Five tonnes of animal life can live in one hectare of soil.
IUSS Alert 138 (December 2016)
IUSS Inter-Congress Meeting 2016
The 2016 Inter-Congress Meeting took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday 20 – Friday 25 November 2016. This meeting comprised a Council meeting, Division meetings, a One-Day symposium related to the theme of the WCSS 2018 ‘Soil science: beyond food and fuel’ and a meeting of the Executive Committee.
In the course of this meeting, the Executive Council took the decision to allocate the IUSS Working Groups to Divisions in order to give them an organizational home. In addition to the existing working groups, proposals for 4 new working groups were discussed and accepted by the IUSS Council: the Working Group Critical Zone System, which evolved from the Hydropedology Working Group to better reflect its activities, the Working Group Cultural Patterns of Soil Understanding, the Working Group Global Soil Map and the Working Group Soil Modeling Consortium.
According to the IUSS Statutes, Point E7, the Division Chairs will report to the Executive Committee biannually on the performance of Working Groups. Based on these evaluations, a recommendation will be made to the Council concerning the status and activities of each Working Group and whether it should be maintained or terminated. The Working Group Global Soil Change was closed down, since there was no obvious activity and no activity reports provided.
Beside the election of the honorary members (see below) proposals for symposia for the WCSS 2018 in Rio were discussed in the Division meetings. Based on these discussions a draft list of symposia will be compiled and will be made available in the Newsroom of the IUSS website by mid of January. If you have comments or new proposals, please send them until 15 February 2017 to Flavio Camargo email@example.com and Cc to firstname.lastname@example.org .
The One-Day symposium addressed various environmental challenges and showed opportunities for soil science to contribute to solving these challenges from global, national and divisional perspectives. The conclusions showed that only with joint efforts of organisations such as FAO, ICSU, Embrapa and many others it is possible to maintain our soil resources in a sustainable way.
In relation to the International Decade of Soils (IDS) a Committee was installed to take care of the implementation of the IDS by developing a programme based on the ideas brought up so far. If you have ideas for the implementation of the IDS with concrete actions, please send them to email@example.com
Finally IUSS Awards were given to the outgoing President Rainer Horn and Past-President Jae Yang for their great support to IUSS.
Election of IUSS Honorary Members 2016
According to the IUSS Statutes Honorary Members are elected by Council, and shall be living at the time of election. They must be scientists of great distinction in Soil Science and have made substantial contributions to ISSS/IUSS.
A total of 20 nominations were distributed to the Council members three months before the Inter-Congress meeting. Elections took place by secret ballot among Council members present for the Inter-Congress meeting in Rio de Janeiro on 24 November 2016. Council members were allowed to vote only for candidates they considered to have the requirements of a Honorary Member of the Union. Successful candidates had to receive more votes than a number equivalent to half of the number of eligible voting members attending the Council Meeting.
The following 13 new IUSS Honorary Members have been elected: I. P. Abrol (India), Jaume Bech (Spain), Maria Gerasimova (Russia), Martin H. Gerzabek (Austria), Mary Beth Kirkham (USA), Josef Kozak (Czech Republic), Stephen Nortcliff (United Kingdom), Marcello Pagliai (Italy), Piotr Sklodowski (Poland), Karl Stahr (Germany), Roger Swift (Australia), Tengiz F. Urushadze (Georgia) and Jae Yang (Korea). The Secretariat extends its congratulations.
The results are announced in the present Bulletin and on the IUSS website . The IUSS President sent a congratulation letter to the nominators of the elected Honorary Members. The new honorary members will be recognized with a certificate at the next World Congress of Soil Science, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, 12-18 August 2018.
IUSS Bulletin 129
The most recent IUSS publication is online , featuring a variety of articles from activity reports of the IUSS Secretariat, IUSS Divisions, Commissions and Working Groups, the election of new Honorary Members and IUSS Presidential Elections, to an article about Universal Soil Classification, activities and recent achievements during the International Decade of Soils (2015-2024), the development of National Soil Science Societies in the BRICS group of countries, book reviews and obituaries of outstanding soil scientists, to name just a few.
Should you wish to submit contributions for the next Bulletin, which will be published in June 2017, or place paid advertisements, please contact the IUSS Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org . Please note that the deadline is 15 May 2017.
