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Track 2 Day 2: Thiesen Welch


Improving Soil Health with Biotic Soil Technology

Thursday March 21, 2019
3:30 to 4:00 pm


Marc Thiesen and Mathew Welch, Profile Products


Defined as the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living entity that sustains plants, animals and microorganisms, soil health changes as a result of land use and management.

In the context of land disturbing activities, such changes are inherently detrimental when project sites are left with biologically and nutritionally deficient subsoil layers incapable of supporting sustainable vegetation. One of the biggest challenges facing rehabilitation of denuded sites is lack of healthy soil.

Biotic Soil Technology (BST) is a generic term to describe the emerging field of manufactured growth media containing biodegradable fibers, biostimulants, biological inoculants and other soil building components engineered to cost-effectively increase organic content, accelerate sustainable vegetative establishment and promote regeneration of denuded soils.

While assessing BST ability to assist in early establishment of vegetation on barren soils can be a qualitative observation, their efficacy to impact long-term soil health and sustainability has not been well documented and quantified. This presentation will review projects that have been quantitatively evaluated for BST efficacy on various soil health parameters including organic matter content, microbial and fungal activity, soil respiration and other key properties.

Through continued monitoring of these key soil health parameters, in treated and untreated soils, as well as background or control soils, assessments of BST impact on soil development and site sustainability can better be quantified and substantiated.


Learning Objectives

1. Learn about what defines soil health, what healthy soil is comprised of and its importance in nurturing establishment of sustainable vegetation.

2. Understand key soil parameters and how they are commonly used to gauge soil health.

3. See projects where BSTs have been successfully utilized to positively impact denuded soils and foster their restoration as quantified by measuring key soil health parameters.


Marc Thiesen

Marc S. Theisen

Marc S. Theisen, M.Sc., CPESC, CPSWQ, CESSWI is VP of Technical Services for Profile Products with 25 years of experience in erosion/sediment control and storm water management over six continents. Theisen holds patents for hydraulically-applied erosion control products, biotic soil media, sediment retention devices and turf reinforcement mats. In 2018, Marc authored the IECA Technical Paper of the Year and received the Distinguished Service Award from EnviroCert, International.

Matt Welch

Matt Welch

Matt Welch, CPESC, CESSWI, is Technical and Business Development Manager for Profile Products. Welch holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Conservation and Environmental Sciences from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, with an emphasis on land resources and soil science. He works closely with specifiers to ensure erosion and sediment control projects have a high rate of success. Matt is also a member of the IECA.