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Rhonda Janke combines her interest in art and science by making art from fabric that has been buried in soil, which contains pigment left by the bacteria and fungi.  The color intensity reflects the “health” of the soil.  Rhonda’s MS and PhD are in agronomy (from Cornell), but she also has a Masters degree in interdisciplinary art from Goddard College.  Raised on a farm in central Kansas, she has taught organic/sustainable agriculture at the Rodale Institute(Pennsylvania), Kansas State University, Hashemite University (Jordan) and Sultan Qaboos University (Oman).   She has shown her “soil art” at small venues in rural Kansas, and more recently at the international soils conference in Florence, Italy.  In addition to soil, her materials include hand-made paper, natural dyes/pigments, wool, beeswax, and other materials from her farm in Wamego, Kansas.  Her recent research on soil metagenomics (DNA) analysis allows her to add more layers of information about her sites, including soil microorganism abundance and biodiversity.

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