Soil Connects Issue no 5
The latest issue of IUSS Division 4 Newsletter Soil Connects is available. Starting with a report from Division Chair Christian Feller, it contains interesting articles, e.g. on the proposal of a new IUSS Working Group ‘Cultural Patterns of Soil Understanding’, the Austrian Soil Film Days focusing on the role of soil in the Alps, the nutrient cycling function as well as soil consumption, how to engender connectivity to soil through aesthetics followed by book reviews and conference reports.
Read more: http://www.iuss.org/index.php?article_id=423
Vienna Soil Declaration translated into Japanese
As one of the outreach activities during the International Decade of Soils (2015-2024) the Vienna Soil Declaration translated into Japanese.
Download the Vienna Soil Declaration: http://www.iuss.org/index.php?article_id=588
Opening remarks of IUSS President on the occasion of World Soil Day 2016
On behalf of the International Union of Soil Sciences, IUSS President Prof. Dr. Rainer Horn had the privilege and honour to convey opening remarks on the occasion of the World Soil Day celebration by FAO in Rome. This year the World Soil Day celebration is linked to the end of the International Year of Pulses and gives us a very positive feedback mechanism and a unique opportunity to define the symbiosis of life.
On 5 December was World Soil Day, a special day to spread awareness on how important healthy soils are for a healthy life. This year, World Soil Day 2016 (WSD2016) combines the International Year of Soils 2015 and the International Year of Pulses 2016 with the theme “Soil & Pulses, symbiosis for life”. WSD2016 celebrations officially kicked off at the UN Headquarters in New York on the 2nd December with an event entitled “Soils and pulses, a symbiosis for life and for halting soil degradation”.
This event, co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Lesotho, Thailand and Turkey, in collaboration with FAO and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), was also a special occasion to pay tribute to His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand in recognition of his lifelong work on soils and sustainable soil management. His Majesty’s Birthday, 5 December, has been designated World Soil Day since 2014 by the UN General Assembly.
Read more: http://www.fao.org/lon/en/
[From: Global Soil Partnership | Newsletter #10]
World Soil Day 2016 around the world!
This year, more than 120 events celebrating soils have been registered on FAO’s interactive map, while the WSD fun campaign material – infographics, banners, videos, posters and printable logos for T-shirts – was downloaded and used by thousands of people participating in public events. The range of events organized includes concerts, picnics, sport events, debates, WSD cakes, high level workshops and seminars, farmers’ gatherings, tree plantings in primary schools, lectures to students, science nights activities in high schools and many more.
Read more (FAO press release on WSD): http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/455693/icode/
[From: Global Soil Partnership | Newsletter #10]
December 5: the 1st Glinka World Soil Prize awarded
Capitalizing on the awareness raising momentum created by the IYS 2015, the first ever Glinka World Soil Prize was awarded to the Colombian Instituto Geografico Agustin Codazzi (IGAC) in recognition of its leadership and activities contributing to the promotion of sustainable soil management. As illustrated by a video (see link below), IGAC coordinates the Colombian Spatial Data Infrastructure, trains professionals from across the globe in various soil topics, and is rapidly modernizing geospatial technologies in Latin America. In few years IGAC unveiled a study that sheds light on Colombian soils, their morphology and complex economic and social context. Overall, the Institute is compiling information that will change the way that governments and businesses work in relation to soil management in the decades ahead. The current Sponsor of the Glinka World Soil Prize is the Russian Federation.
[From: Global Soil Partnership | Newsletter #10]
Land and Soil Management Award 2016/17
The prize provided by the European Landowners’ Organization rewards land use and soil management practices mitigating soil threats i.e. soil erosion, reduction of organic matter content, diffuse contamination, and compaction as well as the reduction of soil biodiversity, salinization, sealing, flooding and landslides. In doing so, the award sheds light on outstanding achievements, encouraging new concepts of land and soil protection and their implementation in land management, as well as enhancing awareness about the importance of land and soil functions. Deadline: 31 December2016
Read more: http://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/calls
Prof. Maria A. Glazovskaya (1912-2016)
The outstanding and oldest Russian soil scientist, Prof. Dr. Maria A. Glazovskaya passed away on the 20th of November, 2016. She was a great pedologist widely known for her two-volume monograph “SOILS of the WORLD” (1983, 1984) and very popular manual (co-author I.P.Gerasimov) “Fundamentals of Soil Science and Soil Geography” (1965). In the years 1959-1987 Maria Glazovskaya was the Head, and from 1987 until the present time she was a consulting Professor of the Department of Geochemistry of Landscapes and Soil Geography, Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University.
