Update: 21.03.2018

Soil is one of the most complicated biological materials on our planet.

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The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) is the global union of soil scientists. The objectives of the IUSS are to promote all branches of soil science, and to support all soil scientists across the world in the pursuit of their activities. This website provides information for IUSS members and those interested in soil science.

International Union of Soil Sciences

IUSS Alert 75 (September 2011)


Call for Nominations

2012 Young Micromorphology Publication Awards

Commission 1.1: Soil Morphology and Micromorphology will award the Young Micromorphologist's Publication Award every 2 years: at each International Working Meeting on Micromorphology, and at each World Congress of Soil Science. The purpose of this award is to encourage and promote the use of soil  micromorphology by young scientists. The Award will be given to one or more young scientist who has published research in the preceeding 4 years, that is an outstanding contribution to the principles, methodology, or application of micromorphology. The author must be less than 35 years old at the time of acceptance of the publication, and he/she must be the first author. The paper must be published in an international journal with wide distribution, but not necessarily a scientific journal. The award is not restricted to papers published in the English language only. The selection of the awardees will be the responsibilitiy of the Kubiena Award Commitee. Applicants should submit the following: (1) a pdf file of the paper(s) to be considered for the award, (2) proof of age for eligibility (ex: photocopy of ID or other document with birthdate), and (3) a cover letter explaining why they should be considered for this award. Letters of support from senior micromorphologists, outlining the qualities of the publication(s) are also welcome. Applications are due October 30, 2011. Send to: Dr. Rosa M Poch at rosa.poch@macs.udl.cat

Guy Smith Medal Award

The IUSS Guy Smith Medal Award Committee, is pleased to invite you to propose nominees for the forthcoming Guys Smith award. The next award will be handed over at the event of the Soil Classification Meeting, to be held from June 11-14, 2012, in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA (http://clic.cses.vt.edu/IUSS1.4/Conf_Soil_Classification_2012/).  The awardee should have the following qualifications:She/he must either have made a significant scientific contribution that has advanced the field of soil classification. Be an active member, honorary member, or  formerly active member of a national or international soil science professional society; and the medal is not invested posthumously. Present officers of the Commission and related Working Groups of IUSS cannot be nominated. The proposal for nomination should comprise a short text, including the main steps of the scientific career of the nominee, her/his most relevant scientific publications and major contribution to the development of soil classification. We look forward to receive your proposals by November 30th 2011 by e-mail to: seppe.deckers@ees.kuleuven.be; lanjos@ufrrj.br; etingof@glasnet.ru


Institute of Professional Soil Scientists launch Working with Soil

The Uk Government Department of Environment Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra) Deputy Chief Scientific Advisor, Dr Miles Parker, helped launch Working with Soil on the 20th July in London. Devised by the Institute of Professional Soil Scientists (IPSS), this new professional competency scheme identifies minimum qualifications, skills and knowledge for practising soils scientists carrying out a range of key tasks. IPSS aims to establish the scheme as the de facto standard for identifying competent contractors in the field of soil science. Miles stated that ‘Defra welcomes initiatives, such as the IPSS Working with Soils Competency Statements, that aim to improve the quality of professional soils advice’. What was launched is the first phase of IPSS’s Working with Soil initiative. The Institute plans to expand the scheme and to develop a tailored training programme for those wishing to achieve the various standards. Says Dr Lascelles, “This is a new venture for us and we are very keen to hear back from users of the scheme on how Working with Soil can be developed to better fit their needs. We are pretty sure the scheme will evolve over time but we are also absolutely certain that it is needed. We need urgently to attract more young scientists into a career in soil science. It must be a more rewarding and worthwhile choice for our graduates and postgraduates and we need to identify clear career paths for those wishing to become professional soil scientists. Success in achieving a sustainable professional community and greater societal and industry recognition of the value of soil science will help deliver a well managed and sustainable soil resource to support current and future generations. That, ultimately, is what Working with Soil is all about.”


