Update: 21.03.2018

A handful of soil can contain billions of soil microorganisms.

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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.

in memoriam - Francis Hole (1914-2002)

Francis Doan Hole, professor emeritus of geography and soil science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, died on 15th January 2002, at the age of 88.

Prof. Hole graduated in 1933, and earned a Ph.D. degree in geology and soil science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1944. He joined this university in 1946, where he participated in soil surveys of 10 Wisconsin counties, followed up with cartographic work leading to the publication of the county soil maps. Over the years his responsibilities grew to include teaching and research at the Department of Soil Science. A classically trained violinist who played with the Madison Symphony orchestra and many informal ensembles, Dr. Hole was perhaps best known for utilizing the violin during his lectures, and for the presentation of numerous songs which he composed extolling the importance of soil and the critical foundation for plant, animal and human life.

Notably among his many publications were his Soils of Wisconsin and especially Soil Genesis and Classification, co-authored with Drs. McCracken and Buol. He also created Soil Survey Horizons, and designed the Soils of Wisconsin Map. Dr Hole proudest accomplishment was the enactment of legislation in 1983 designating Antigo silt loam as the Wisconsin state soil, a culmination of his long campaign for a state soil symbol.

After his retirement in 1983, he continued his active involvement by giving lectures and courses on the importance of soil, employing his soil songs at schools and numerous other venues.