She was a brilliant lecturer and a supervisor of many PhD theses and several habilitations. With her energy, bright talent and very kind attitude to people, she inspired many students for soil science and biogeochemistry. Soil scientists all over the world will remember Maria Glazovskaya as an outstanding scientist, a person open to people’s problems and ready to support their scientific, educational and cultural initiatives.
Endorsement of the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management by the FAO Council
The 155th session of the FAO Council has endorsed the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management by. These guidelines developed through a comprehensive and inclusive process within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership will further pave the way towards supporting governments and institutions in mainstreaming sustainable development and implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Similarly, the FAO Council endorsed the establishment of the Global Soil Information System and the development of the Global Soil Organic Carbon map by 2017.
Download the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management: http://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/0549ec19-2d49-4cfb-9b96-bfbbc7cc40bc/
[From: Global Soil Partnership | Newsletter #10]
First African Soil Seminar
After a long year of planning and preparations, the first African Soil Seminar took place in Nairobi, Kenya 28-30 November. The Seminar provided a platform for governments, civil society, private business and academia to discuss and share knowledge around soil and landscape rehabilitation in support of the 2030 and 2063 sustainability agendas. Joint coordination, responsible investments and links between science and policy-making are integral to the process of implementing, monitoring, and following-up of big goals such as Agenda 2063 “The Future we want for Africa” and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, among many other initiatives for land and agriculture across the continent.
BSSS Announces New Royal Patron
The British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) is delighted to announce that His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO wi ll be their new Patron. His Royal Highness takes over the role from Lord De Ramsey. The appointment comes at an important time for BSSS and soil science as the Society stands at the eve of its 70th anniversary, and His Royal Highness will play a key part in raising awareness of the importance of soils to mankind.
Obama administration announces new steps to maintain and create healthy soils
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), in collaboration with Federal agencies and private-sector stakeholders, is announcing new steps to promote the long-term health and sustainable use of one of America’s most important natural resources: its soil. The new actions aim to advance scientific understanding of soils to better care for them and their ability to support food security, climate mitigation, ecosystem services, and public health. These efforts focus on three key areas: 1) promoting interdisciplinary research and education, 2) advancing computational tools and modelling, and 3) expanding sustainable agricultural practices.
Download Healthy Soils Framework: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/ssiwg_framework_december_2016.pdf
Healthy soils could deliver nearly $50 billion in benefits annually
The Nature Conservancy and General Mills unveiled the Soil Health Roadmap at the annual BSR (Business for Social Responsibility) Conference. Developed by an interdisciplinary team of Conservancy scientists, economists and agriculture experts and made possible through support from General Mills, the Roadmap makes the business case for investing in sustainable soil health practices to achieve unprecedented economic benefits for U.S. farmers and businesses, as well as significant conservation outcomes for generations to come.
The Soil Health Roadmap outlines 10 key steps spanning science, economy and policy priorities to achieve widespread adoption of adaptive soil health systems on more than 50 percent of U.S. cropland by 2025.
Soil health measures reflect organic matter dynamics
What do farmers want more—to build soil organic matter (SOM) for long-term soil quality or to mineralize organic matter to feed their crops? The answer is usually both. Nutrients are stabilized or sequestered into organic matter from crop residues and amendments and subsequently mineralized or released for plant uptake. Collectively, these processes determine SOM permanence and influence both soil quality and productivity. Total organic matter is commonly measured in standardized soil testing, but the majority of this pool cycles slowly over time.
In the September–October 2016 issue of the Soil Science Society of America Journal, a team of 12 scientists from nine institutions across the United States explore the relationship between two soil health tests that measure the active pool of organic matter.
Life in Earth's soils may be older than believed
Way before trees or lichens evolved, soils on Earth were alive, as revealed by a close examination of microfossils in the desert of northwestern Australia, reports a team of University of Oregon researchers.
