Sean Kearney





  • B.A. – International Business and Economics (Western Washington University, 2008)
  • MSc – International Agricultural Development, Soil Science Focus (University of California, Davis, 2011)

Research Interests

Broadly speaking, I am interested in agricultural research in developed and developing countries that improves the livelihoods and food security of vulnerable populations while protecting and enhancing soil and water resources both on- and off-farm.  More specifically, I am concerned with how integrated soil fertility management practices, especially the management of soil organic matter and biota, impact yields as well as biodiversity, nutrient cycling processes and the general fertility of soils across time and space.  I am also very interested in factors affecting farmer adoption of integrated soil fertility management and how the participation of farmers at various levels of the research process can improve the relevancy and dissemination of research results.

Current Research:

Project: Restoration and conservation of biodiversity in El Salvador through the adaptation and dissemination of a slash and mulch agroforestry system

Research Topics: My current research focuses on measuring, quantifying and valuing soil-related ecosystem services in the northern region of El Salvador, an area dominated by smallholder agriculture.  I work at multiple scales ranging from farm plots to landscapes with the aim of informing management decisions for multiple stakeholders including farmers, policy makers, development agencies and NGO’s.  Specifically, I am investigating the influence of the Quesengual slash and mulch agroforestry system (QSMAS) on ecosystem services including carbon storage, biodiversity, erosion and soil fertility.  In order to scale up assessment efforts and keep results relevant and accessible, I am exploring the integration of remote sensing technologies, GIS software and participatory mapping methods in my research.

More information can be found on Sean’s project page.


Publications, Posters and Presentations:

  • Kearney S., Fonte S., Salomon A., Six J., Scow K. Forty percent revenue increase by combining organic and mineral nutrient amendments in Ugandan smallholder market vegetable production. Agronomy for Sustainable Development. 2012;32(4):831-839  DOI: 10.1007/s13593-012-0097-6
  • Sean Patrick Kearney, Edwin Garcia, Rolando Barillas, Steven J Fonte, Aracely Castro, Kai M.A. Chan, Nicholas C Coops, Sean M. Smukler. Monitoring Soil-Based Ecosystem Services: A Landscape-Scale Approach for Heterogeneous Landscapes. March 8, 2014. Oral Presentation at the Soil Science Society of America: Soil’s Role in Restoring Ecosystem Services conference. Sacramento, CA
  • Sean Patrick Kearney. Working toward improved soil management in smallholder landscapes: Digital soil mapping for a mountainous region in rural El Salvador. 2014. Esri Canada Scholarship Winner (Click here for direct link to poster).

Curriculum Vitae:

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