Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Kimber Moreland

Soil Biogeochemist

Atmospheric, Earth, and Energy Division

September 29, 2020

What do you like about working at the Lab?

My favorite part about working at the Lab is that I get to do what I am passionate about and feel it is my mission to accomplish. I wholeheartedly appreciate being able to answer societally relevant research questions, collaborate and learn from experts, and be a part of a group who truly cares about everyone’s success.

What do your day-to-day work activities include?

I start my day with a dedicated writing time, and then move into some lab work. If I have data to explore, I code and try to model the soil system. I especially enjoy field days when I get to be in nature and play with soil.

What is one project you’re really proud to have worked on?

I am most excited about my PhD project, where I had the wonderful opportunity to collect soils down past 10 meters from the topsoil to bedrock to answer questions about how soil carbon responds to changes in climate. This was really a unique experience to look at soils that deep and estimated to be over 20,000 years old!

What is your educational or career background?

I received a BS in biology in 2012 from Regis University in Denver, Colorado, and then worked at Regis University as the chemistry department laboratory manager. This is when I knew soil research was what I wanted to do with my life, so I decided to attend graduate school at the University of California, Merced. I finished my PhD in Environmental Systems in Summer 2020, and I am currently working as a postdoc with the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry at LLNL.

What inspired you to go into science/your field of work?

I was always the annoying kid asking why about everything because I am fascinated with and curious about how the world works. This innate curiosity led me to pursue a degree in biology, where I learned about soil and how it represents the difference between life and lifelessness on the planet. Without healthy soils, our planet would be a very different place. Through greater understanding of soil, I learned just how precious soil is. After my heart was captivated by soil and I learned that we might be able to use soil to combat climate change, I have worked every day in hopes to share my love of soil and to build the foundation for bridging knowledge gaps to be able to answer important questions related to bioengineering solutions to climate change using soil.

What advice would you give to a new employee at the Lab?

Asking for help has offered a plethora of knowledge, collaboration, and connection.

What do you do in your free time?

When I am not learning and researching soil related things, I love playing the didgeridoo, having deep conversations with everyone to peek into their inner worlds and learn from them, and trying to have fun in whatever I am doing. People are my hobby, and I want to learn as much about the human experience as I possibly can.