How to protect the soil
By Jeremy Williams. When land is planted with crops, those are harvested and the land is left bare. That’s something that never happens in nature. Under natural conditions there’s always something covering the ground. Soil is never dug over in nature either. Animals and birds might scratch around and occasionally bury things, but they never turn over a field. The job of aerating the soil is done from underneath, by insects and earthworms. So in looking at how to protect soil and steward it for future generations, we’re looking at less intervention, not more.
Shedding a light on contaminants
In the last decade, the EU has expressed the need for policy that adequately protects soil resources. Specifically, it is interested in starting a soil monitoring program in Europe. In theory, soil monitoring is a fairly simple process. First, a baseline survey of soils’ chemical components is needed. After time has lapsed, soils can be re-measured. When compared to initial measurements, soils with increased levels of harmful compounds can then be identified and cleaned up.
Unfortunately, there is a major limitation. According to O’Rourke, standard soil tests are costly and time consuming. Though the amount of time required to analyze samples varies, traditional processing can take up to a week or more to complete. Spectroscopic technologies are a promising alternative to traditional analytical methods. First, they can reduce soil processing time from a week to mere minutes. Operational costs are relatively low, and the accessibility of these instruments is relatively good. And the equipment is available. O’Rourke reports, “Many soil science laboratories are now equipped with the technology platforms.”
Could Urban Farms Be the Preschools of the Future?
The absence of direct experience has completely misled children’s perception of the world and of its most basic processes. It’s not rare to find children who ignore that the milk they drink comes from cows or that beans don’t sprout in cans.
Under the distant gaze of a city skyline, cows and chickens wander through rows of sprouting vegetables; clear glass greenhouses dot the periphery. It sounds like an ordinary urban farm, but on this particular site, the wardens are toddlers. The farm, Nursery Fields Forever, is the vision of aut- -aut, a group of four architects hailing from Italy and the Netherlands. Their proposal for a preschool on an urban farm took first prize at this year’s AWR International Ideas Competition; the challenge centered around designing a nursery school model for London.
How weeds heal bare soil
Bare, exposed soil isn’t part of nature’s master plan. How many examples can you think of where soil is naturally found bare and with no plants at all growing in it? Good examples are beneath freshly uprooted trees, landslips, or where the ground has been charred following a heathland fire. In these situations bare soil isn’t bare for long; within days seedlings begin to appear and cover the ground with a miniature green forest. In a few months’ time the scar is barely noticeable. A year later you would never know it had been there at all.
Soils: Our ally against climate change
Watch the FAO Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_69vy7ZBxE
More on Soil Science Journal’s Impact Factor
In this article, we look at the impact factor and citations in soil science journals. We take the top 15 soil science journals according to the 2015 impact factor published by Thomson Reuters . The impact factor for a journal in 2015 was calculated by dividing the number of articles the journal has published over the past 2 years (2013 and 2014) with the number of times those articles were cited in 2015.
For each journal, we downloaded the number of papers they published in 2013 and 2014 and the number of citations the papers received in 2015. We used Scopus, another database, for this analysis to check for consistency.
Conferences, Meetings and Workshops 2017
2nd International Tea Bag Index Workshop
March 1, 2017, Vienna, Austria. The purpose of the 2nd International Tea Bag Index workshop is to improve the understanding and application of the Tea Bag Index (TBI) in ecological studies and to build a TBI community for advanced data generation, method development and knowledge exchange. The exiting developments in the global TBI study on climate and climate change effects on decomposition, several citizen science initiatives, method developments as well as cutting edge results from several networks that participated will be discussed. Participants can submit abstracts to present the work they are carrying out with Tea Bag Index in different locations and ecosystems to two sessions: i) Global usage of Tea Bag Index session (oral talks) OR to ii) Poster session. New abstract (250 words) submission deadline: 31.12.2016, registration will be open 15.12.2016 – 15.2.2017.
EGU2017 – Session SSS1.8 The contribution of the Soil Science Societies to scientific knowledge, education and sustainability
Together with other organisations dealing with soil, IUSS is organising the session ‘The contribution of the Soil Science Societies to scientific knowledge, education and sustainability’ in the programme ‘SSS1 – History, Education and Society of Soil Science, Taxonomy’ of the Division SSS – Soil System Sciences. Contributions demonstrating good examples of capacity building, soil awareness and knowledge transfer to different target groups are welcome. In particular contributions that show new educational approaches, cooperation with other disciplines and efforts to improve sustainability are of interest. The call for abstracts is open until 11 January 2017.
