That's Dr. Tom DeLuca, the Director of the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington. Tom began studying charcoal as part of fire ecology in forest and prairie ecosystems.
Published earlier in 2015, Tom and three other researchers found that charcoal ammended with clover cover crop enhanced nitrogenous activity by up to 515%, with an average of 200% increase.
This means that both the nitrogen nodules in the clover roots expanded in size and productivity, as well as the nitrogenous enzymes in the soil that increase accessibility of that nitrogen to other crops in the future. And they still don't fully understand why.
The potential impact of this research means that charcoal could enhance the nutrient productivity of cover cropping, decreasing the need for additional fertilizers the following year.
Tom has published more than 14 research papers on charcoal, and is the leading researcher on our San Juan County research project.