About Us

Dirty Business Soil Consulting & Analysis (DBS) is a certified laboratory dedicated to providing premium agricultural testing and consulting services to the Northern California region and beyond. Our goal is to provide knowledge to help build healthy self-reliant communities.

Our Mission

Our mission is to protect Earth and its natural resources through scientific analyses and implementation of regenerative agronomic practices. By helping people and businesses care for their soil and water resources, we can assist in building resilient communities.

Our Vision:

DBS believes that building healthy soil will help heal the planet.
Healthy soil, healthy plants, healthy people, healthy planet.
Through science and regenerative farming practices we can rebuild our soil resources
and reclaim connection with the ecological systems that keep all organisms and our planet healthy.

The DBS Team


Sarah Schuette: Certified Professional Soil Scientist

Meet Sarah, Certified Professional Soil Scientist and Co-Owner of DBS. She hails from Saint Paul, Minnesota and is one of thirteen. Sarah graduated from Humboldt State with a degree in Soil Science (minoring in Botany & GIS). This mathematician and chemist is dedicated to helping farmers grow healthy, sustainable crops and uses her skills in her own garden. When she’s not working in the lab or gardening, Sarah may be found making clean cannabis medicine, twirling in aerial silks, or hula hooping. She has a hidden talent of wiggling her ears (shh, don’t tell). “Soil and water are the foundation of life on this planet, without which none of us would be here.”

Joanna Berg: Certified Professional Soil Scientist

Meet Joanna, Certified Professional Soil Scientist and Co-Owner of DBS. Joanna is from Minneapolis, Minnesota and graduated from Humboldt State with a degree in Soil Science (minor in Watershed Management). Her passion to improve access to scientific and professional agriculture in the cannabis industry comes from years of working in the business. When she’s not hanging with her most adorable little boy, or walking her dog, Joanna may be jamming some West African percussion. Few know she plays some mean spoons (no joke). “Soil is life – know soil, know life. No soil, no life.”


Consulting Department

Nicole Paul-Almand: Consulting Department Manager

Meet Nicole, our Consulting Department Manager. She graduated from Warren Wilson College with a degree in Environmental Studies/ Environmental Education. Nicole grew up in the Fingerlakes region of Central New York and lived in North Carolina before settling in Humboldt. In her spare time, Nicole is with her two amazing children hanging out on the Eel River, in the Redwoods, or at her friend’s orchard. She’s passionate about eclectic music, dancing, poetry and photography. She is a co-owner of Almand Dahlia Gardens and volunteers with the Redcrest Community Center. Most people don’t know that she has been playing the violin since 4th grade and loves playing percussion instruments. For her, “Soil is ultimately one of the greatest foundations of life upon which we survive.”

Lauren Quackenbush: Soil Consultant & Licensed Pest Control Advisor

Meet Lauren, our Soil Consultant and Licensed Pest Control Advisor. She is a Humboldt State graduate with a degree in Soil Science. Lauren grew up in California, Nebraska, and Nevada; these western landscapes stoked her love of nature and piqued an early interest in geomorphology and farming. A love of nature brought her to Humboldt, where she can often be found hiking, mushroom hunting, or enjoying a day at the river. She and her wife live with their 2 dogs, 2 cats, a rabbit, 3 ducks, 4 chickens, and the sweetest little girl you’ve ever seen. “Soils fascinate and inspire me because of their dynamic interconnectedness.”

Zoe Merrill: Consulting Associate

“Soil reflects the truth that everything is connected.” Meet Zoë, our Consulting Associate. Growing up in Sun Valley, Idaho, she took to riding snow at the age of 3. Zoë graduated from Humboldt State with a degree in Wildland Soil Science and a Master of Business Administration emphasizing Sustainability. Her dream of working with both science and cannabis has come true over the last year working at DBS. Though she misses the snow, Zoë loves the secret micro-climates Humboldt has to offer. Find her outside or follow her @snowzo on Instagram.



Erin Johnson: Lab Manager

Erin Johnson is the Laboratory Manager at Dirty Business Soil. Born and raised in Appleton Wisconsin, and an Alumni of University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, she graduated with honors in 2008 with a bachelor’s in biology and chemistry.  After graduation, she moved to Bakersfield California where she worked for nine years in a quality control lab.  In 2018, Erin and her two cats made the transition to Humboldt County to join the DBS family.  In her free time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, food, music, friends, family, culture and martial arts.  To her, soil is the foundation for life on this planet.  Working with people who provide scientific knowledge to a community to care for their soil and water is something she is honored to be a part of.

Steve Chowdhury: Lab Technician/IT Associate

Born in Florida, raised in Alaska, and cultured in California. While getting his chemistry degree from UC Santa Barbara, Steve has come to realize that the west coast is the best coast. No one really knows why he decided to relocate from Santa Barbara to Humboldt. Nevertheless, he is rather content working in the lab at Dirty Business Soil and is totally convinced that it protects him from the harmful radiation emitted by the sun.When it gets dark outside he sometimes plays bass in a reggae band. He also records and mixes his own music in a project where he does all the parts besides the drums. Apart from chemistry and music, he is also a fan of the gym and loves weight training. As of recently, he enrolled in an online computer science degree to ensure that no one sees a trend in any of his interests.

Lauren Smith: Lab Technician/Quality Control

Born in Southern California but has migrated to several states. While residing in Missouri, she completed her BS in Biology while minoring in Chemistry at the University of Missouri. The research project she did involving amphibians resulted in a published paper and brought her to Humboldt State University to do her Masters in Biology with an emphasis on eDNA and Herpetology. Her and Steve pride themselves on ensuring reliable data for farmers by maintaining the lab’s National Certification. When not in the lab you can find Lauren in the ocean or the garden with her wife, two cats, and dog, Wave. She also loves to play soccer in the Humboldt Soccer League.


Sales Office

Janette Wilson: General Facilities Manager

Janette grew up in suburban Chicago, spending her summers on the family farm in central Illinois.  After immigrating to southern California for her last year of high school, she searched for a college in the more northern parts.  She settled upon Humboldt State University, which, given her farm roots, was a natural choice.  She attended HSU and graduated with a B.S. in Computer Information Systems and a minor in Business Administration.  Janette loves the quality of life Humboldt County has to offer and is thankful to have raised three awesome kids behind the Redwood Curtain.  Some of her favorite activities include riding her mountain bike in the forest, hiding out on the Salmon River, and rowing with her friends on Humboldt Bay.  Quality of life is essential to Janette and for her, quality begins with Soil.  The incredible bounty of beautiful locally grown organic food is an essential part of her story because, for Janette, food is medicine.  Quality soil makes quality food which enriches quality of life.  The cycle of life begins and ends with soil ~ so make it rich!


Brooke Gleason: Sales Desk Associate

Meet Brooke, our Sales Associate. Her lifelong passion for nature and its curiosities brought her to Humboldt County. Brooke is originally from Maryland with a BA in Art History & Archaeology, along with a BA in Studio Art from Hood College in Frederick – then continued her life studies in Vermont, and the Big Island of Hawai’i. Arcata has been her nest for five years now: where she lives for the Farmers Markets, live music, and fresh air. Brooke’s first job was watering her uncle’s garden – as soon as she could walk – and hasn’t left the flowers alone since. She has experience in all stages of the growing cycle, plus received training as a Master Gardener. She loves to keep busy with any craft she can get her hands on. If Brooke isn’t at home enjoying her tiny yard, she’s out wandering the woods or some deserted beach with the love of her life. With a fiery passion, a name of water, rooted soul, and vast mind – Brooke is here to help balance out the Earth’s elements.