EGU2017 – Session SSS4.10 The Role of Soil Enzymes in Biogeochemical Cycling of Terrestrial Ecosystems
23-28 April in Vienna, Austria. Deadline for Abstract Submission: 11/01/17
The objective of this symposium is to feature cutting-edge research on enzymes, with a focus on enzyme production, expression, and activity in terrestrial systems. This symposium will discuss the possibilities to determine, visualize and model soil enzymes at different levels of resolution. At the molecular level we want to stimulate contributions linking the composition and abundance of different groups of microorganisms with the expression of specific enzymes. At larger scales we are interested to understand better functional hotspots in soils that are defined as specific microhabitats (micro-aggregates, organo-mineral complexes, subsoil compartments) characterized by high enzymatic activities. Papers describing the effects how temporal and spatial patterns are affected by larger scale drivers (e.g. plants, soil fauna, soil management etc.) are also of interest. This symposium will profit from interdisciplinary approaches applying classical methods in soil enzymology as well as new techniques like metagenomics, transcriptomics and proteomics.
EGU2017 – Session SSS6.2/BG9.11 Soil organic matter turnover: from molecules to ecosystems and back again
This session is endorsed by the Soil Chemistry Commission of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS). In this session we hope to discuss this fascinating topic together with a wide range of scientists from various fields, but all focusing on soil organic matter turnover. We specifically encourage young scientists to join in and submit an abstract and grab this opportunity to showcase their refreshing ideas, newest data or out-of-the-box approach.
In addition to the standard grant possibilities offered by the EGU, the IUSS generously offers three grants of 500€ each to (partially) compensate registration fee and travel expenses of three young scientists presenting in the session. For more details about the session, how to submit an abstract and how to apply for a grant, please go to the Conference Website. Abstract submission deadline is: 11 January 2017
EGU2017 – SSS6.11 Mineral-associated carbon as an indicator for the long-term C sequestration in soils
Convener: Mirco Rodeghiero, co-Conveners: Francesca Cotrufo, Bas van Wesemael and Martin Wiesmeier. Short term fluctuation of soil organic carbon can mask the long-term trends in C storage. Different fractionation techniques have been developed to distinguish between a more persistent mineral associated fine/heavy fraction and a more labile coarser/lighter particulate organic matter fraction. It has been suggested that the mineral-associated fraction reaches an upper limit as a result of saturation of the mineral organic adsorption complex. As data on C fractionation becomes available from a number of research groups and inter-comparison of fractionation methods has been tested, the theoretical saturation concept can be demonstrated with field data. Deadline for abstract submission: 11 January 2017.
Read more: http://www.egu2017.eu/
7th International conference on Silicon in Agriculture
University of Agricultural Science, Bangalore, October 24-28, 2017. The conference is expected to attract over 250 participants from around the world. The conference will provide a forum for the exchange of knowledge, information and ideas among the scientists studying silicon in agriculture and other discipline. The major theme of the conference is ‘silicon solution to sustainable agriculture’.
Read more: http://www.silicon2017.com
Celebrating Soil. Discovering Soils and Landscapes
By Balks, M.R. and Zabowski, D., 13 December 2016 by Springer, Heidelberg | New York, 1st ed. 2016, XI, 243 p. 338 illus., 232 illus. in color, ISBN 978-3-319-32682-5, price hardcover $39.99, €39.99, £22.50. Also available as eBook ISBN 978-3-319-32684-9.
This richly illustrated book celebrates the diversity, importance, and intrinsic beauty of soils around the world and helps the reader to understand the ways that soils are related to the landscapes in which they form. The book unravels the complex bond between humans and soils and the importance of soils in our cultures and everyday lives.
Written in a reader-friendly way, Celebrating Soil is a wonderful resource for farmers, horticulturalists, naturalists, students and others who are concerned about how soils are formed, work and are used.