World Association of Soil & Water Conservation (WASWAC)

WASWAC invites you to join “Our Gift to the Earth” project. The World Association of Soil and Water Conservation (WASWAC) is producing LANDCON e-LIBRARY: Our Gift to the Earth, a set of 6 DVDs offering a collection of technical papers/documents that will serve research and implementation in the fields of land, soil & water degradation, management, care, restoration, conservation, and improvement. The goal is to preserve valuable works for the long term and to enhance the visibility of works, authors, organizations and publishers. We invite you to submit digital works, including: (1) papers/articles from meetings, proceedings, books, magazines, bulletins; (2) whole books, reports, journals, magazines, bulletins, newsletters, MSc & PhD dissertations; (3) PowerPoint presentations and (4) posters, brochures, flyers, paintings and other forms of art, calendars, maps, pictures and info about soil museums, video-movies, audios (e.g. songs related to land, soil, water, river, forest, mountain), poems, photographs etc. Contributors will receive one complimentary set of DVDs and co-publishers will have their logos printed on the box. Deadline for receiving your stuff: July 31, 2011. It is expected that each set will contain close to 10,000 pieces of work. ContactSamran Sombatpanit atsamran_ sombatpanit@yahoo.com.

Translation of the No-Till Farming Systems book to other languages. It was the first time that more than 60 authors had collected information about no tillage from 20 countries to put under one cover, hence the book No-Till Farming Systems, which was published by the World Association of Soil and Water Conservation (WASWAC) in 2008. The book became one of the best-selling agricultural technology books, with a total number of prints up to 10,000 copies. The book has been translated to Chinese and French already and is under the translation to the following languages: Spanish, Urdu, Tamil, Persian, Arabic, Armenian and Turkish. If you want to translate to any language that has not been cited, to publish and distribute among the language users, please write to Dr Samran Sombatpanit samran_sombatpanit@yahoo.com. He can furnish you with the digital format (PUB files) that you can translate into the same files directly. As ‘no tillage’ is a form of effective soil and water conservation that WASWAC promotes to use widely throughout the world, the association offers the translation right at no cost.    

Soil and spatial planning (Suoli e pianificazione)

The working group Soil and spatial planning (Suoli e pianificazione) of the Emilia- Romagna Region (Italy) is dealing with an integrated analysis of the man’s activities which have an impact on soil. We are particularly interested to share our activities and, briefly, we would like: to inform on the earth beneath our feet, 'the soil': what it is, why it is important, essential to life as the air we breathe or the water we drink; to offer news, photos, update, research, studies and everything that happens about the soil;  to create opportunities for discussion, exchange of knowledge, increasing our awareness of the soil on which we walk. For this purpose we set up three work and discussion spaces, ready for any contribution:the web pages “Suoli e pianificazione”, (for the moment only in Italian) hosted in the web site of the Geological, seismic and soil survey of the Regione Emilia Romagna at the following address : http://www.regione.emilia-romagna.it/wcm/geologia/canali/suoli_pianificazione.htm.The web site contains basic information about soil, researches and case studies. You could contribute (English language is encouraged) sending the material to suoliepianificazione@regione.emilia-romagna.it. Facebook fan page ‘RER – Che terra pesti’ at the address: http://www.facebook.com/cheterrapesti. the page contain news and discussion and it is open to the fans. Comments, posts, news, videos, photos or any contributions oriented to improve the knowledge and the awareness of the soil are welcome. To interact with the page you have just to click the ‘I like’ button from your Facebook profile.  The Twitter profile ‘Che terra pesti’ at the address: http://twitter.com/cheterrapesti. The profile is a dynamic place of information exchange. We would like to use it also to have a real time feedback of public events linked to the soil and the land planning. It should be nice to have your contribution in terms of info discussion or real time reporting of public events such as meeting or congress. To interact with “cheterrapesti” you  must have a twitter account and follow @cheterrapesti


Conferences, Symposia, Meetings

  • 5th Global Workshop on Digital Soil Mapping 10-13 April 2012, Sydney, Australia

The IUSS Working Group on Digital Soil Mapping invites you to its 5th Global Workshop that will be held at the  University of Sydney, Australia, 10-13 April 2012, with a theme Digital Soil Assessments and Beyond. For more information, visit www.pedometrics.org/dsm_oz/

