and cartoonist based in Los Angeles, CA. Her first book is called What's in Your Genes. You can find more of work at Follow on Twitter @beatricebiology.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. hkraznodar 10:24 am 09/9/2014

    Research has shown that pictures and graphs can change minds but unillustrated reports rarely do. The scientists hiring you are wise.

    Link to this

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