Biochar. A Regional Supply Chain Approach in View of Climate Change Mitigation
By Viktor J. Bruckman, Esin Apaydın Varol, Bașak B. Uzun and Jay Liu (editors), November 2016 by Cambridge University Press, 94 b/w illus. 22 colour illus. 37 tables, ISBN: 978-1-107-11709-9, price hardback £ 89.99.
Climate change poses a fundamental threat to humanity, and thus solutions for both mitigation and adaptation strategies are becoming increasingly necessary. Biochar can offer a range of environmental services, such as reclamation of degraded land, improvement of soil fertility and carbon sequestration. However, it also raises questions, regarding sustainable feedstock provision, biomass pyrolysis, and soil amendment. These questions, among various others, are addressed in this state-of-the-art compendium. Covering a broad geographical range, with regional assessments from North America, Europe, the Near East, and Southeast Asia, this interdisciplinary volume focuses on the entire biochar supply chain, from the availability and economics of biomass resources, to pyrolysis, and ultimately to the impacts on soil properties. The combination of theory with practical examples makes this a valuable book for researchers, policymakers, and graduate students alike, in fields such as soil science, sustainable development, climate change mitigation, biomass and bioenergy, forestry, and environmental engineering.
Read more: http://www.cambridge.org/at/academic/subjects/earth-and-environmental-science/soil-science/biochar-regional-supply-chain-approach-view-climate-change-mitigation?format=HB&isbn=9781107117099
Soil Magnetism, 1st Edition. Applications in Pedology, Environmental Science and Agriculture
By Neli Jordanova, 6 December 2016 by Elsevier, 466 pages, ISBN: 9780128092392, price paperback: EUR 73.06.
Soil Magnetism: Applications in Pedology, Environmental Science and Agriculture provides a systematic, comparative, and detailed overview of the magnetic characterization of the major soil units and the observed general relationships, possibilities, and perspectives in application of rock magnetic methods in soil science, agriculture, and beyond. Part I covers detailed magnetic and geochemical characterization of major soil types according to the FAO classification system, with Part II covering the mapping of topsoil magnetic signatures on the basis of soil magnetic characteristics. The book concludes with practical examples on the application of magnetic methods in environmental science, agriculture, soil pollution, and paleoclimate.
Soil and Environmental Chemistry, 2nd Edition
By William F. Bleam, 6 December 2016 by Elsevier, 586 pages, ISBN: 9780128041789, price hardcover: EUR 57.76.
Soil and Environmental Chemistry, Second Edition, offers a holistic, practical approach to the application of environmental chemistry to soil science that includes over 100 spreadsheet files that supplement the text as a means of migrating problem-solving from calculator-based to spreadsheet-based. With an expanded set of problems and solutions and added coverage of key topics such as sample collection, water chemistry simulation, and soil carbon cycle models, this updated edition is a must-have reference for soil scientists in environmental chemistry. Designed to equip the reader with the chemistry knowledge and problem-solving skills necessary to validate and interpret data, this book combines valuable soil chemistry concepts into the big picture.
The Chemistry of Soils. Third Edition
By Garrison Sposito, 8 December 2016 by Oxford University Press, 272 Pages, ISBN: 9780190630881, price hardback: £59.00.
The second edition of The Chemistry of Soils, published in 2008, has been used as a main text in soil-science courses across the world, and the book is widely cited as a reference for researchers in geoscience, agriculture, and ecology. The book introduces soil into its context within geoscience and chemistry, addresses the effects of global climate change on soil, and provides insight into the chemical behavior of pollutants in soils. Since 2008, the field of soil science has developed in three key ways that Sposito addresses in this third edition. For one, research related to the Critical Zone (the material extending downward from vegetation canopy to groundwater) has undergone widespread reorganization as it becomes better understood as a key resource to human life. Secondly, scientists have greatly increased their understanding of how organic matter in soil functions in chemical reactions. Finally, the study of microorganisms as they relate to soil science has significantly expanded.