  • Towards a Universal Soil Classification System, 11-14 June 2012, Lincoln, USA

Registration and Abstract Submittal now open for the 2012 IUSS International Conference on Soil Classification: Towards a Universal Soil Classification System.  Please register and submit abstracts as early as possible at http://clic.cses.vt.edu/IUSS1.4/Conf_Soil_Classification_2012/index.htm on link: First Announcement. The 4th International Conference continues the discussion on soil classification issues started in Godolo, Hungary (2001), Petrozavodsk, Russia (2004) and Santiago, Chile (2008). Specific attention will be paid to the harmonization of criteria for diagnostic horizons and features of soils in agricultural and urban areas and discussion on development of the concepts of a newly proposed Universal Soil Classification System. The conference is planned to include two and one-half days of oral and poster presentations with a full day tour and field workshop. The International conference is open to all the interested individuals independently of acceptance of their abstracts for oral or poster presentations.

  • Managing soils for food security and climate change adaptation and mitigation, 23-26, 2012, Vienna, Austria

The FAO/IAEA International Symposium on “Managing soils for food security and climate change adaptation and mitigation” will be held in Vienna, Austria from July 23-26, 2012, in co-operation with IUSS. The Symposium, the first to be hosted by the Soil and Water Management & Crop Nutrition Subprogramme of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division since 2000, will focus on the development and advances in the application of nuclear and isotopic techniques in assessing soil degradation and the dynamics and storage of carbon, nutrients and water in agroecosystems. For detailed information on registration, submission of a paper, etc. please visit our website at http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Meetings/Announcements.asp?ConfID=41176

  • EUROSOIL 2012, 2-6 July 2012, Bari, Italy

EUROSOIL 2012, the 4th International Congress of the European Confederation of Soil Science Societies (ECSSS) will be held in Bari, Italy, from 2 to 6 July 2012, organized by the Italian Society of Soil Science (SISS) and presided by Prof. Nicola Senesi of the University of Bari, Bari, Italy. The Congress will focus on and develop the various aspects of fundamental and applied soil science and technology, field approaches and social, economical and political implications in relation to the present and future needs and emergencies of mankind and environment, and is based on a bottom-up approach. More than 100 symposia, workshops and other events are scheduled. The 2nd Circular is now in circulation and all information can be found in the Congress website (www.eurosoil2012.eu), including the Call for Abstracts, Registration fees and procedure, Hotel Accommodation, Pre- and Post-Congress Tours, Accompanying Persons Programme, Call for Exhibitors, and much more. Any interested person is cordially invited to visit the EUROSOIL 2012 website, and encouraged to submit Abstract(s) (deadline 10 October 2011) to one or more of the symposia and/or workshops and/or any other event through the appropriate form available in the Congress website.

  • IV Latinamerican Symposia of Educative Innovations in Soil Science

16-20 April 2012, Mar del Plata, Argentina

Due to the fact that there is no possibility of any change or advance toward sustainability, without considering a real educative change, the Latinamerican Soil Science Society and the Argentinean Soil Science Association invite to participate in the “IV Latinamerican Symposia of Educative Innovations in Soil Science” to be carried out within the XIX Latinamerican Congress in Mar del Plata, Argentina; to be held on April 16–20, 2012. The guests are children between 10-11 years old, who will be representing the countries members of the SLCS, and will be able to show their works about the thematic in accordance to the summons http://www.slcs.org.mx/congresos.htm

  • Second International Conference on Hydropedology

22-27 July 2012, Leipzig, Germany

The emerging field of Hydropedology is being developed from the need to improve our quantitative understanding of mass and energy fluxes within terrestrial systems, also denoted as the ”Critical Zone“, and to recognize their feedbacks to soil-forming processes. The conference is intended to stimulated scientific advances by the coupling of various disciplines that historically have been separated. Specifically, soil science, including pedology, soil physics and soil biogeochemistry, is linked to hydrology across spatial scales, from the pore to catchment scale. Also recent scientific developments in the fields of Geophysics and Remote Sensing is discussed to catalyzed integration of the scientific fields. See: www.ufz.de/hydropedology2012