LUCAS Soil Component: proposal for analysing new physical, chemical and biological soil parameters
By Fernández-Ugalde O., Jones A., Tóth G., Orgiazzi A., Panagos P., Eiselt B.; JRC Technical Reports, 2016. Currently, the European Commission is working on the organization of the upcoming LUCAS Soil Survey (2018). This technical report is a proposal for analysing new physical, chemical and biological soil parameters within the forthcoming LUCAS Soil Surveys. Soil biodiversity is a key parameter that needs to be added to the LUCAS Soil Surveys, due to the contribution of the soil biological community to soil functions such as food and biomass production, genetic pool for developing novel pharmaceuticals, and climate regulation. Among physical properties, bulk density is necessary to assess soil compaction and to estimate soil organic carbon stock in the EU. Field measurements such as signs of soil erosion and thickness of organic layer in Histosols are also important to assess two critical soil degradation processes in the EU: soil erosion and organic carbon decline due to land use changes and land take of Histosols. Finally, it would be interesting to organize a survey of soil profiles to collect information that will help to understand soil-forming processes and to evaluate soil ability for carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, water storage and contaminant filtering.
Soils and pulses: symbiosis for life
In celebration of the synergy between IYS 2015 and IYP 2016, a new book titled Soils & Pulses: symbiosis for life was launched on World Soil Day 2016, at FAO Headquarter. This 114-page book aims to introduce the reader to the importance of preserving our soil resources by attending to the reciprocal relationship between soils and pulses. The ecosystem services provided by soil are presented together with the role of pulses in improving soil health, adapting to and mitigating climate change, and ultimately contributing to food security and nutrition. The book also discusses the role of pulses in restoring degraded soils and their contribution to pursuing the practice of sustainable soil management.
Download the book: http://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/56244a4c-d35a-48f8-b465-89f46f343312/
Conservation Agriculture for Africa. Building Resilient Farming Systems in a Changing Climate
Edited by A Kassam, S Mkomwa and T Friedrich, December 2016 by CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International), 318 Pages, ISBN: 9781780645681, price hardback: £95.00/€125.00/ $133.33. The publishers will grant IUSS members a 20% discount. If you are interested, please contact the Secretariat at email@example.com .
Tillage agriculture has led to widespread soil and ecosystem degradation globally. This is especially so in Africa where traditional and modern tillage-based agricultural practices have become unsustainable due to severe disturbance and exploitation of natural resources, with negative impacts on the environment and rural livelihoods.
In addition, agriculture in Africa today faces major challenges including increased costs of production and energy, the effects of climate change, and the lack of an effective paradigm for sustainable intensification, especially for small- and medium-size holdings. Africa is facing a serious challenge to food security and as a continent has not advanced towards eradicating hunger. In addition, the population is still growing much faster than on most other continents. This pressure has led to the emergence of no-till conservation agriculture as a serious alternative sustainable agriculture paradigm.
New Scientific Journal
Looking to publish your research on soil or plant nutrition? Look no further!
Soil Science and Plant Nutrition (SSPN) welcomes your submissions. Find out how you can submit by visiting the journal’s homepage here: http://bit.ly/tandfonline-SSPN
You might also be keen to know that IUSS members are entitled to an exclusive subscription price, allowing you to stay up to date with all the latest research. http://bit.ly/subscribe-sspn
Vacancy for full professor soil science
Full professor Earth Surface Science
Faculty of Science – Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics
The Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) is one of the eight research institutes of the Faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam. IBED was founded in 2000 by merging research groups with expertise in ecology, physical geography, environmental microbiology and environmental chemistry. The research at IBED aims to unravel how ecosystems function in all their complexity, and how they change due to natural processes and human activities. At its core lies an integrated systems approach to study biodiversity, ecosystems and the environment. IBED adopts this systems approach to ecosystems, addressing abiotic (soil and water quality) and biotic factors (presence, population dynamics and functioning of plants, animals, microbes), and the interplay between these ecosystem components. The IBED vision includes that research encompasses experimental and theoretical approaches at a wide variety of temporal and spatial scales, i.e. from microbes and individual behaviour to patterns and processes occurring at landscape scale. IBED offers advanced and up-to-date research facilities, such as a greenhouse, growth chambers, an electrophysiological lab, a molecular lab, an analytical chemistry lab, a soil erosion lab, a GIS studio, and high-performance computing facilities.
IBED is in search of a new full professor for the field of Earth Surface Science.
We are looking for a scientist who has the ambition to lead a diverse research group. Someone who inspires the ESS team, represents the group and increases the international academic visibility of EES. Someone who has a talent for teaching and a vision on university teaching and research.
We also welcome a candidate who brings in new approaches, research skills or model systems.
The Earth Surface Science group
The scientific mission of the research group Earth Surface Science (ESS) is to improve our understanding of the functioning of the soil surface in a changing environment. In this context, the ESS group works on soil biotic and abiotic interactions of scales ranging from the molecular to the landscape level. To meet these scientific challenges, the ESS group adopts multidisciplinary approaches with innovative experiments and the use of advanced analytical and modelling tools. Research is carried out using a combination of (long term) field (manipulation) experiments and state-of-the-art laboratory research.
The ESS research group plays an important role in teaching at BSc. curricula Future Planet Studies and MSc. Earth Science level and coordinates a wide range of BSc. and MSc. courses.
Current research of ESS is organised along 5 lines of research: (i) biogeochemistry, including the analysis of biogeochemical cycles (e.g., carbon, nitrogen, anthropogenic and natural organic substances, heavy metals), (ii) land degradation, including the analysis of the interactions between geomorphological processes and the dynamics of organic matter, (iii) soil environmental chemistry, including the analysis of the fate of anthropogenic and natural organic chemicals in terrestrial ecosystems, (iv) soil biodiversity, including the analysis of the role of the soil community food web on soil ecosystem functioning, and (v) sustainable soil management, including the analysis of the socio-economic dimensions of soil management.
The ESS group collaborates most intensively with many other research groups within IBED, in particular Aquatic Environmental Ecology (AEE) in the field of environmental chemistry, Computational Geo-Ecology (CGE) in the field of spatial analysis and modelling and Palaeoecology and Landscape Ecology (P&L) in the field of multi-proxy vegetation reconstruction. The ESS group collaborates intensively with several departments and institutes of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VUA), but also collaborates with other Dutch universities and non-academic stakeholders as well as international institutes.
The new full professor will lead the Earth Surface Science (ESS) group, but will also develop her/his own research program. The leadership of the group will consist of building an innovative and coherent research profile for the ESS group, representing the group at a range of levels (IBED, UvA and beyond), and being a mentor and guide for the group members, several of whom are promising upcoming scientists building their own groups.
Qualifications and tasks
The ideal candidate is a creative and inspiring scientist who can identify new directions, implement plans and motivate people, with a clear vision on how to take up the challenges and enhances new opportunities for teaching and research.
In particular, the ideal candidate
- has a scientific track record in the in the field of Earth surface science;
- is interested and engaged in university teaching;
- has a strong position in international networks;
- has an affinity for experimental and field work;
- has a track record in gaining research grant funding;
- has a critical, but also an open, constructive and enthusiastic personality;
- positively contributes to the development and consolidation of a team spirit.
- to lead EES in the further development of the group, but also to share leadership with others and operate in a largely self-managed, horizontally structured group;
- to develop, innovate and contribute to courses in particular within the BSc. and MSc. curricula Future Planet Studies and Earth Sciences;
- to create coherence within the teaching and research program and staff and strengthen the research line by bringing in new ideas, skills and innovative research approaches;
- to attract external funding to sustain the earth surface science research line.
- If not already in possession of a University Teaching Certificate (in Dutch BKO) is willing to acquire it within two years.
- if not already living in the Netherlands, is willing and able to move to and to engage with it;
- if not already speaking Dutch, is willing to learn it.
If you have specific questions about this vacancy, or suggestions of candidates, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org . Or contact Prof. dr Peter de Ruiter ++31-20-525 5684.
We offer a permanent position for 38 hours per week in a highly stimulating academic environment and a dynamic international atmosphere. The gross monthly salary will range from € 5,260 to € 7,659 (scale H2), depending on previous experience. The salary will be increased by 8 % holiday allowance and 8.3 % end-of-year bonus. The Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities is applicable.
Applications by email only. These should include:
- a concise statement of motivation (max. 1 page);
- a CV and list of publications;
- a statement concerning vision on teaching and research (max. 1 page);
- a list of three references.
All application materials should be submitted as a single pdf to email@example.com before January 5, 2017. Please quote vacancy number 16-543 in the subject field.
Interviews for this position are scheduled for week 6 and 7, 2017, Science Park 904, Amsterdam.
We strongly encourage women to apply.