New Publications

Introducción a la Edafología. Uso y protección de suelos. Porta J, López-Acevedo M, Poch RM. 2010. Mundi-Prensa, Madrid.  ISBN 9788484764052.  This book attempts to provide a basis for the teaching by lecturers, who have their own style and academic origin, convictions and interpretations of soil science. It is a book that can be useful for teaching in the framework of the European Space of Higher Education. It consists of fourteen basic units: soil, soil functions and organizations, training and environmental factors of soil formation processes, soil field surveys, physical properties and soil behavior, inorganic components, organic matter, chemical properties and soil behavior, soil ecology and cycling of elements, soil water, soil classification according to Soil Taxonomy and World Reference Base, soil information, georeferenced databases, soil information systems, access paths to soil information and how it can be used, soil quality degradation and basis for control, and soil study in the laboratory. The objectives are outlined at the beginning of each unit, together with the recommended readings. The units begin with an exercise called "learning connection" in order to relate what is explained in the unit with what has been previously studied, and each unit ends with "knowledge and understanding", in order to work with its theoretical contents. The book is completed with "Keys to self evaluation" to guide the student through the resolution of the proposed activities. An extensive alphabetical index facilitates consultation of the work. This book has already reached a second edition in spanish and is also offered in catalan.

Soil Management: Building a Stable Base for Agriculture. Edited by Jerry L. Hatfield and Thomas J. Sauer, both of USDA-ARS National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Ames, IA. Unique because of its treatment of soil management based on principles—the physical, chemical, and biological processes and how together they form the foundation for soil management—this book pulls it all together. Whether new to soil science or needing a concise reference, readers will learn to integrate the science of soils with management issues and long-term conservation. Degradation of soils colliding with increasing climate variation will eventually create a local, regional, or even global crisis, but it's not too late if we implement our ever-expanding scientific understanding of soils. Hardcover, 430 pages. 2011. ASA and SSSA. ISBN: 978-0-89118-853-7.

Groundwater Hydrology: Engineering, Planning, and Management. Mohammad Karamouz, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Brooklyn, USA; Azadeh Ahmadi; Masih Akhbari, Price:  $119.95, ISBN:  9781439837566. Written by an internationally respected professor and consultant, this textbook provides a balanced treatment of theory and practice. It examines the interface between groundwater engineering and management with tools such as data collection, simulation modeling, and economic analysis. The chapters contain the latest developments in groundwater engineering and planning. The author presents relevant modeling software applications for numerous topics including hydrology, hydraulics, planning and management, conjunctive use, and climate change implications. The book includes figures, tables, and equations as well as examples, end of chapter questions, and case studies.

Environmental Microbiology for Engineers. Volodymyr Ivanov, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Price:  $99.95, ISBN:  9781420092349. Publication Date:  November 17, 2010, Number of Pages:  438. This book enables engineering students to understand how microbiology can be applied to environmental research and practical applications. Written specifically for senior undergraduate to graduate level civil and environmental engineering students, the textbook encompasses both fundamental and applied principles and covers topics such as the microbiology of water, wastewater, soil, and air biotreatment systems used in environmental engineering. It also covers civil engineering topics such as biocementation, biocorrosion, biofouling and biodeterioration of materials. Suitable for environmental engineers with little to no biology training, this book provides a thoroughly up-to-date introduction to current trends in environmental microbiology and engineering. Microbial classification is represented as a periodic table with theoretical connections between all prokaryotic groups and highlighting their environmental applications. The textbook includes quizzes for each chapter, tutorials and exam questions. A separate solutions manual is available with qualifying course adoption. As an instructor and an active participant in the environmental and civil engineering community, the author has recognized the need for field-specific microbiology instructional material, and has constructed a concise, relevant text for both students and professionals.

European Journal of Soil Science, PEDOMETRICS Special Issue, June 2011. Commissioned in honour of Richard Webster, a former Editor in Chief of EJSS and a leading figure in the development of Pedometrics and the formation of the Pedometrics Commission.  There are thirteen papers on a wide range of topics including soil geostatistics, Bayesian methods, sampling, sensors, digital soil mapping and wavelets. Website: wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/ejss

Soil Use and Management. Topics covered include Soil and nutrient management, gaseous emissions form soils, significance and management of soil organic matter, impact of land management on soils, soil assessment and degradation, soil physical properties. Special Issue on Soil Quality, September 2010. Virtual Issues: Key Papers in Soil Use and Management, March 2011; Soils and Nitrous Oxide Research, May 2010. Website: wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/sum


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